Today has been both joyful and hard. I am pretty good at masking the hurt, but the pit of my stomach and literal pain in my heart has been soothed with the blessings that keep overflowing.
We got to witness our niece and new nephew be dedicated to the Lord this morning by my brother-in-law and his wife. Such a special gift. After church Elizabeth gifted me with a three hour nap. Then we visited my grandma and aunts who treat me like their own. And my hubby treated me to dinner. All-in-all, it’s been a great day.
I am sooo blessed that God gave me my baby girl to mother. He couldn’t have given us one more perfect. She makes me everything I’ve ever dreamed of being. Every day I strive to be half of the incredible woman that mama was. I live to make her proud, and to let her legacy live on.
I raise Elizabeth on the same principals she brought me up on. And I try to remember everything she taught me about this hard life.
With the life she led by example, and taught me that love is worth fighting for. That it will be hard, but that the dinners at the table are worth it.
In a racist small town, she taught me that the only reason I am white is because God ran out of black paint, and that it didn’t matter who I married and loved as long as they weren’t alcoholics and didn’t hurt me.
She taught me that it is better to have a house full of love than a house full of stuff, and that we should make Christ the center of our home.
I’ll never forget her putting the last little change she had in a jar on the check out counter one Christmas. I knew things were penny to penny that year, so I couldn’t fathom giving it away to someone she didn’t know. She quickly told me that everything comes back in ten-fold and that every thing we do in our life we will be rewarded for – whether or in this life or the next.
In the mornings, I would often find her rocking on the front porch reading her Bible or devotionals. And what an inspiration that was. Looking back, I see her leading the way for ME to be led by Christ. I hope I can set that example for Elizabeth.
Any time I would have a bad dream she would calm me down and tell me to “think happy thoughts… think about Santa Claus and cupcake”. I now know that if you dwell on the negative, you will create negative. If you surround yourself with only “happy thoughts” you will create happiness.
Mama set the bar pretty high when it came to holidays and any entertaining function. I blame my OCD on her, but the results are always so worth it.
She taught me that if your child’s health depends on you scrubbing the baseboards of your 2,000 sq ft home, by all means it’s the least you better do. Your baby always comes first.
And even after she grows up and moves 1,000 miles away – she still comes first. You better still spoil her with Easter baskets and send her treats for her plane ride home.
Mama taught me to be a great cook, and taught me to always share it with others. Call a neighbor when you have leftovers, make two lasagnas at a time and freeze one in case somebody dies or has a new baby, invite friends over just because.
She didn’t teach me this by example – it was more of a “do what I say not as I do”, but she always told me “Don’t worry, be happy”. And I try so so hard to let things go now. Worry really doesn’t do any good. I now have those words on a canvas in Bean’s room.
Her life and marriage proved that she was one hell of a woman. She was so tough. Endured manymany physical and emotional turmoils. Her pediatric doctor’s said she would never walk, but she did. She hurt sooo bad the day of my college tour, but she walked the entire campus. We all thought she would finally throw in the towel on my drunk father, but she fought and prayed for all 25 years of their marriage. She never gave up. Not until the moment her heart quit beating, did she stop fighting and hurting. How could someone with so many internal injuries from the wreck be conscience and awake? She was such a fighter.
She taught me so many things. I can say that I was more blessed in my short 23 years with her than some girls are in an entire life time. I am forever grateful for MY mama. She was the strongest, most faithful and patient woman I have ever known.
Not a second goes by that I don’t miss her, but I know that if I live my life by her example that I will see her again. I find so much peace in knowing that she is always watching and protecting my little family.
I just hope to be half the woman she was.
I love you, Mama. I love you sooo much. With a sugar and a peck and a hug around the neck.