I’ve been thinking a lot of about my mom recently, mostly because I am now a mom myself. I find myself looking at Liam and thinking, “there’s no way he’s leaving the house as a teenager or he better have respect for women.” All these thoughts lead me back to what my parents did for us and how they raised us. It’s weird what memories stay with you from childhood and the imprint they leave on you. My childhood memories mostly involve being beat up by my brothers and spending time with my mom. It’s not my mom’s birthday and it’s certainly not Mother’s Day yet, but this has been on my heart to share with her. So, mom, this post is for you…..
She spent time with me. We stirred the cookie batter before we made cookies. We went grocery shopping at Aldi on Saturdays and ate our bologna sandwiches in the car before we made the rounds (this memory made me believe we were poor because rich kids got to eat fast food on shopping trips. Little did I know she was just being a wise spender =) She let me hold the center of the bows while we wrapped Christmas presents so she could tie it.
She disciplined me. She told me no…..often. I was very rarely in a “big trouble”, but I can recall the times of, “Kelli, you’re being very rude.” Hello, wake up call. She let me whine, listened, and then told me I was whining.
She was/is my biggest fan. She never missed a volleyball game, even when I sat the bench because she was showing me that supporting my team was more important. She taught me that you won’t always be on the floor, but that is no excuse for a bad attitude or lack of effort. She traveled over 3 hours to watch me coach more than once. She wore my sports button (if you were in grade school in the 90’s, you know what I’m talking about!)
She loves Jesus. I’d sneak downstairs on a Sunday morning and see her prepping for Sunday school pouring over her Bible. She highlighted it up and down and her worn pages showed me a woman who yearned for a deeper relationship with God.
She is always positive. She offers a different perspective when I’m naturally negative. She asks the hard questions and pushes me to be better. She doesn’t let me settle for less than my best.
She is generous. She fills our cars with gas, stuffs $20 bills in our pockets and sends us with food and our favorite drinks for our homes. She sends me home with diapers and formula, and will mail me coupons and notes of encouragement. She let me try any and all of her food at restaurants (and still does). She comes to every one of my races, takes care of my son, and sleeps on my couch countless times without complaining. She is the definition of selflessness.
She is real. I complained to her during dad’s final days, when she was about to lose her husband, that it was making me mad how non Christians never have to go through pain like this (or so it seemed) and she very frankly responded, “Yeah, maybe they don’t. But I feel really bad for those people because they don’t have Jesus and we do.” What?! The strength of this woman is something I can only pray I got a piece of in my DNA. She taught me that it’s how you respond to the things that happen in your life that make you who you are.
She is the best grandmother I know. She loves and treats each of her grandkids as individuals. She plays games with them, lets them share her bed, reads them stories, will drive hours to watch them play sports, feeds them, changes dirty diapers (with enthusiasm mind you) and loves spending time with them.
Heck, she is the best mom I know. These are MY memories but I know my brothers have similar stories to share about her. She was never my friend, but a mom. A mom who knew that she was the adult, she would make mistakes, but she was doing the best for her kids. She tried every day. Now, as I’m a grown adult, I see how she is the very best friend a person could wish for. She is supportive, never talked bad about me, is always honest, laughs with me, and wants to talk to me and know how I’m feeling.
So here is to my mom who rides the shopping cart through the parking lot, cries when she laughs too hard, always has a box of wine in her fridge, keeps tissues stuffed in every hoodie, has a bunker of expired food in her basement, and has Certs in her purse that taste like the tissues they were next too.
I love you Mom. You are the inspiration for everything good I want to be.