My Mom

I was about four. My Mom and I were down town walking to the library. The buildings around us were glass with a mirrored finish. I caught a glimpse of my Mom’s reflection in the window.  I remember it as if it was yesterday. I almost gasped with a realization. My Mom was gorgeous! Not pretty, not average, she was stunningly attractive!  I was completely overwhelmed by her beauty. I started looking at other women, they were lovely, just not as lovely as my Mom. I quickly grabbed her hand and held on possessively. She was my Mom and I was so proud of that! I was walking down the street with the most beautiful woman on the planet. Even better than that, she was my Mom! Mine! It was a profound moment etched on my little heart. I so clearly remember the intensity of the feelings that flooded my soul.

God knew what he was doing when he gave me my Mom. She possessed skills and wisdom that were not part of my make up. She would send me to look for something and I wouldn’t be able to see it. Inevitably she would bring me back to look with her. She could spot in a second what I couldn’t see in 5 minutes of searching. Well, gazing. Well OK, day dreaming. She would show me how she looked, hoping one day I might implement the tools. She was a detail person while I am better at big picture. When that realization dawned on her she questioned with confusion “How could that be?!” From the other room my Dad said “Because she is my daughter too!”. I laughed so hard while my Mom probably welled up with concern for my future 😉 Mom taught me how to be thorough, how to manage money. She taught me by example how to manage a home and balance a job. She empowered us from early on. By six we were making our lunches and cleaning our rooms. Soon we were also cleaning bathrooms. Eventually, I looked after laundry while my sister cooked one meal a week. She taught us how to do everything efficiently. Everything she did was well thought out and done in the most effective manner. Without her, I am not sure I would have learned a lot of that as early as I did. I may not have even learned it at all!
There is so much about my Mom that I could brag about! Something I have valued more and more over the years is how my Mom played with us! We cross country skied as a family and when my sister and I took up downhill skiing, Mom was determined not to be left behind. She took herself out to a ski hill and tried it. She came back so excited that she talked Dad into trying. Very few people my age had a Mom on the ski hill. When friends from Bible school asked me to go on a ski trip to

Banff with them, I was ecstatic. To my surprise and horror, their Mom’s were going to come and cook for us!! I thought they should be on the hill having a good time. I felt so guilty having all the play time and then eating up their hard work. I couldn’t even picture my Mom staying back to cook, it would never happen. Not in a million years. It was then that I really realized how incredibly rare and special it was to have my Mom on the ski hill with me.  When my kids were little we went to the BMX track. While I was setting the kids up to go, all of a sudden we were hearing “Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!” I turned around to see my mother riding Craig’s bike. A bike not even I had a chance to jump on yet. There she was going over the whoops! Awesome!!! My Mom also slalom skied with us. To this day she holds the record for best technical deep water start. That is another sport my Mom was among the few in her generation to become accomplished at. She was such an inspiration. At 60, Mom joined a boot camp and totally rocked it!! She has lived athletically with an adventurous spirit and given us a lot to live up to!  Her example of trying new things and making an effort to play with us has shaped the way I parent.

My Mom was selfless. She lived with orange counter tops and yellow shag carpet until I was seventeen. What is even more amazing was that I had no idea that she desperately disliked it. She never complained. I honestly had no idea. She did without so that we could camp and take a trip to Disneyland and go to Hawaii. She lived in a home that did not fit her style and she did so with incredible grace.
Mom was an Operating Room nurse by profession. She would share the interesting things they did at work and I loved hearing the stories. She would have some stressful situations and awkward sleeping hours and that made for crazy dreams. Between her work and dreams about work, we had interesting table discussions. It was something for our husbands to adjust to. Luckily, Craig was fascinated by Mom’s stories and showed such interest that Mom arranged a tour through the OR.  We both enjoyed it immensely.

