However, it would be impossible to have any of these blessings without my mother. I don't know where to begin with this one.
I was born while my dad was in the Navy, so most of my early years it was just my mom and me. Therefore, most of my baby pictures are only of me, or of me and my dad taken by my mom when he was home on leave. I realized this when I searched for some of mom and me together. That's exactly what I found... a few. These are two of my favorites.
I love how beautiful my mom looks in this picture, but I really LOVE the way she was looking at me. This is one I have framed in my living room.
She still looks beautiful in this one, but this time its the expression on my face that I'm drawn to. I look like I'm just enthralled with her. It is so sweet! Like almost all little girls, I remember thinking that my mom was the prettiest mom ever. This picture is so faded, you can't tell that we have matching Easter dresses on. :) (You also can't tell she's pregnant with my younger sister, Bambi.)My mom had the best imagination ever! She played with me on a regular basis. I remember tea parties with Momma, playing "Mommies", coloring together, Barbies, games, etc. My favorite times were story times. My Momma LOVED to read and she enthusiastically passed that love down to us. I still have some of my childhood books. I can't look at them without hearing Momma's voice reading them to me. Those books are some of my most treasured possessions and are now loved by my grandchildren. What better legacy than a love of reading and learning?!
Life with Momma was never dull! There were many spur of the moment trips out of town to the zoo, state parks, or museums. Once, she decided late in the day to take us, and my best friend, to the state fair two hours away! I'll never forget riding those swings under the night sky and getting home well after midnight. As a single mom, she didn't have much money, but she made the most of what she had to do little things with us.
She also taught me to share what little I do have with those less fortunate. She truly believes that giving is better than receiving. She would buy a friend's child a pair of shoes if they were down on their luck or help another single mom out by loaning out her baby equipment. I follow her example by giving to St. Jude and March of Dimes, and sponsoring a child through Compassion.
I learned responsibility watching her raise us on her own. When her brother suffered a brain injury in a car accident and ended up in a permanent vegetative state, she took charge of his care and brought him home with her. That was over 15 years ago and she is still my Uncle Jack's caregiver. She helped her parents during my Poppa's last years and after his death, took my Nannie into her home and cared for her for the last five years of her life. I've told her many times how in awe I am of her sacrifices. She is a living example of John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
I learned from Momma that we love people in bad times, as well as good. We love them despite their faults. We love them through their mistakes, as well as through their successes. We love them in times of disagreement. Thanks, Mom, for all the lessons you taught me.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOMMA!
I LOVE YOU!