I came as a surprise, before they thought my heart would start beating there I was, life flickering and fluttering where only He could see. And then finally, two weeks past due, she brought me into the world. And then something was wrong when everything should be so right. Instead of dealing only with the wounds of a c-section delivery, she watched helplessly as I battled Group B Strep as a tiny baby. My seizures demanding my tiny form be life-flighted and transported by ambulance to three different hospitals. My Mom following me around the state and nursing her aching body next to my isolette. It’s a hard journey for any parent, let along poor farmers that they were, watching their firstborn spend the first 6 weeks in the hospital. Her first steps into motherhood were some of the hardest ones she walked in all her life. And yet, there was healing. Slow, steady healing.
I wasn’t always the easiest child. Unless you count shopping. I was an excellent shopper. Though my parents struggled so to provide and survive on farming, I never really felt like I lacked anything. Maybe because I had it all and thensome as far as my heart was concerned. Days spent outside playing in the yard, making toys and games out of nothing but the world around me and an overactive imagination. The imagination, you see, that’s from her. She taught me to dream dreams, to tell stories, to make the world around me make sense through words. And when I got older, she was always always my safe place. I knew no matter what I went through, no matter what hardships or heartbreaks would trip me up along the way, that she would be there to help me up, brush me off, and send me back out on my way.
Yes, there were times when we didn’t see eye to eye. Turns out I was a headstrong and independent. Some might call it stubborn. But my Mom, in what I consider to be God-given wisdom, knew that I had to learn lessons the hard way. Sometimes we talked about what might happen if I chose the wrong path, and then she would sit back and let me make the decision. And when I would choose the wrong path, which I most certainly did a time or two, she never once said “I told you this would happen.”
In my hardest times, my Mom has been the first one I called. She has listened to me process guilt, deal with heartache, vent my anger, and laugh with joy. She never tells me what to do. Never. Sometimes she gives a piece of sage advice, but more often she gives words of encouragement telling me I am doing the right thing, that I am a good Mom or that I have great instincts. My Mom has always been my biggest fan, whether that meant sitting in the bleachers cheering me on at a bitterly cold track meet or attending countless concerts or performances.
I look back at her, younger than I am now, huddled closely over a tiny plastic isolette in a hospital far from home, and I wish I could whisper to her that I will be just fine. I wish I could tell her that we got through some rough times, but we make it through. I wish I could tell her that she will do so so many things right and I will look back on my childhood with a grateful heart. I wish I could tell her that she was, is and will be the greatest Mom in the world. That someday she will have two little grand-daughters who adore her and that seeing her become a grandma has been a lot of fun. But most of all I wish I could tell her that one day we will be great friends, that we will talk about daily life but we will also talk about what it means to love and serve Him. That we will take faith steps together along the way, learning and surrendering as we go. And that sharing life with her has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.
I love you Mom.