|Grand daughter, me and my mom, Oct 2014 at DaySpring FestiFall.|
This was just 6 months after her disastrous knee surgery. And, no, she still does not color her hair!!!!
Today is my sweet mama's 81st birthday. There are so many things I have learned from her over the years. These are just a few that I always want to remember.
I want to remember . . . how she always put family before her own needs and desires. Even though Mama is in constant pain, she always manages to come through when any of us need her. Everything from cooking meals, doing laundry, babysitting her grandkids and great grandkids, picking up things from the grocery store, and thousands of other little things, she's always available.
I want to remember . . . the story of the terrible accident that she almost died from when she was only 18 years old, her miraculous recovery, and how that accident left her with chronic pain, that most people never knew about, for the rest of her life.
I want to remember . . . trying to learn to cook from her with no recipes and how that drove me nuts. Just put a little of this, a little of that, and you come out with perfect cornbread! That never worked for me.
I want to remember . . . that birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations, may only exist as an excuse for a family dinner in which every one is invited and any friends who happen to show up are treated as family.
I want to remember . . . that dinner always begins with a prayer of thanksgiving before one bite is taken. And that forgetting that detail is cause for severe looks and possibly having your hand slapped before it reaches your mouth. (That hasn't happened in years but I still remember it like it was yesterday!)
I want to remember . . . the odd way she holds her cards when we play card games.
I want to remember . . . her long, slender fingers and beautiful fingernails that were always polished every Saturday night to match her outfit for Sunday morning, before arthritis twisted her knuckles and the nail polish was left to a younger generation.
I want to remember . . . how she and Daddy read their devotions together every night before they went to sleep when Daddy wasn't working night shift.
I want to remember . . . the million and one times she has come to my rescue for everything from restocking my pantry when there was more month than money, to demanding that I bring my laundry to her so she could wash it when my week was long and we were out of clean clothes.
I want to remember . . . the pure joy in her face the first time, and every time after that, when she held each of my children and grand children.
I want to remember . . . the compassionate sadness I saw in her eyes when one of my children had gone through a particular hard time and how she ached to rescue them.
I want to remember . . . how she drives me crazy with her OCD weird little habits . . . and how much I am like her.
I want to remember . . . the first time as a mom when I heard her voice come out of my mouth, and how much that both frightened me and made me proud to be her daughter.
I want to remember . . . her extensive knowledge of all things plant and flower related, and how much I have learned from her in that regard.
I want to remember . . . that the best tasting pot roast, pound cake, and lots of other foods came from Mama's kitchen.
I want to remember . . . her total devotion to my daddy that has never wavered in 60 years of marriage.
I want to remember . . . that as a small child she made it clear that church attendance was never optional, that 10% of everything I earned belonged to God, and that putting God first was the only way to live your life.
I want to remember . . . that in spite of my rebellion and stubborn heart, she has always loved me unconditionally, perfectly modeling for me the relationship she has with her heavenly Father year after year.
I want to remember . . . all the ways that she far surpasses me in grace and southern hospitality.
I want to remember . . . all of it, even the hard times. Because much of who my mom is has made me who I am today.