Happy Mother's Day!

May 10, 2009

Blogging about anything other than Mother's Day today just didn't seem right. So, I thought I'd write a little about my own mother.

At age 19, my mom gave birth to me. My dad was just finishing up college at the time, but he wanted to be a minister. After struggling for a few years, my dad was finally hired to pastor a small, country church. Pastoring a small church, however, rarely pays well, so my mom managed the family's finances very carefully. She worked when she could with just a high school education, clipped coupons, learned to cut and style our hair, and rarely purchased anything for herself--though she very much wanted to.

My mother was never the easiest person to live with. She had suffered through a poor, abusive childhood, and thought that adulthood would eventually grant her all the things she wanted for herself. Therefore, it pained her to work so hard and still not be able to afford some of the nice amenities other preacher's wives enjoyed. As a result, she was often bitter and resentful. However, my mom decided that she would encourage her children to make better decisions than she made. And that's what she did.

Granted, my mother isn't the most understanding woman. A hard life has given her an extremely practical mindset, so though she recognized my ability to write, my decision to strive almost solely for authorship perplexed her for a while. In her mind, becoming a teacher or journalist offered a steady paycheck, which is the most important outcome of any effort. So you can just imagine her response to my brother, who said he wanted to forgo college to become a musician and has so far ended up waiting tables at a restaurant with a wife and baby girl to feed. (He's actually doing very well.)

Despite her shortcomings, my mother really is a loving, compassionate woman. For years, I watched her give to others, even when she had little herself. She is overjoyed to finally be a grandmother and loves to buy little outfits for my niece. She can also balance a checkbook to the penny and make almost anything with scissors, paint, construction paper, glue, fabric, and assorted cardboard tubes--including giant backdrops for church productions and beautiful wedding receptions. She can whip up a mean Hamburger Helper soup and make a budget stretch beyond belief. She can purchase a new wardrobe for just $250. She can out-wrestle most men. And she is always available when I need her.

Thanks, Mom, for everything you do. I love you.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

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