Salome as a Mother
“Mother” was undoubtedly the most cherished title Salome held, a role in which she excelled and one that she loved. Being raised in a large family in Alsace, and then raising a large family of her own, Salome was committed to caring for her children in a way that was unparalleled. And of course, there are many family memories woven around Salome as a mother.
“She was a fierce and protective mother, and even more so as a grandmother”, relays granddaughter Christine Kovesci. “I remember visiting Grandma with my sisters and my father, Clem. We were generally well-behaved, and loved our visits with Grandma — it was mutual. Dad however was impatient, so when he was ready to leave…. he was ready to leave! But, Grandma was not done visiting with the ‘kinder’, and she quickly retorted with words in a heavy German dialect, most likely expletives that she did not want us to understand. ‘Leave those precious children alone!’ was the message, and Dad clearly understood. Of course, we were allowed to visit a bit longer.”
Granddaughter Anna Reymann recalls a story shared by her parents, Clem and Margie Reymann about another visit to the Reymann homestead in which Salome protected the humble ones. “That particular day, Dad’s sister Agnes was flying into Cleveland, and their brother Joe was planning on picking her up at the airport. Back then, it was novel to visit the airport, and Mom looked forward to riding along. Uncle Joe, noticed Mom’s intentions to join the group, and nastily ordered her to stay home. The disappointment and embarrassment showed on Mom’s face, as she quietly sat down and bowed her head. Grandma noticed Mom’s sadness, and quickly instructed Uncle Richard to get the car. All of them were going to Cleveland! When Aunt Agnes got off the plane, there were two cars waiting for her. Grandma announced ‘Agnes, we’re here to take you home. Get in the car.’ Uncle Joe was left behind to drive home by himself.” Salome had a softness for the meek and mild, and clearly a passion for justice as well!
“Salome understood women and was a supporter of all mothers, showing empathy for the many challenges they faced”, shared granddaughter Connie Roulett. “She was a warrior for mothers that tirelessly cared for their children, often performing charity under the radar when she noticed a woman in need. She was accepting, tolerant and welcoming”, continues Connie. Among the many children and grandchildren, Salome had a gift to make each child feel special. “She was kind, loving, and warm. I felt loved without her telling me, but the hugs and kisses were always plentiful”, sentiments shared by twins Connie and Christine. “The house was always safe and warm, filled with beauty and love. It was the essence of Grandma. Love was prevalent, and I loved it there”, concludes Christine.
Salome let kids be kids…climb trees, play ball, go exploring, get hurt. “I can remember hiding in the pine trees in the circle driveway, thinking it was the best secret fort ever”, says Margaret Skinner, Salome’s granddaughter. “When a thunderstorm rolled in with heavy rain and lightning, and my uncles shooed me out of my hiding place into the kitchen, Grandma was there to console this wet and shaken little girl.” Salome was also quick to mend torn clothing, offer a snack and to heal boo-boo’s. Chores and work ethic were important things to learn. A good education was important to earn. And being faithful to the Church was critical to care for the soul. Like a mother hen, she cared for her peeps, giving them the experiences they would need to be successful in life.
Grandson Steve Reymann recalls memories shared by his father, Clem, about his own mother, Margie. “Our mom did not have the greatest role model in her own mother. When Mom married into the Reymann family, she was in awe of Grandma’s kindness. Mom was very humble, and Grandma loved that trait. Grandma also saw the inherent beauty of mom’s soul and personality. Mom never wanted to take advantage of Grandma, but only wanted to learn from her. Grandma took mom under her wing and taught her things she never learned at her childhood home, well beyond the cooking that Salome was renowned for. By example, Grandma taught how to treat other people, how to manage a home, how to support her husband, how to incorporate her faith in everyday life, how to love unconditionally, and how to persevere during difficult times. Dad said mom loved to visit the Reymann home on Sundays and for years that trip was a regular part of their weekly routine. Grandma became the mom our mother always wanted.”
Many family members, neighbors and friends have been blessed with Salome’s motherly touch. Her legacy of love and kindness lives on in all of us, and we are all richer for Salome’s influence on our lives.