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 heaven...one 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 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!