Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Tribute to my Mom

This blog post came to me a few nights ago when I couldn't sleep. It's funny how that always seems to happen. I recently told Eric that I want to be a Fun Mom. Please note: Fun Mom does not = Cool Mom.

My Mom was a very fun Mom and I honor her for that today. I remember her dancing in the kitchen while she was making dinner or doing dishes. She never swept the floor without doing a little jig with the broom. I remember her putting whole chickens that she would clean up on the counter and making it "talk" to us. I remember her doing synchronized index finger dancing on the steering wheel while she was driving. I will always remember a story she told me about a time she was pushing me in the stroller into Elder Beerman (throw back) and the stroller totally collapsed on me. And after she checked to make sure I was ok we both erupted into uncontrollable laughter. When we recall certain stories like that one, we still share a contagious laughter. My sister gets in on that too. And our husbands, including my dad, will just sit there looking confused because they have no idea what we are laughing about. She was a fun Mom and that sense of humor, that good old fashioned fun never compromised her authority or the structure that our family had. When I was living at home after college I finally talked my mom into getting her eyebrows waxed. I went with her to support her. When that tech pulled off the tape for the first time we died laughing at the whole eyebrow that was on the tape. Then we laughed again when she took off a whole other eyebrow with the next tape. Mom looked in the mirror and she still had the equivalent of an eyebrow left. We couldn't stop laughing and I think the Esthetitian thought we were nuts. But another remarkable thing about my Mom is that she can laugh at herself.

Here's my Mom having fun square dancing with her partner Mae at our wedding:

My Mom was not a Cool Mom. She has never worn hip clothes. She never wears makeup (unless maybe some rouse to a special event). She always cries at weddings and baptisms and would embarrass us to death when we were young. She has refused to die her hair during the past few transitional years into gray. I have grown to admire that more and more over the years. She is a simple and a beautiful woman. One who has never given into the world and the world's standards. Instead she is a woman of faith. A faithful and loving wife and mother. She knows how to serve others more than anyone I've ever experienced. She is passionate about teaching. She is a loyal friend. The status of Cool is ever changing. All you have to do is pick up an In Style magazine to see that. When you focus on character instead of cool, life is so much simpler.

In the end maybe the fun Mom is the Coolest Mom. I had real conversations with my Mom. And although I sometimes held things back, for the most part I was able to be honest with my Mom.
In my teenage years, I had some very mean and disrespectful moments and on several accounts I remember my Mom also handling that with humor. She quoted Proverbs 31:28 "Her children rise up and call her Blessed." Mom would say, "Priscilla, One day you will rise up and call me Blessed!". I would laugh. I was so mean. But over the years as I have grown into a God-fearing Woman I have called her Blessed. A few years ago I found a Mother's Day card with that quote and I knew it was the perfect card for her.

As a Mom of two daughters, my Mom modeled great characteristics for my sister and me. She constantly had to battle our desires to want the cool clothes and cool cars. She instilled some incredible values in us. I wonder how much she was conscious of that or if it just flowed out of who she is? I, of course, still struggle with wanting to be cool, even at the age of 31. But I am so thankful I have a Mother who has modeled what a truly beautiful woman of Christ looks like. Really, all of Proverbs 31 describes my Mother. I hope to be half the Mom to my kids as she was and is to me!

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

While I know that some of this passage is from a different time period I can still draw the characteristics in the meaning. My Mom is a hard worker. She has stood behind her Husband, my Father. She has a servant's heart and she worked hard to take care of her family. She still does work hard to take care of her family, as most recently evidenced by her devotion to her Father following the passing of her Mom. My Mom fears the Lord more than she fears the World. She is wise in that she knows that Charm is deceptive and Beauty is fleeting. And yet she is beautiful with a natural beauty. Her Children and her Grandchildren do rise and call her Blessed!