Our lives are intertwined. She chose to have me. She chose to raise me. She didn’t have to – but she did. And today, she chooses a relationship with me even though sometimes we don’t see eye to eye or we hurt one another. Sometimes it’s complicated but we come back and try and make another pass at loving and learning together. She is my mother. She is me.
From her, I learned an adventurous spirit. For most of my life I have been taking trips with my mom. In fact, I have been to multiple countries throughout world and 48 of the states because to travel and learn has been part of how I was raised. And since having my children, my mom, dad and my family have had adventure times -to the zoo, the museum, to try a new doughnut shop, Park City, Thanksgiving Point – that are cherished events and memories at our house. We know how to waste a day well.
From her, I learned to be driven. As a teenager, living in rural ID, she rode horseback, door to door, selling newspaper subscriptions. She sold so many she won a prize to take a trip out of state to an amusement park. She had a goal and she made it a reality. Also, another example is that after raising her children, she wanted to visit Jerusalem. To finance her goal, she started working part-time to save enough money to make that trip a reality.
From her, I learned to believe in the importance of women. For most of my childhood, it seems like my mother served in some capacity in the community. She was the president of local ladies organizations and often met in discussions to improve the welfare of the ladies under her care. I also watched as she and my father sat in council one with another around the dinner table on Sunday afternoons, comparing and sharing experiences as equals.
From her, I learned to love children. By the time I had children, I had 17 nieces and nephews that I had watched my mom be at the births, tend the children, have cousin sleepovers, work magic on Christmas Eves, birthdays, sporting events, music recitals and many other events she and my dad supported. When my first child was born, I could barely walk and could not carry my baby because of a hip injury I sustained during his birth. The three flights of stairs up and down to our apartment were daunting and my mom faithfully came week after week to take me to physical therapy and care for my new baby. My mom loves small children and the twinkle they bring out in her eye is a gift I don’t tire of watching.
From her, I learned a budding testimony of Jesus Christ. Every Christmas for as long as I can remember, on Christmas Eve, we had a wish cake. A white cake with white frosting to celebrate Christ’s birth. One candle would be placed in the middle and lit. All the lights would be turned off in the house and each family member would take a smaller candle, light it from the one in the middle and make a specific wish for someone in the room. Once everyone had a turn, and the cake stood alight with our wishes of goodwill, we would sing Silent Night. These moments year after year grew in me a feeling. I knew my mother reverenced Jesus and as I came to understand Him myself, it made me happy to know He felt alot like those candlelite moments around our family Christmas table.
On this Mother’s day, I send a shout out to my mom to thank her and to say here’s to many more adventures!