Sunday, May 9, 2010

Forever and ever, Amen

I've been in a week long search for the perfect gift. What do you get someone who deserves everything but has it, could buy it or doesn't need it?
All of the traditional gifts are out. She MAKES my photographs, so pictures are out. She arranges MY flowers, so flowers are out. Sure, I've already given her what she probably had ME for...grandchildren but it just doesn't seem like enough. How can you say a proper thank you to the person who gave you life?

She brought me into this world with the intention of staying home to be my mother. She never thought "oh, I'll work and put her in daycare." She learned to smock so that she could dress me in the latest kid fashions and boy did that carry over to my fashion sense! Before I could remember life as an only child, she gave birth to my forever best friend in the form of a sister!
She made our childhood, enriching, exciting and memorable. She was PTO mom, homeroom mom, VBS/Sunday School teacher, and field trip mom. She was always present at every event that parents could be involved in. She was THE one, that made sure we were in church from the time we were born.
When we needed our space to develop our own identity, she had the foresight that we were gonna be college girls one day and it would take some funding! She went back to school when we were independent enough so that she could help provide us a great college education. Further teaching us the value of an education, she became a teacher to others and gained her Masters.
She was encouraging in high school for being involved and how it would effect my future. She was also good at laying down my moral foundation and always offering great advice. She led me by showing me what Christ would want for me. Now, that's not to say that I TOOK her good advice all the time. And each time I didn't, I failed. Something I've learned in my last 30 years. Momma is ALWAYS right!
Sure, sure. We went through our years when I'm sure I said I'd never grow up to be like her, or I didn't want her to be my mom. Ashamedly, I think we all go through those years. I'm just glad we came through them and I realized that she was ON my side and one day, I'd hope to be just like her.
She was my biggest cheerleader in college. She helped me financially, and in my educational pursuits. And even with her reservations, she was accepting of my choice in marrying a military guy living in NEW YORK at the time.
She helped me plan every single detail of my dream wedding. It was everything I ever hoped it would be and it was all thanks to her. I'm pretty sure, I attained the bridezilla term a few times but she helped me keep it together.
I'd be a lot richer if I had a penny for every mile they have driven up to NC for me. I can't even count the trips they have made.
She has endured 3 deployments right along with me. At times, I think they may have been just as stressful on her because she wasn't only worried about her son-in-law at war, but worried about the daughter that loved him too.
It was 5 years ago on mother's day that I gave her a card with what we now know was the best present I could have ever given her. It told her I was going to be making her a Nana in December.
She was there when I became a mother myself. She was the delivery coach and photographer. She knew EXACTLY what to do and made it immensely easier on me. I was happy to be in Alabama and going back to her house with my first born son for the holidays.
She taught me how to feed and bathe my own son while also adhering to my method of sleep training for him. She taught me to parent and respected my own parenting right!
When I became a mother for the second time, she became a Nana for the second time. She went above and beyond mother when she was birthing coach, photographer, and Internet liaison for Jason to see his second son born. I was not able to talk to him like I thought I would be able to (um, I was giving birth) so she made sure he was up to date. We lived there for the summer while I learned to mother 2 children and I don't think I could have made it those months without her. She gladly did the 3 or 5am feedings while I slept. She also got up with Linc so that I could start running again and loose the baby weight in record time for me.

And after all that, the buck doesn't stop there. She is continually my seamstress, making/fixing things for me and the kids. She is my photographer. Can you imagine the amount of money Jason would be out if I didn't have her? She is my decorator/floral arranger. She's helped arrange most of the decor in my house. She's my unpaid babysitter. She drove up to NC on Mother's day weekend to photograph my family AND babysit while Jason and I spent the day in Raleigh and went to a concert that night. She will also watch my kids while Jason and I go to Mexico for a week this summer, ALONE!
Her Christian example has been consistent AND ever growing. When God said, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6" she defiantly did her part. She gave me the greatest gift of living life as a Godly woman. She was always a wife to my father teaching me to be a wife first. She was always a Godly mother, making sure I knew the reasons her actions was love. She taught me by showing me the love of Christ and made sure I knew Him. She has always told me that this is the best gift I can give my own children.
What I do know is there is no gift worthy of all that she has given me. I will forever be indebted to her. But I can say: I will love her, forever and ever, AMEN!

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