A Mom’s Journey


971052_10201856640758080_439517404_nThis Mother’s Day is 23 years away from the death of my Mom due to massive heart attack.  Boy did my life change that day!  It wasn’t expected and she had never been sick, but the heart is a secret organ that works pretty hard and we often don’t pay much attention to it.  I was in Seattle, at Seattle Central Community College in my American Sign Language class, when I got the call.  I left the class with the prayers of the instructor, and on the way back home, I got the call that she didn’t make it.  As I drove on through tears, all my memories of my Mom came flooding back…things we did as a family, things we did together, and all the things she did to help me out.  We had our “downs” in our relationship for a period of time, but we kept giving effort to work through it.  Didn’t talk about it.  Oh my no!  But, we DID come to a nonverbal understanding in our relationship and it became better again.

We don’t always realize what a person contributes to our lives, often times, until they are not with us any more.  That was so true of me.  How many times, did I want to do something in my home, and mom and dad would come rescue and bring the paint to do that paint job.  Then, they would stay and help paint.  Or she would come and wall paper an area, sew something for me, or support my ideas of a project I was working on.  My mom never drove, so I was her transportation everywhere, once I got my license.  I went a lot of places, just so she could.  If I drove, she would often take me to lunch.  When the kids were little, they would get in on the deal.  There were Mother’s Teas, and Ladies Aid, church meetings, and grocery shopping.  I also got to share in her excitement over finding out something about her family history; the old-fashioned way… through snail mail.  When I had home parties, she was always there to be my first customer.  She was also part-time farmer’s wife and sometimes, that part-time took a lot of her time.  However, those where the things that helped to have a good meal to set before her family.  When I was younger, I would assist her when cows got out and we had to go chase them back in the field because a part of the fence came down.  Later on as a mom myself, she was also my periodic babysitter because we were both working parents.  I tried not to take too much advantage, but times were hard and I would have to ask more often than I would have liked to.  But, she was always gracious to help out, even when she might have wanted to say no.  I always tried to pay her something or get her something that she would want for her projects to show my appreciation.

IMG_5271When I look back to her times being a Mom, there was not a lot of support from friends or relatives as easily as it is now.  Unless you drove, it wasn’t easy to meet up with friends.  She would feel embarrassed to always have to ask for a ride.  Consequently, she was home all the time.  Those times must have been lonely.  In summer months, my dad was working long, hard hours and that left her at home alone even more.  But, she was always doing some project or another.  If it wasn’t rearranging our home, then it was knitting, broomstick crocheting, crocheting, or sewing on a quilt or clothes for us.   She was always up for another craft or project to work on, some of which never got finished.  She was great at starting them, but didn’t always get them finished.  However, maybe I take after her, because I don’t have a problem being at home a lot.  I can always find something enjoyable to do.  In my case though, I have the ability to chat a bit with a friend online during the day.  She was completely isolated from much contact with friends.  She was a simple cook, nothing fancy.  But she could make something out of nothing in her kitchen!  It was always tasty.  Another thing I always admired about my mom is that she honored her parents.  She took great care of them and was always available for what they needed.  I never heard a complaint from her about that responsibility.  She loved her folks and wanted to be there for them.

So… all this to say that I am proud of what my mom accomplished and how she lived her life.  We can, if we think about it, find things we didn’t like or wished was different in our Mom’s, but when all comes down to it, she was doing her best so that I could have her best.  I’m glad of that, and it rings a true bell in my life as well.  No one is perfect and I have made mistakes in my time of motherhood I know, but I love my kids and grandchild more than anything in the world.  So I will continue to do my best, as my Mom tried to do in her life.

I am glad to honor my Mom this Mother’s Day, and still after 23 years, I miss being able to do things together.  She would approve of what I have become, I think.  She would have loved how I have enjoyed decorating my home, that my life follows the Lord, and my many activities.  And…my pictures.

In closing, the question is often asked, “If those who have gone on before us can see what is going on in our life on a daily basis?”  There are days I would welcome it, but there are days I wouldn’t want to be seen, if I am honest.  But you know what?  If it was possible for her to see one day in my life, I would hope it would be today, where I honor all her efforts as a Mom.  I dropped a heart in my Gratitude Jar for her today!  Until the time I get to see her again in heaven, I will do my best to honor her  memory my daily living.

Love you Mom.

Walking the journey with you…

~JoAnn

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