It's the little things rolled up that make the person we see and know.
She gardens. I see it in my mind: the shovel, the sun visor, and sun glasses. Flower beds, pathways, vegetable gardens. I learned my love of dirt from her, although my love seems to tolerate it's presence in the house more than hers. Her dirt stops at the front door.
She loves learning. Is it healthy? She'll try it. Will it cure something? She'll tolerate it. Hear that jingling noise? That's vitamin C in her purse... I'm certain if there were a contest of finding the vitamin bottle, opening it, dumping some out with one hand without looking, while driving: she'd win, hands down. I think I've bitten the side of my cheek enough times as proof.
She loves games. "Games show what a person is really like," she says. She surely likes to know what people are really like.
Laughter. Lots of heart-felt laughter. Games tend to do that, too; unless you cheat. Then you might need to look for laughter somewhere else.
She taught all of us how to see treasures in trash: auctions and yard sales were her furniture store. I saw her strip furniture, paint, sew, craft...she could do anything.
And she gave us that knowledge: a gift we could use in our lives.
She taught us how to face anything...
like the troubles she faced...the lost baby...dashed hopes turned to cancer. The chemo...dwindling hair...sickness. The fear she hid, so that we wouldn't feel it, although we did. She taught us to pray.
She questions. Truth has no fear to those who embrace it, to those who are willing to step away from the safety of not stirring up the pot. She sought God, called out to Him, "If you are real, show me..." and He did. My father wasn't happy. He didn't want God interfering with his life. He called her names, mocked her, fought with her, continued with his life. We saw him...saw her and how she reacted, humbly taking his remarks because she loved God too much to turn her back on Him or on him. The future for her was uncertain...and perhaps for all of us. But God heard her prayers and opened the truth to my father as well: repent of his empty life, turn to Jesus, live by faith.
She willingly stayed and then went. When my father became a Christian, he forgot her...forgot us. His zeal to tell the world of his salvation from hell made him visit the jails, the strangers, the homeless, hitch-hikers, the forgotten of this world, til he realized he must not forget those closest to him. She stood by him through it all: when life was not always easy. She moved with him away from her home and her family when God showed her He needed my father to help inner city kids learn of Jesus. She gave up a big home, a big retirement, a big status...because she saw the bigger picture of what really matters...and we saw that.
She was the best friend as a teenager, but still a guide. She stepped back and gave us space while still stepping in to steer us straight, learning as much from mistakes as we did. She didn't flinch when she disapproved of future husband choices, and we knew her wisdom worthy of listening to; yet she chose to love unconditionally the men who did give us our wedding rings...holding her tongue when quite probably nearly impossible. She knows that choosing to love our men even in the difficult times is showing how much she loves us. And she is thankful for how much they love us, knowing that letting go and letting God take the reigns in our lives through our husbands is the best path to take.
and yet, never let on how horrible was the depression she went through when she first faced an empty nest. Even that, through prayer and finding natural means, she overcame her frustrations, warning her daughters of the inherited possibility and the natural means we could use to aid in it.
Always looking out for others while caring as well for herself; making every home she's lived in a place of peace, beauty, and plenty.
"What is your occupation?"
I thought of my mother: her endless titles behind her simple name, and smiled as I said,
"I am just a home-maker."
Thank you, Mom, for giving me some of the greatest gifts in my life:
for being a fine wife and mother.
Linking up to:
Making Your Home Sing @ Mom’s The Word