Saturday, May 7, 2011

The blessing of a loving Mom....

It's hard to believe that Mother's Day is already tomorrow! It's true what they say about the years going by faster as you get older, cause it's hard to believe it's already been a year since we celebrated mothers everywhere, but yet, here we are, almost at the first Sunday in May again!

I'm so thankful that my Mom is now out of the hospital, feeling better and back at the nursing home with Dad.  This is a very difficult time in life for all of us, as my folks have transitioned from their own home to a nursing home, but I have to say that my Mom has handled it with a tremendous amount of dignity and grace, which really doesn't surprise me at all.

You see, my Mom has always been the strong one in our family, emotionally speaking. She's tough and always has been for as long as I can remember. For my entire childhood, my Mom was a stay at home mother, but she also answered the phone for my Dad's heating and plumbing business (the business phone rang into our house from 8am - 5 pm - that's the kind of thing they did in those days), making all the appointments and she also handled all the billing and correspondence. Plus she kept up with us three kids, handled all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. She always had a smile on her face, and enjoyed the simple things in life. She never left home much, except on the weekends to go to the grocery store, but she always seemed to be contented with her life because growing up on a farm, I think she was really a homebody at heart.

She's lived her life for her family and was always there for us when we were growing up. Us three kids were 6 years apart, so for my Mom, I'm sure it must have seemed like she would never get rid of us. We weren't rich by any means, but were always comfortable. My Dad worked very hard and Mom held down the fort at home. She made most of my clothes when I was in my grade school years and I remember well when I got to go buy my first store bought blouse. I think I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, and boy was that a thrill to go to the store with Mom to buy something a beautiful as that! I was also allowed to get some saddle shoes too, which were my favorite. I felt like a princess. I thought homemade clothes were so "out " because most of my friends had store bought ones, but looking back on it, it was a nice thing for Mom and I to do because we went together and picked out the patterns and the fabric for my outfits. I can't remember Mom getting a lot of fancy clothes for herself, she was always in capri pants and t-shirts, but she always made sure I had something nice to wear. She was always doing for me and my brothers and my Dad.

Mom sent me to a sewing class one summer, and I had to walk there by myself. It was about 2 miles down the hill at the Shirlington Shopping Center, in Alexandria, but I can remember feeling so grown up when I was allowed to go there by myself. Mom couldn't leave the house because of Dad's business, but she always made sure I tried new things. I did piano lessons for 5 years, I was allowed to ride my bike down to my grandparents duplex, which was in the other direction but also about 2 miles away.  In those early years, in the summer, I was all over the place on my bike, riding to friends houses, playing softball at my old elementary school with friends. It was a wonderful time of freedom. I was also all over the place on my roller skates, because I loved to skate. I didn't go to a skating rink, but just loved skating up and down the streets, visiting with people. We didn't have a pool like my kids grew up with, but we still had a lot of fun in the summer, creating little plays with kids in the neighborhood, and then putting on skits for our parents to come and watch. Dad very seldom came because he was exhausted from working all day, but Mom was always there, cheering me on.

My Dad was pretty strict when we were growing up. I remember one time, really wanting to go to the movies, but Dad was not a big fan of the movies. He thought they were a waste of time. I didn't ask often because I knew how he felt about it, but I did ask this time. I really wanted to go see the latest Elvis Presley movie, but he really disliked him and everything he stood for (not uncommon for parents of the time) I was crushed. But, Mom, knowing how much it meant to me, set up a quiet date for me to go with my cousin Doreen and my Aunt Margaret. It was our big secret, and to this day I don't know if my Dad knows I was corrupted by seeing "Kissing Cousins" starring Elvis Presley. I had such a good time that day.

My parents weren't very social and they rarely had their friends over and we didn't have a lot of our friends over either. It's not that they weren't welcome, we just didn't do a lot of socializing at our house There were no playgroups or Mom groups or anything like that back in those days. I can remember going to other people's slumber parties and such, and  I do remember a big 6 year old birthday party I had, but can't remember a lot of other parties, although I'm sure we must have had a few. My Dad only has one eye, and always felt uncomfortable in social situations, but even though there was not a lot of outside contact other than other family events, school and school activities, I still always felt very loved by my Mom and Dad.

We never went to formal church. My Mom did take me to Sunday school when I was a little kid and I was baptized because I have the certificate, but we had our church at home on Sundays and then bible studies during the week. Our Bible study times were always led by my Dad, and Mom was always quiet, but I always knew she loved the Lord too. The seed of faith and my love for Jesus was planted early in my life, by both Mom and Dad.

As the years go by, and I continue to grow and mature and have parental challenges of my own, the more I've realized that my parents weren't perfect, only human, and they were always trying to do what they thought was the best thing for me. I may not have always agreed with their decisions, but I knew that they loved me, and that is the most precious gift a parent can give their child. There is no one in the world that loves you like your parents, because they love you just like our Heavenly Father loves all of us --unconditionally.

You will make many friends throughout your life, but there is no one like your family, especially your parents.  Their heart breaks when your heart breaks. Love them while you have them, because you never know what the next day will bring. If you are a parent yourself, you know exactly what I'm talking about, if not, then I pray that the Lord will bless you with children of you own someday so you can experience the many highs and lows of parenthood. It truly is the blessing of a lifetime.

So thanks Mom, for everything. Thanks for always being there, through good and bad, thick and thin. Thanks for putting up with all the stupid mistakes I've made along the way, and thanks for always reaching out to me even when I didn't deserve it. You were and are the absolute best! And, thank you Lord, for a devoted, Godly mother. I know she is a gift from Heaven above~~

My verse for today is from  Proverbs 31: 2

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her."

My prayer for today:
Thank you Jesus for my mother. Thank you for her dedication to our family over the years. Please watch over her each day and give her comfort. What a blessing she has been in my life and I am thankful. Help me to be the kind of Mom to own my kids that she has always been to me.

In Jesus name I pray,

                                              Mom in the 1940's at home in Floyd, Va.

                                                       Dad, Mom and me, 1956
                                 ~~ Mom's 80th Birthday with brothers Mike and Robert, me, Dad and Mom ~~

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