Rosamond's Musical Genius
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Mother was truly gifted! As a young girl of about 12 years of age she begged for a piano and her father (Joseph Fred Palmer) finally was able to get one for her. Mother took only 3 or 4 lessons then taught herself the rest. She willingly shared her innate musical talents and taught her sisters, Della and Vida also to play the piano. Mom played very well by sight/music notes as well as by ear. She could easily transpose music into whatever key was needed so you could sing it in your best vocal range.
Someone has said good music is the language of the angels. Mother spoke it well and true to her form, she passed it on.
(An excerpt from "Life History of Rosamond Palmer Maxfield" by Rosamond)
When I was 13 years old I was sustained as Primary Organist. At age 16 or 17, I served on the Sunday School Stake Board for 5 years. For many years we had only one stake and it was known as the Jordan Stake. It covered the big territory from the south end of Murray to the Point of the Mountain and from Granite (now known as Little Cottonwood) on the east side to Bingham Canyon on the West. To fulfill my Stake calling, many times I walked up the canyon from lower Bingham to Highland Bay, a healthy distance on the west end.
For many years I served as Ward Organist. . .
(An excerpt from "Maxfield Family History" by Rod Maxfield, a son)
Mother formed a family dance band and of course she was on the piano. Clark and Gerald were originally on Saxaphones; when Gerald went away to school, her brother Ross Palmer switched from Rhythm guitar to Saxaphone; another brother Elmer Palmer was on the Steel Guitar; a man by the name of Cox was the drummer; another brother, Donald Palmer became the Rhythm Guitarist with JeNeal and Rod (at age 4 and 9 respectively) as vocalists. At age 12, Rod added the Trombone to the band.
They were in great demand and performed regularly 3 or 4 times a week for about 10 years until missions and military service took them elsewhere.
Mother always taught that the Lord gave us talents to enjoy and develop to their fullest and the way you develop best is to use them as often as possible to bless others lives. Whenever Mom could, she would sit at the piano or organ producing beautiful memories for everyone. As she grew older her hands tightened up with Arthritis until she could only play one note or occasionally two with her right hand and maybe two notes with her left hand, but with an uncomplaining attitude she always did her best.
Up to her last weeks of life, she was ever-willing to bring another moment or two of happiness through her music to anyone who asked. Even when she was so weak she could hardly get to the organ bench, she struggled happily do her best.
Mother's life was a constant. When her voice became older and unsteady, she'd apologize for it, but unwilling to give up the beautiful internal feeling music delivers and all the "togetherness" it spawns, she'd sing on. To her last few weeks at 88 1/2 years old, as wobbly and inarticulate as she became, still she sang on and with almost immobile, arthritic hands she played on.
Epilog (by Cheryl Maxfield Peters - daughter): Through it all, Mom taught each of us to sing and let the music in our souls flow freely to create beautiful harmony within our lives, our family, and our hearts. She willingly accompanied each of us as she constantly affirmed our efforts to blend our lives into beautiful melodies. These precious memories of so long ago are an invisible but heartfelt thread that binds each of us to Mom's wonderful ways.
In Mother's last weeks of life she suffered a debilitating stroke. Carrying on a conversation was now a thing of the past as she could no longer "connect one word to the next.". Nonetheless, each night as I sat by her bedside I sang songs that Mother had sung, played, and taught us all throughout her life. She reached deep into her soul to allow her innate music abilities to rise to the surface. In spite of her physical limitations, she sang every note and word perfectly to every song. At the conclusion of our mini concert she was able to convey how much she loved each tune. It was a treasured time for me to glimpse ever more deeply into the magnificence of Mother's beautiful gift of music.
Rosamond's Treadle Sewing Machine
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
My Mother was a problem solver. When life didn't go as she imagined it should she gathered strength from deep within and fought to bring sweetness to the experience.
When Mom was 73 years old she suffered a debilitating stroke which left her with minimal use of her right side. She struggled to lift her arm, use her hand and even walk . It was a difficult time for her.
As you can imagine, following this major event in her life, there were many doctor appointments, treatments and possible solutions implemented. Alas, the doctor announced that the damage caused by the stroke was permanent and she would never have complete use of her right side again. With her usual spunk and conviction, she looked him in the eye, and said, "Oh, yes I will! You watch me!" With that she left his office to face her challenge with determination.
At this time, her son, Gerald, was in the manufacturing clothing business. Mom asked if he had any fabric scraps left over from the patterns cut. When he answered affirmatively, she asked if could she have them. She had always been a quilter and so it began. Gerald had the extra fabric cut into 4" x 4" squares and gave them to her ready for assembly. Of course, there was no rhyme or reason to the colors or patterns of the fabric so it was an unplanned bonus for Mother's creativity to surface in crafting beautiful quilts.
Carefully she organized the quilt squares with her left hand by pinning them together in a colorful pattern. Then the struggle began. The only sewing machine Mom ever had was an old "Treadle" sewing machine. She put those squares on the surface of the machine; placed both her feet on the "pedal"; lifted her right hand in place to hold the fabric and used her left hand to guide it through the actual sewing process.
Over next few years, she patiently endured her "limitations" with faith that, with the Lord's help she could overcome her personal test and challenge. Add to that her tenacity as she continued this process thousands of times, creating beautiful quilts for her children, grandchildren and friends who were amazed at her accomplishment. By doing this, eventually, with the help of her "Treadle" sewing machine forcing her right side to function, the left side of her body "taught" the right side how to develop and use different muscles.
Even though age took its' natural toll on her in other physical ways, it was a joy to see what her faith, her vision, and her persistence had overcome. Her optimism in dealing with life had a remarkable impact on me. Yes, I did watch her as she had challenged us in the doctors' office that day and yes, she did prevail over disability. For me it was a sacred experience to observe. I'm grateful beyond expression that she was my Mom. God bless her beautiful memory!