Today I celebrate the woman who birthed me, raised me, and continues to love me through the ups, downs, ins and outs of life.
For my mother, who faithfully let the sun shine in.
Exhausted arms, exhaustive love
“So let the sun shine in! Face it with a grin! Smilers never lose and frowners never win!”
Before I even knew what it meant to be cherished and really loved, you were wiping up my poopy butt and giving me good night hugs.
When monsters and meanies interrupted my dreams, I would run to your exhausted arms and happily listen to you sing:
“He’s still workin on me.. To make me what I ought to be.
It took him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, he’s still workin on me.”
Before I could claim His free gift of salvation for myself, I knew that Christ was present by your prayers and the Childrens Bible on my shelf.
When doctors told you that I could never do ballet, thank you for buying my first leotard and watching me twirl every which way.
Though a lot of my childhood memories are a little bit blurry, one thing I remember about your love: it was never in a hurry.
I can’t forget to mention all the EPIC birthday parties that you threw. My birthday was a big deal, and my friends always knew! Where else would you fish marbles out of ice cold water with your toes, or run back and forth on a basketball court trying to put on ridiculous dress up clothes?
Thank you for all the things I don’t remember.
Thank you for all the things that you remembered for me. The dentist and doctor and at what time they would be.
For all those times you held my hand and laughed your infectious laugh. I’m proud to own a piece of that laugh and don’t plan on giving it back.
As my life unfolded with preteen drama and trivial matters of state, thank you for finding those things important instead of telling me those things could wait.
When all my friends advanced in dance and I was held back, I knew it was because my legs wouldn’t stretch and my feet are so woefully flat. But you sent me a letter via good ol’ fashioned mail, reminding me this was a time to grow, to learn, to try, to fail.
You never let me sit in any pits I dug from fear, you always helped me out of them, mom, with a loving hand and listening ear. I stuck with dance the next year after, and the one after that and after that. I tried with new resolve and I could laugh when my effort fell flat.
When I started high school and so many people changed, some friends became “too cool for school” and dating was a “must do” game; thank you for instilling in me a desire to stand firm, to not apologize for who I was, and to value what I learned.
And throughout ALL my teenage years when I told you that “I’m fine,” Thank you for opening my bedroom door and holding me while I cried.
God really blessed me with a mom who saw past my face. When life became about wearing contacts and mascara you reminded me to focus on His grace.
As I stumbled into womanhood I entered with a confidence not my own. Because I knew that in Christ I mattered and I never walk alone.
When it was my turn to go to college and you dropped me off and hugged me bye, I stared as the car drove away and forced myself not to cry.
Those care packages from home always came just in time, and I always laughed at the random bargains that you would find.
Now I’m quite the bargain hunter and I know that you’d be proud! I look at the price of a sweater that’s not on sale and I literally laugh out loud. Instead I find two outfits for the price of that one sweater and I hear you say, inside my head, “That’s my girl! MUCH better!”
When I met the man that stole my heart and he asked me for my hand, I know it was a little hard and sooner than you had planned.
Planning a wedding in 5 short months was not an easy task, and you bore so much of the burden and did more than I could even ask.
Thank you for making that day special for me and for making me feel special for every day that came before it.
As I continue to grow with each passing year, I know our relationship has seen its fair share of tears. We have walked through painful times, experienced forgiveness. We have worked through many differences and have grown in our awareness:
Aware that time has sealed some memories that will keep til kingdom come. Aware that a daughter is called to be a wife and is learning to make her home.
Aware that a mothers touch can be felt from hundreds of miles away, and even though you can’t carry me in your arms anymore, in your heart I found a place to stay.
I don’t call you as much as I should, and Lord knows I’m not the perfect daughter. But having you in my life from day one has only served to make me stronger.
I love you mom and I always will though my expression often falls short. I cannot deny the source you have always been of confidence, love, and support.