Thank you for giving me the childhood that you never had.
I was safe, loved and supported.
Thank you for the many bedtime back-rubs/talk sessions during my growing up years.
I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have then, but I do now.
Thank you for believing in me.
You always supported everything I was interested in pursuing ~ art, writing, photography, sports (hmmm….. sound like a lot of the same things I love now!).
You even let me paint a giant 1 foot wide rainbow which went around all 4 walls of my bedroom when I was in junior high school. You also encouraged me when I decided to sew giant clouds out of satin, stuff them with fiberfill and hang them from my ceiling!
Due to your unwavering support, I grew up with the confidence to pursue my many interests. What an amazing gift that was for me!
Thank you for showing up for me
You didn’t just say that you were “on my team,” you demonstrated it by showing up for almost every band and orchestra concert, flute recital, basketball game and track meet, cheering for me, no matter how busy you were.
Thank you for lunch dates as I grew older
As I grew up you continued to look for ways to spend time with me. Many times that involved a lunch date together. I loved those times that we could talk. It might not have looked like it, but I was listening and watching you for cues about how to live my life.
Thank you for faithfully following the Lord
You never crammed your opinions down my throat, but consistently, faithfully followed God and demonstrated that your relationship with the Lord was of utmost importance to you. It was not uncommon for me to find you reading your Bible and I knew that you and Dad prayed together regularly.
Still today you are walking with the Lord and faithfully praying for your family. I’m not sure that we will ever fully know the fruit in our family of so many years of faithfulness on your part.
I love that Zepheniah 3:17 is your favorite verse.
“The LORD your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in his love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Thank you for loving my father
I grew up, safe and secure in the knowledge that you and dad were committed to your marriage and to working things out.
I never worried that you would divorce or give up on each other.
(dear reading friends, my parents’ marriage was a healthy marriage, with normal ups and downs; there was no abuse. If you are in an abusive marriage and choose to leave, you are not “giving up.”)
Thank you for being an example of a strong woman, way before that was cool
When I was still in high school you went back to school to obtain your master’s in nursing, to become a nurse practitioner. You held important job positions at Children’s Mercy Hospital and even taught nursing in Louisiana. Then you went on to run a business with my dad for many years, learning bookkeeping, OSHA laws and regulations, etc.
You have always spoken out strongly for women’s rights, objecting vocally when women were treated with less respect than men and advocating for the underprivileged.
Thank you for your commitment to exercising
Again, way before it was popular for women to be strong and fit, you faithfully exercised, in part as a way to manage stress. You conquered some amazing hikes (Long’s Peak in Colorado, for one), ran daily in the mountains of Pennsylvania and even got me hooked on step aerobics when I had many little children way back in the 80s.
Your example in this area has given me tools to manage stress in my own life through exercise. I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you for investing in my children
As my own children began to grow up, you invested in them in so many ways… taking them on camping trips, and vacations to places like Colorado, Wyoming and even on train trips to St. Louis to go to the zoo there.
You and dad even made it possible for us to take family vacations with you both to Gulf Shores, Alabama and Colorado and a number of times you and dad flew me to Arizona to spend a week with you, with a few of my children. What wonderful memories we made together.
One of my favorite ways that you spent time with your grandchildren was in teaching them using a curriculum called “Five in a Row.”
(For my readers who don’t know, I homeschooled my 12 children for more than 20 years. For many of those years my Mom would choose one of the wonderful children’s books highlighted in *Five in a Row, create lesson plans around that book and come to our house twice a week to teach my children)
Most of my children are now adults, but they still speak fondly of those times with you – eating real Chinese food with chopsticks after reading *The Story about Ping, and how you even took them on a field trip to see donuts made after reading *Homer Price!
Thank you for believing me and helping me escape
Finally, thank you for believing me when I was finally brave enough to tell you that my husband was abusive. I hid everything so well for 26 years, but when I began to tell you (I have vivid memories of a lunch with you at Panera Bread, remember?) ~ when I told you, you immediately believed and stood by me.
You were willing to be angry about our abuse for me, when I was so confused, ashamed and hurt that I didn’t know what to feel.
And thank you for making it possible for me to escape with the youngest 7 of my children. You and dad took us in to your small 2 bedroom garden home without question or complaint and allowed us to live with you for 2 whole months, then helped us find a safe home of our own.
Mom, thank you. I love you so much.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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