Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Mom - Leanne

Today is a very special day. It's my Mother's birthday. I won't tell you how old she is today...but I will say that she's still very young.

She means more to me than she ever will know. There are days whenever I may be exhausted from working and caring for my family and Olivia will want my undivided attention. Sometimes, I'm sad to say that I just don't have a whole lot of energy and I may ask Olivia to give me just a few moments to rest. It's in those times when she will pick up the phone and call Grandma for she knows that she can count on Grandma's wonderful made-up stories to entertain her - sometimes for hours!! I often think to myself, "oh no, Olivia's calling Mom again and she's going to drive her nuts." But not so. Mom will talk if she's able and if she's busy, she promises to call back and she always does.

Even though I've told her over and over again how much more I appreciate her since I've become a mother, I don't know if she truly knows the depth of my love and appreciation for her. She and Dad raised four children! FOUR! I can't even imagine the effort that went into that task! I have only one and think that some days I may not make it through to the end.

And Mom always had time for us. She was my Girl Scout Leader and my Missionette Leader and she did them both with gusto! Climbing up and down ravines at camp, taking a busload of noisy 6th graders to Washington, DC, helping to buy and sell countless cookies and craft a bazillion favors for residents in nursing homes! She sewed countless outfits - and even made my prom dress.

She is an exceptional cook. She baked homemade bread and yummy things like cream puffs and date pinwheel cookies. She taught me how to cook...great Italian dishes like homemade ravioli (which I don't think I've made in FOREVER!) and braciole (haven't made that in forever either!) and a myriad of other things to tempt anyone's palette. In fact, I think that cooking for Brillo Man when we were courting was one thing that caused him to hang around a while longer. For after all, they say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I don't do so much cooking nowadays...but that's a subject for another blog!

Most importantly, my Mother taught me about the Lord. She lives her life fully for Him - never wavering in her faith. She taught me at a very young age the importance of placing Jesus first in one's life. And that is the greatest lesson she has taught me. She is leaving a legacy of love and faith of which she doesn't even know the value, I'm sure. Her many sacrifices over the years of raising a family have not gone unnoticed. There's a HUGE crown of jewels waiting for her in which she'll need several angels to help place on her head...and then at Jesus' feet.

There are really no words to express how much I love my Mother. She has stood by me and believed in me when I wasn't able to believe in myself. Her love has been unconditional and her heart more forgiving than any I have ever known. I know that there have been times when it might have been easy to turn her back on me, but she never did. I recently found this poem by Helen Steiner Rice and thought that her sentiments could have come straight from my heart.

So today, Mom, I wish you the very best that God has for you. May He bless you in ways unexpected. May He uphold you with good health and meet every need and desire of your heart. And may you have many more years on this earth to share with all who love you!

I love you Mom!...way more than you'll ever know! Happy Birthday!!

A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

-Helen Steiner Rice

Mom with Makayla (great niece), Julia (granddaughter), Conner (great grandson), Maggie (great niece), Rachel (granddaughter) and Olivia (granddaughter).
And this is by no means ALL of the crew!


Jada's Gigi said...

Happy Birthday to Leanne! What great "mom" stories!

Mom said...

Thank you for all the wonderful(true?) things you credit me for. I just try to be the best mom God wants me to be and I know sometimes I fail. I love talking to Olivia on the phone and she is never a bother. Sometimes my thinking cap does not work so well and the stroies are corny but she still wants to hear them. I love you.

Terry said...

Dear Deb,
This is such a beautiful post for your Mom.
How special you are to each other!
You don't have to even mention that your Mom is so just have to look into her twinkling eyes and see how young her heart is, a heart that will NEVER grow old!
Happy Birthday Deb's Mom and I hope that Deb makes you a big cake, an especially big one because you have so many loved ones to share it with!.........Love Terry

Pat said...

Happy Birthday Leanne! I'm certain all those wonderful things about you are true, and your daughter is a beautiful reflection of the Mom she loves so dearly.
May your year be filled with Gods never ending blessings!!

Dave's views said...

Happy Birthday Leanne. Thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given Deb that she continually shares with all of us. May God bless you and grant you many more years of love and faithfulness.
Dave and Dawna

Trish said...

Happy Birthday to a wonderful Mom and Grandma...Lord bless you richly!!!

Felisol said...

Happy birthday to Deb's Mom, Mrs.Leanne.
The picture of you embracing grandchildren and grandnieces went right to my heart.
The ultimate grandmom, smiling, storytelling and with a place to everybody.
Hope there will be lots of hugging and singing at your party.
From Felsol

Constance said...

Happy Birthday Leanne!

You and my mom Helga should get together. From Deb's praises of you, you sound just like my precious mother!

Char said...

Happy Birthday "Mom" P!!!! Let me tell you all. I have VERY fond memories of Deb's Mom. She is a stalwart and true woman of God. She was an example to me more than she will ever know. I used to go home with Deb on weekends frequently when we were in college. I LOVED being in Deb's home. I am not exaggerating, I wanted to BE in Deb's family. The whole ball of wax! Her Dad is also a jewel, but that would be another whole post! Even her brothers and sister - I loved them all! Yeah, did she mention her Mom could cook!?! I've lived in Italy and the Italian chefs of the world got nothing on Deb's Mom!! She even makes her pasta homemade!!!

We visited Deb on Golden Pond a couple of times, the first of which her Mom came down to see us. My son immediately started calling her 'Grandma'. He wanted to be in her family too. She is a wonderful, loving, caring person. Her smile is so warm and she gives the greatest hugs. You can't help but love her immediately. God's love just shines through her and pours out of her.

I have VERY VERY fond memories of her, and I hope I'll get to see her again someday. If not, here, there, or in the air!!!!

For the record, I also have fond memories of Deb's Mom's Mom, another shining jewel in God's Kingdom. [Deb comes from some good stock, eh?]

Course, there was the time when I was visiting Deb's and I was driving my college car, a 1973 Impala station wagon. Deb & her neighbor have always shared a driveway. The neighbor has stakes on their side of the driveway to this day from the time I turfed their lawn backing out of the driveway!!!

Deb's Mom always had her hands full with four active children, but she always made time to show them they were loved. She is very talented, creative, and witty.

To "Mom" P - God bless you and keep you and grant you good health and happy days. You are a successful woman and there will be a rich reward waiting for you that you have been laying up in Heaven for years. Our Lord is glorified by your life. Your legacy [and Grandma C's] can be seen in your wonderful children and grandchildren. To the Praise of His Glorious Name!!!

Leanne said...

All I can say is WOW. I have to be careful not to make my head swell from all the good wishes and kind words. Char you are too sweet. Love to you all.

byhisgracealone said...

forgive me I am a little late.... Happy Birthday to your precious mom...blessings to you Leanne.

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday Grandma!