Today is a day for honoring mothers. Because, really, where would any of us be without them?
I’ve never told her this, but I admire my mother greatly. She may not have been a perfect mother, but she did her best and I think, looking back, she did pretty OK. She all but raised 3 kids by herself (my dad was around throughout my childhood, but wasn’t exactly present). She’s the one who sat me on her lap from as early on as I can remember and read to me, everything from books to comics to the Sunday comics. She told me when I was older that she was actually disappointed when I learned how to read for myself because she knew she would miss that time with me.
She’s the one who donated her Sunday mornings to spreading God’s word by teaching Sunday school at the Methodist church. I still have friends who had her for their Sunday school teacher who say she was their favorite.
She’s the one who worked evenings making appliances for a local orthodontist for something like $7 an hour.
She’s the one who made sure Santa came every Christmas, staying up until the wee hours to make sure everything was perfect for that one magical morning.
She’s the one who made the tough decision to go back to school at age 40 to get her RN degree in order to be able to provide better for herself as well as her children because she was tired of struggling to make ends meet because it was more important for my dad to go to bowling tournaments in Reno than make sure his family was provided for.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, subsequently underwent a mastectomy, and then had her first recurrence about ten years later. On the same side she had had it in the first time, which should have been impossible because everything including her lymph nodes had been removed.
She’s the one who sponsored a trip to Disney World a few years ago with my family as well as my stepsister’s so that she could share the experience with her grandkids.
She’s the one who fought hard for the privilege of caring for her own mother in her old age, which she was able to do for about three years before that choice was taken away from her by family members with an agenda.
She’s the one who tries to make sure that her granddaughters are exposed to positive female influences.
Then, after working as a nurse for close to 25 years and earning several awards for the quality of care she provided, last fall Mom was finally forced to step away from the job she loves due to the third recurrence of her cancer, this time with metastases to her bones. Still, though, she’s a fighter and still plans on hanging around for some time to come.
I’m honored to call her my mother because she’s one of the strongest women I’ve ever known. She’s a role model not just for what a mother should be, but what a daughter, grandmother, nurse, and woman of God ought to be.