I've gushed about my mama before, and today will be no different. :) Here are ten things you may not know about her and reasons I love her to the moon and back ...
1. When my mom told my grandparents she was pregnant with me ... my grandma fainted. True Story. I suspect as a teenager telling your parents you are pregnant has to rank among one of the scariest things you could ever do. My mom is BRAVE. For more reasons that this, but this is the first one that affected me so profoundly, and brought me to life.
2. She married her High School sweetheart (my father) who joined the military and they moved across the country away from anything familiar and away from family. My mom is RESOURCEFUL. She forged ahead, made friends, learned new things, was resourceful with her meager finances and put her skills to use. She sewed all of our clothes and kept me well cared for and loved.
3. We moved back to Ohio (where my roots lie) and were near family as I was a toddler. My mom got a good job and I had good childcare and family support. My mom is a PROVIDER. She took great care of me and provided a stable family atmosphere that allowed me to flourish.
4. My mom was involved in lots of things and always had lots of friends. She is easy to love and is a friend to many. My mom is a GOOD FRIEND. She has been a good example of enduring lasting friendship and support across the miles. More than that, she has successfully navigated our relationship from mother-daughter ... to mother-daughter-FRIEND.
5. My mom suffered too many miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. The particular pregnancy was a really scary one where the fallopian tube burst and she was very sick. One of my EARLIEST memories was of this incident and of my grandparents coming to help her (my Grandpa was the Chief of the Fire Department). My mom is a SURVIVOR. She is so resilient and amazingly tough. She doesn't let things get her down long and is quick to move forward, WITH a positive attitude.
6. My mom and my father divorced when I was 10. I knew it was coming (and even prayed for it at times) but when the time came I was mean and rude and hurt and angry and lashed out at my mom. As a mom now I know that I was a kid whose life was turned upside down. I know now, my mom is STRONG. So very strong. Making hard decisions but the right decisions for her, for us and for our future. We all know divorce comes with pain and rebuilding and sadness and she was so very strong. I imagine the pain she felt that first time my brother and I left her for even one night or a weekend was intense. And she was strong.
7. And then my mom dated. And I was a bitch. I'm not even sure if that is a big enough word (eh, mom?). And then she fell in love. And my mom is HAPPY. Flourishing, happy and glowing. In every way. The best example of seeing a relationship bloom and blossom and seeing a person go from down to UP.
8. We moved across the country again (nearly where we were when it was 'babies raising babies!') and my mom went back to college! Then I learned my mom is SMART! So smart and dedicated and passionate! I saw her dreams come true and her hard work be rewarded! She graduated college when I was in middle school all the while still sewing my clothes, keeping a home, raising a family, being a wife AND MORE! She graduated with honors and I remember feeling PROUD.
9. My mom took her passions and found her "dream job" that has become her career. This year she celebrates her 25th anniversary at that company. I learned that my mom is DEDICATED. Not only to her job, but to ANYTHING she dives into. She gives it her all and does her best. Managing her employees, decorating for one of my school dances, being the Cub Scout mom for my brother or making posters for Student Council -- she always shows up and gives 100%.
10. I left for college in the fall of 1993 ... in that same fall, my baby sister Tori was born. I was there for her birth, her first screams and my mom's first request after birth: her lipstick and a hair pick (for real). And I learn my mom is CAPABLE of anything. Pushing that giant baby out (seriously, Tori was huge), nursing her in her arms while on the phone with me crying about my bad grades or sorority rush process. FOR REAL. Can you imagine? I have SO MUCH MORE appreciation for it now, on the other side as a mother myself.
And this is only the FIRST HALF of my life. There are 10 more things I've learned to love about my mom over the second half of my life and things I will continue to learn and love about her in our future together. Hands down, she is the most amazing woman I know. Happy (Belated) Mother's Day to what I know to be ... the VERY best Mother in the entire world. Thank you for using your life lessons to show me the kind of person I want to be in my life. You are truly, the very best. I love you.