Mom would pull my hair back and rub my back when I was sick to my stomach. She would make me tea at night when my chronic cough prevented me from sleeping. Her nursing skills were great for every day mothering situations and I always felt safe when she responded calmly to a physical ailment. She just went into nursing mode! This became incredibly apparent when I was having labor induced for the birth of our second child. I was experiencing contractions when I heard my Mom’s voice. Her nursing duties had called her to Labour and Delivery and she was talking to her colleagues at the nurses station. Amidst all the beeping machines, bustle of nurses and all the other commotion that was part of the old LDR, I immediately heard my Mom’s voice. What struck me was how just the sound of her voice relaxed and calmed me even in the middle of a contraction. I quickly asked Craig to call her. She slipped in to see us and she and Craig immediately started laughing at me.  They said it was funny how I crinkled my face as I had a contraction. She was in full “Mom mode”, horrified that I was walking on the hospital floor in bare feet. While I knew it was awful, I couldn’t handle having hot feet in my current state. She thought maybe the OR booties might be airy enough.  Later, when labor was in full swing, Mom asked her good friend if he would be available to do my epidural. Because of the adrenaline, my body got jumpy which made me giggly and at first only one side of me was numbed. My water broke at a very timely moment, just as Mom and Craig were biting into their hamburgers and in the end all we can remember is laughing through most of Quin’s delivery. It was very special to have Mom as a part of Quin’s arrival. One of my favorite pictures of that day is where she is checking on her newest grandson with the sweetest look of delight on her face.

Mom is an incredible seamstress. She sewed cloths for us when we were growing up. We always had new dresses for Christmas and Easter. She made amazing gowns for our graduations and weddings. She is detailed and skilled. She is the best seamstress and tailor I know. Her finishing is impeccable! She made the perfect dress for my wedding. It was absolutely everything I wanted. She made my dream come true and she spent countless hours making it happen. She laboured with love and it has been a gift I have treasured.
She has been an AMAZING Grandma! My friends were always amazed at how generous with her time she was to us and our children,. She was the rockin’ Grandma who had three car seats in the back of her car. She had a play pen and bicycles for all of my kids that she had found at garage sales. She played with her grandchildren too. They remember her water-skiing, snow skiing, snow shoeing and swimming with them. They marvel at how she can’t sit still and tease her that she has never seen a whole TV show. One day Mom mentioned that she, like Connor, was afraid of homes for old people. Craig jokingly told her to just head into the bush when she was ready to die and we would come look for her body in a week or so. Quin piped up quickly and said ” That won’t work! By then she will have built a cabin, started a garden and would be Alpha of a wolf pack!” We all had a giggle and my Mom looked a little uncertain. I quickly let her know that from a teenage boy that was an incredible compliment. A compliment I can only dream my Grandchildren would say of me!
My Mom wanted nothing more than to be the consummate mother. She was for me, even though she wasn’t perfect. I remember as a young girl being sent to my room when I disobeyed. As a little girl, I was totally humbled when my Mom would come to me and apologize. If she felt she hadn’t handled the situation properly, she never failed to immediately seek our forgiveness. The first time I remember her doing this, my mind was spinning, I was thinking “Is this really happening? Is she apologizing to me? I am a kid, she is my Mom! Why would she apologize?!” The significance was not lost on me. She showed me how to acknowledge my sin and repent. She taught me humility. Mom also taught me how to be teachable. She receives correction with grace and considers it honestly.  She is willing to acknowledge her weaknesses and grow. In this, she also shows humility. She is generous and in our years as young parents raising three small children on a Pastor’s salary, she would say to me “Let us bless you, don’t deny us the joy of being generous!”. She is a beautiful woman of God with endless gifting and energy to serve and help others practically. Her deep love for me was always obvious. She lived her faith before us with integrity. She has been a beautiful example of how to live as a godly woman who seeks The Lord.
I love you Mom! If anyone says to me “You are like your Mom” it is one of the most precious compliments I could ever receive!! XOXO

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