My mother always put a positive spin on things when I was little, even in less than ideal circumstances. One such instance I’ll never forget, especially now that I know the true story. You see, I remember taking this awesome long walk when I as young. We used to go around the block on our bikes (a couple of miles out here in the country) picking up pop bottles as we went, so that we could buy a few penny candies when we got to the general store on the corner.
But this walk….this was an epic walk. We’d never walked so far from home before. In fact, I don’t remember how we got all that way from home, probably a full five miles, with all four of us young girls in tow and not a stroller in sight. No, I don’t remember that part, but I remember how much FUN we had walking back home. Trying to find the most bottles, skipping along the roadside, checking out the farms and cows on the way.
I didn’t find out until just a few years ago that our car had actually broken down. We were flat broke and couldn’t afford to get it fixed, or even have it insured. And in the age of no cell phones, we had no choice other than to walk home. The weight of that situation seems so heavy to me now, but she never let us see, showing us how to try to find the positive in any situation. Even if she was screaming about it inside.
My mother gave when she had nothing to give and has always been generous with others. I can remember her taking meals to those in need, even when we had to take groceries out of our bags at the store because we didn’t have enough money to buy them all. I remember her giving away things we no longer needed to others who did need them. I remember her helping at church, even when it wasn’t convenient or easy.
She taught me how to take care of myself. Not only in the little things, but also in the big things. I was constantly frustrated with her when she made me make a phone call to order something, or call to set up an appointment. But because of that I was able to set forth on my own and not stumble as much as many others do.
She taught me to question. To spend time and research what I was being told.
My mother didn’t totally freak out when I started dating the “rebel” from church. The one who had long hair and drove a black camaro. The one who had a rap sheet. Well she did try to persuade me otherwise – so maybe she was kinda freaking out. But she accepted him into our family none the less and treated him with nothing but respect.
She taught me how important life is, no matter how little. Even at a young age she brought us to Right to Life events, we lit candle on Sanctity of Life Sunday, she was an advocate for the unborn. She was the only one who treated me as a mother on my very first Mother’s Day, sending me a card when I was just 25 or so weeks pregnant. She celebrated in each of my pregnancies and grieved with me during my miscarriage.
We haven’t always gotten along perfectly and we don’t always agree, but the Lord knew I needed you as a mother to learn from. On your good days and bad, when you felt like you were doing great and when you felt like you were failing, he knew I needed to learn certain lessons from you. And because of that I am who I am today.
So thank you Mom.
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