My mom is here! Well, actually she has been here since last Thursday but I am having trouble being a “timely” blogger. The point is, she IS HERE and we are happy campers – especially me.
I love having my mom around. I need her. No matter how old I get.
Mom, or Grandma as she is also known, swoops into town 3-4 times a year and whips things into shape around here. Within a day my fridge is purged of all things expired, questionable and/or downright unseemly. She organizes my freezer and makes room for the next Costco run. She catches my laundry up (for 34 seconds because laundry is never caught up for more than 34 seconds). She bakes banana bread and makes delicious meals from my childhood that always make me wonder “why don’t I make this more often?”; so far this trip it has been Chili-Stacks, Brats (not my children, bratWURST) with Apples and Sauerkraut and Hamburger Mac. I promise I will get all of the recipes out of her head and down on paper so I can share them with you.
What? you don’t like Sauerkraut. Yes you do, you just haven’t had it homemade like my dad used to make it or homemade from a farmers market. BIG difference, I promise.
I LOVE having the extra set of hands (and a clean fridge) but I don’t expect her to do those things. She takes care of me, of us. Not because she has to. Not because we can’t or don’t do for ourselves. She does it because she has a servant’s heart (and because she can’t stand laundry piles). She is a caretaker. I have a servant’s heart too. It is the gifting God has placed on our lives and I believe it is so strong in me because she has modeled it for me my whole life.
Whenever anyone – not just family, anyone – she knew of was sick or in need, my mom was always there to meet that need. Sometimes it was just to drop-off a hot meal or care package but other times is was to nurse a sick family member through severe illness, a few even coming to live with us so that she could give them the 24-7 attention they needed. She has also been called to care for more than one loved one at the end of their journey. The most difficult for her was nursing my dad through a long and painful battle with emphysema. Watching someone you love weaken, suffer and ultimately pass is not easy but she wouldn’t have been anywhere else. God called her to this, she answered. He gave her the strength to do it all with grace and to model for her daughters selfless love.
I saw her have moments of difficulty, tears, stress.
She is not perfect.
But she never quit, no matter how hard it was.
I saw that too.
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is a slave or free.” Ephesians 6:7-8
When Sara and David came back to us so traumatized and hurting, my mom put her own life on hold and stayed with us so that we could focus on the needs of the kids; including Nathan, who at 18 months old had just had his quiet, peaceful life turned completely upside down. She managed everything else, cooking, cleaning, laundry – everything – with never a complaint or criticism, not one – which is saying something because she and I may have big servant’s hearts but we also have big sassy personalities (she modeled “don’t mess with me” well too). I honestly don’t know how we would have done it without her and believe me, it was hard stuff.
I grieve for my friends who have lost their moms or don’t have the close relationship that I am so blessed to have. Just a few weeks ago, I sat in the park with a sweet friend and felt every bit of her anguish, as she wept over losing her mom a few months ago. I have lost both my dad and my step-dad and I miss them both very much, but my friend’s pain was a reminder of just how fortunate I am to still have my mom in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, my mom and I have challenges and we butt heads and get frustrated with each other (remember big, sassy personalities) but none of that really matters much. She is always there for us, especially when we need her the most. I can count on her and I appreciate her.
I have not always appreciated her, at least not as much as I should have.
But I do now.
I wish she would let me build a little “casita” for her on the back of our property so that she would be right next door. But she’s not ready for that. She’s independent too.
When she is here, my floors and bathrooms are cleaner, the dishes and laundry are done, things are picked up and in their place.
But that is not why I need her.
I need her because she is my mom and she still, even at my age always makes me feel like everything will be okay.
Keep your father’s commandments and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. Proverbs 6:20-22
She has made some mistakes and has some regrets, but I am who I am today because of what my mom taught me, modeled for me and expected of me. I pray my kids will say the same of me someday.
Maybe she’ll make cake after she reads all of the nice stuff I said about her.