Calling Her Blessed.

On Father's Day last year, I wrote this entry about my dad. It seemed only fair that this year my mom would get some attention.

I'm the youngest of four - two boys, two girls -- by quite a bit. My siblings are 7, 9, and 11 years older than me, which of course means I'm the favorite. :-)

Not really. But it does mean that I got to have Mom to myself a little more than the others. Just a few quick memories:
  • Running lines for my various plays
  • Listening to her sing in church
  • Wishing my fingernails were long and pretty like hers
  • Watching her take care of my baby girl when we came home from the hospital
  • Fish sticks and french fries on Wednesday nights
  • Endless games - card games, board games, dominos

For the longest time, if I had to pick a word to describe my mom, I would have chosen "soft." Her skin was soft, and she had a gentle personality - at least that's how it seemed to me. It could have been in contrast to my dad, who was outgoing and louder, and yes, I take after him. I never thought I had that much in common with Mom as a kid - but I was glad she was there to play peacekeeper when Dad and I would butt heads.

"Soft" when babies and children would climb into her lap and nestle. I love that word. And when I see my mom with her grandbabies, "nestle" is the only word that fits.

A few years ago, we surprised mom with a 75th birthday party. All of her kids and most of her grandkids came in, and her sister flew in as the big surprise. I sent out emails to friends and family asking for memories of Mom that I would put into a scrapbook for her. Here's one from my nephew:
[This is not a political statement - my nephew is in the Air Force.]
When I look back, there is one particular incident when I was about nine that makes me think I was not quite accurate in my perception of Mom. I was riding my bike home from a friend's house, rushing because it was getting dark. We lived on an unpaved road, and right in front of our house I hit a rock and flew off the bike. My forehead struck a rock and cut my forehead. I ran up the driveway, blood flowing, and into the house. At that point, I'm crying and calling for Daddy. He runs in, picks me up, and carries me into the bathroom.

And that's when I realized who was really in charge. Mom cleaned me up, calmed me down, bandaged the cut...while Daddy stood there pretty much helpless. Other than carrying me in, he was hopeless in a crisis.

And there were probably 100 more examples I've forgotten.

Because that "soft" Mom has a core of strength I can only hope to develop. I watched her care for my dad in the year he was fighting and losing to cancer. When he was cranky and miserable and taking it out on her, I never once saw her lose patience or snap at him. I've not lost a husband, and can only imagine the pain she was going through. It was bad enough losing a dad, but it has to be different to lose your partner. And she goes on.

Not long after my dad passed away, we got Mom a computer. I think it still messes with her, but she's doing great getting and sending emails (usually chain letters, but who cares!) and even following some people on Facebook! Pinterest is a little out of her reach, but we'll get her up to speed one of these days. She's really good at hidden object games, though.

Of course, I worry about her. Is she taking care of herself? Is she lonely? I don't get down to see her nearly enough. I love that my sister and a brother live near her, and my niece lives with her while she's going to college. But I should go see her more often, and I'm ashamed of excuses about being busy. I'm blessed that she will come up here to see us, even when the traffic is nightmarish.

Just this mother's day weekend, I unexpectedly got to visit with her, as she and my aunt came through on their way to see their brother. R-Dub and I played cab driver, making sure they got picked up at the airport/got to the airport on time, and we'll do it again next weekend. Sure, there are other things I could be doing, but I'm so glad we got to support her this way.

It's harder to write about someone who might actually read what you write. Do I tell the world (or the 4 of you) that she obviously cheats at 42, but I haven't been able to prove it? If you're playing fast card games (Spoons, Pounce, Speed), she sharpens her nails to points to stab you when you go for the card she wants, and then just smiles. Can I say that she reads the same romance novels I do, and that just gives me the weirds? No, I should probably stick to the sweet, lovey stuff. :-)

I'm at an age now when more and more of our friends are losing parents. I know it's a reality of life, but I just can't think of that day. She's the glue - we kids love each other, but we live in different places -- it's coming to town to see her that gets us all together. Her house is and will always be home.

So to my precious momma, I say thank you. I love you for all you've taught me by example. Thank you for showing me how to love my family, how to survive painful experiences, and how to love God. Thank you for the example you are to your children and grandchildren.

"Her children arise and call her blessed...a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise." [Proverbs 31]


  1. Amen to all of this. Love your mom to pieces!

  2. Caitlin FicklingMay 13, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    You made me cry AGAIN! :) i love this, especially when you said "her house is and always will be home." I know I'm a grandkid but i feel the same way. Our get togethers with grandma are the best and i can't wait for the next one. :) Happy Mother's Day

    1. Aw, I didn't mean to make you cry! Let's plan a party!


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