Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mother's Words

I was riding down the road with Mike and the kids and he mentioned to me that he had seen the culprit behind my damaged flower beds....a chipmunk who has been living in one of my azaleas. He was caught red handed.
As soon as Mike told me this I turned to him and said, "did you scold him thoroughly and tell him to stay out of my flowers?!"
He laughed but I was immediately struck at what I had said. It's almost like it came out of my mother's mouth. That is something she would have said and she would have said it just that way too.
I try very hard not to think about what things would be like if she were here right now but I couldn't help but feel a little sad (and maybe just a tiny bit sorry for myself as well) that I couldn't call her up and tell her my chipmunk story. I'll bet she would have said exactly what I did. I am glad that I have some of her in me. I wish I had more.
I think the hardest thing about losing my mom is all the things I never asked her, all the things I didn't take the chance to learn! My mother could do it all. She was so talented in so many areas. There are so, so, SO many things she could have taught me: how to sew, read music, crochet, garden...just to name a few, make Christmas ornaments and peanut brittle.
The main things I didn't learn were how to be a strong, self-less woman and mother. Eleven years battling cancer and I really don't think I ever heard her complain about it.....ever! She got up every day, washed dishes, fed animals, got me off to school, got to work late so that she could drop me off instead of me having to ride the bus, worked all day, waited in the parking lot for me to finish cross country, cheer leading, theatre and then took me home, took care of the house, attended all my games and performances. I'll never forget in my senior year, it was my final performance for a play I was soloing in. She had been in the hospital with a failing liver, knowing, I'm sure, that her time was coming close. She forced them to release her from the hospital so that she could come to see my play. Immediately after the play she had to return to the hospital, hardly able to walk.
I wish I had have absorbed more of that strength. I don't think I'll ever be half the woman she was.
In my weakness, I start to think about the things I hate about her being gone. Mostly, I hate that my children and my husband won't know her in this life. I hate that I can't just have lunch with my mother, go visit for the weekend, call her up when I'm having a bad day, all the things that I miss so, so much!
I am so thankful that I had her as a mother. She was the greatest woman I've ever known. I would like to hope that I've inherited more from her than just silly things to say about chipmunks (or any garden pests). If I could have just one of her many positive traits, I would consider that to be an accomplishment.


Jen said...

Thanks for sharing those thoughts. What a great example of selflessness she was. She sounds like a wonderful person & I hope to be able to meet her one day. I think you are a great mom & wife and that you're too tough on yourself. Smile, Jen :)

The Tylkas said...

I'm loving your thoughts on your blog. You are awesome Jenny!

Dunstan Family said...

That was beautiful.... you are such a great person.

Whitney Lawson said...

That was beautiful.... you are such a great person. I did not know about your mom. You are such a great mom.
I just started a blog few weeks or so ago. It is whitneylawsonsblog

Rebecca said...

Awww, Jen, I love you. I find you to be an amazing mother and friend and I can only imagine how proud your mother would be if she were here today.

Anonymous said...

Seriously- were you trying to make me cry... b/c you did. (In a good way though, I think)
Whats so funny, well, it's really not funny- but I miss your mom so much too. It's random things that remind me of her... like anytime I think about chocolate milk I automatically think of ovaltine *YUCK*, or how I can never seem to get my mint tea to taste as good as hers did, or how we would get so frustrated w/ her when she wouldn't let us go running off on our own at 15 (in retrospect- she was right and we were idiots).

I know that I will never be able to understand completely what you went through, but know that I will always be here for you.

Oh, and by the way- you are more like her then you can ever imagine. I see her in you all the time and she would be so proud of you and all of your decisions in life.

Kelli said...

I can't even imagine how hard it must have been for you to lose your mom so young. I know that you miss her. You are a strong woman and a loving mother and wife and much of that is due to your mom's example. Your mom would be very proud of you. You inherited lots of talent from your mom too. I'd love to see you ride one of these days....several months from now, of course. :)

The Milton Family said...

Ahh Jen. You made me cry and that is an infrequent occurance. I guess I just felt touched by your willingness to share and all the things I should be grateful to have. I bet you are just like your mother. She would be so proud of you and probably is, closer than we think. Love you.-gin

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