It’s Mother’s Day today! Let’s all take a moment to thank all the wonderful mothers in our lives and recognize just how special they are! My parents have been married almost 49 years! 49 years is a long, long time. One word that comes to mind when I think of my mom is Patience. She was just a teen when she left her home state and moved up north with her Yankee Navy man! But, her father wouldn’t let her leave the state of Texas with my dad unless they were married. So what did the two young love birds do? They were married at the courthouse in Texas by the Justice of the Peace. And with her dad’s blessing, they then went on their merry way to Illinois and had an actual wedding so my dad’s large family could attend. When they were first married they lived in the upstairs bedroom of my Great Aunt Bee’s house and then moved to a place of their own. They joke that they used old boxes as end tables and had very little. Eventually they bought their first house in the tiny little town that we grew up in until the late 80’s. The house didn’t have a bathroom so my dad and uncles had to complete that before mom and dad could move in. They went through a few remodels and additions of that little house and made it a home full of lots of laughs and love. I still tear up a bit when we drive by it. It’s in good hands, but there are so many memories there that I don’t want to forget and so many stories that I’ve heard over the years that happened at that special house.
There were times when my dad brought home animals unannounced. Not just kittens or dogs. There were geese and ducks that kept all the neighbors up (remember this was in a very small town). One time, he and my uncle decided they were going to tear up all the grass in the backyard. I can’t remember if the reason was to start over with planting new grass, or if it was to make a dirt bike track for the boys. Either one is pretty bad when your wife is not involved in this decision. It didn’t help that my uncle could operate heavy machinery and had connections. I should know the details because I’ve heard this one a few times. Patience! I’ll have her write them down for me! One time my mom was pregnant with me and my dad was knocked out of a tree and hit a few limbs on the way down and lost a few front teeth. He used to trim trees and chop wood as a second job. Patience! And these are just the stories that don’t really involve us kids! There’s plenty more with my two curious brothers and myself. I’ll link another Mother’s Day story for you to enjoy here. Growing up, my mom always seemed to have patience. Patience sewing that last detail on an awesome Halloween costume. Patience sitting through all those baseball, basketball, and football games. Patience in leading those Scout troops. Patience sitting through those years and years of gymnastics, choir rehearsals, and getting all of us to and from where we needed to be. This was way before anyone had handy little electronic smart phone time killers in their hands and plenty of games or emails or social media stuff to keep us busy. She sat there and watched her kids. She cheered us on, and did it with a smile- and maybe a cowbell in her hand!
Now these memories bring smiles to all of our faces and tears of laughter from my mom’s eyes, but at the time, I can’t imagine the lessons in patience that my mom endured. They wouldn’t want it any other way and it sure makes for lots of rowdy laughter as we all get together. I think I lack a little bit of my mom’s patience. Maybe I’ll grow into it. I can surely fake it in certain situations, but I’m usually boiling underneath. That’s healthy, I know. With my own kids, I usually don’t have a lot of patience. It’s honestly something I continue to pray about and try to work on, but I’m still a work in progress. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I’m just too tired to even get mad over silly little things. Some days I’m just in a mood that any little thing can set me off. My wise mom has told me that one day, I’ll miss those little sneaky kids and all their antics! I’ll miss that hustle and bustle and the noisy car rides! Patience!
Here’s to you, Mom!