She taught me through her life and her words how to live well as a woman.
I have been staring at the screen for two days thinking about how I could sum up in one blog post everything about who my mom was and is in my life: How she influenced me, how she modeled being a godly wife. How she sacrificed her wants and needs for mine. How she loved God most of all, and how that gave me security. How she taught me that every choice has a consequence and that being happy is my choice. In fact, friends who grew up with me remember my mom saying “Now it’s time to get happy” when one of us was moping or pouting too long. She was a hard worker and not afraid to use a little “elbow grease” to get that garage floor clean or rearrange the living room. She showed me how to manage a home- cooking, cleaning, being organized- but more than that, the purpose of your home is to care for your family and offer hospitality. We brought home friends all the time, and she always cooked a big Sunday lunch so my parents could find someone from church who was new to invite to eat with us. She made every birthday feel like a national holiday- so much so that I had to adjust in adult life to the fact that everyone else was not going to throw a parade in honor of my birth! She loved tradition and taught me the value in maintaining family traditions year after year. Mom was always actively caring for her health through diet and exercise, and to this day I know she is better shape than I am. In her mid-life mom showed me how to make big changes and not be intimidated to try new things. She went back to college to become a nurse, graduated with incredible grades and went back to work. Mom always spoke highly about my dad and to my dad- she was an encourager as a wife, always seeing the good. She loved her gardening and getting her hands in the dirt- mom was a “lady” without an pretension. Mom hugged often and long, said I love you freely and I’m sorry just as freely. She came to recitals, remembered details about my life and loved to let me talk. (Except sometimes she would tell me her ears were tired from so much listening, which I am sure was the truth.) She was and is the woman I most look up to in this world.
Thank you Mama for teaching me how to live well!