Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I had a nice day this Mother's Day. I had to work, but I was able to take my mother out to breakfast before going there. We ate early, and had opportunity to talk over breakfast. My mother loves me. I am so grateful for that. I'm grateful because it's wonderful to be loved without fear of judgment and I only hope she knows how much I love her too.

She's a wonderful mother. She works hard enough to shame many persons who are much younger than she. She still works ten hours most days in a business she owns, heads for home and does work there too. She has a large lawn and I mow it for her, but sometimes I'll get there and she has part of it already mowed. She takes care of her yard, and even likes to cut up her own firewood. She still loves to cook. Did I mention that she's eighty-three? Yeah, and she's still as sharp as a tack with a very impressive memory.

Like my father, she's somewhat of a heroic figure to me. She was one of eight children, and she was delivered in her family's own home by her eleven year old sister. The family was poor, moving often, and she attended eleven different schools to get through twelve grades. She even attended a one-room schoolhouse that I visited with her when I was ten years old. Of course it had doubled in size by then. Two rooms.

She acquired her work ethic from a very young age, working in the fields picking everything from hops to strawberries. At one point she was a champion hops picker. I never knew there was such a thing, but I have no doubt she could achieve it. She and her brothers and sisters worked wherever they could find it, and for very little pay. It wasn't that people were cheap. Rather it was that the average person had little money to pay, as she grew up in the depression era.

She was a very young woman when WWII ended, and that's when she met my father. He was a returning veteran. They built a life together. They had two children in the years soon after they wed and my father was gone for work two weeks at a time for their first four years together. It was hard, but my father wanted to work for himself. There third child came along and they made a bold move to move to another state and begin the business which she still owns and operates to this day. I came along a couple of years after that.

I have loved and admired both of my parents, but my work ethic came directly from my mother. She is the one I spent more time with growing up. She's also the one who liked whining only marginally more than having her face scrubbed with a rock. In other words, whining is something she did not put up with from her children. Good thing too, because I could have a real tendency to whine if I went unchecked. I whined about having to get up. I whined about having to go to bed. I whined about homework. I whined about having to eat vegetables. I whined about having to do yard work. She taught me the proper perspective about such things, and sometimes that involved handing out punishments. She was very adept at that. (Laughing here) She had a skill level that allowed her to stir dinner, mop the kitchen floor and smack one of us at the same time. I'm grateful for that too.

She has always been a patient person. She has always overlooked my faults, and I have a lot of them. Most importantly, she has always loved Jesus, since before I was born. She used to tell me, "David, you should make your bed as though you thought Jesus was going to lay down on it." I must confess. I have failed to do that. You know what? She still loves me anyway.

No comments: