This might just be one of the most challenging posts for me to write this year.
This is a post about my mom. And all that I love about her.
She turns 60 today. Sixty years of living, loving, teaching, believing. And I’m not sure I can put into words all that she brings to this world…and to me.
What I love about my mom is this: she is the most kindhearted person that I know. She is giving and compassionate–and her life has expressed these values. I love that she chose to be an elementary school learning disabilities teacher. For at least 20 years. And then she became a principal and an administrator. While I’m positive that she was a gifted teacher during her years in the classrooms, I know that she also was a fierce advocate for her students and their families. And, she was the Sunday School teacher, the choir director, and occasional pianist at the local church. Not to mention the countless other community organizations of which she was a part. This is most certainly one of the roots of my own advocacy as I watched and listened to her with her own work and service.
And oh what a mother she was and still is. She has always been a constant loving source in my life. And if it’s possible for that love to be unconditional, she embodies that. She is the safest person I know, the person I’d come to, scared in the middle of the night, the person I’d share my questions with, the person to whom I’d express my pain. She has taught me how to be a loving and patient mother. And also how to care for both my family and the work I’m passionate about. I’m still amazed to think of her teaching all week, caring for us and the home, finishing graduate school homework during early mornings and still having a turkey and potatoes dinner ready for Sunday lunch after church. What energy that takes!
What else do I love about my mom? I love how she adores my son and how she will play with him for hours on end. Hours! I love that she is always at my call when I need support. I love how she knows how to find the most thoughtful gifts for everyone in her life. And how she gets so excited to have all of us visit. I love that she drove all the way to Oklahoma the first time I presented at a national conference. I love that she’d drive my sister and I to Florida on spring breaks to visit her parents and the beach. I love that she’d wake us up nearly every morning rubbing our backs in the dark. And years later she did the same to her 91 year old mother when she came to live with my parents for her last few years. I love watching how she is so, so in love with life.
She is faithful. She is compassionate. She is love.
I celebrate you today Mom and all the many loving imprints you make in this world. You mean the world to me…I love you so.
What a beautiful tribute to Mom on this special day! thank you for your writing, Tish. love you both.
Of course I am crying right now-out of love and pride for you. I am so grateful to be your mother and Harper’s grandmother and so blessed by the joy you bring my life! Your words are a kind tribute and bring back so many memories of family life. It’s funny that I began my journal entry today with those same words-“60 years of living and loving.” We are indeed, mother and daughter, aren’t we? Thank you for the words and tribute……I love you!