Mother Road Warrior

DSC00604That’s right, I’m not afraid of a little snow.  I just returned from a harried, slippery, 4-wheel drive jaunt to the High School.

Real clothes?  Who needs them.  I’ve got my kid’s student council sweat shirt,  complete with coffee splash, to keep me warm.  Bedhead? Check.  Bra? For the weak.  Travel coffee mugs are for wimps.

My sixteen-year-old daughter’s assessment of my “First Snowy Day” look?

“Poor White Trash Clown”

Glad the car didn’t break down.

Life, Love and Death

ImageThis week, my friend Mary buried her husband Steve.  From a back pew, I watched as she walked up the aisle, followed by her six children to sit in the front row.  There were tears, but they held their heads high.

Steve didn’t have a lot of money, stuff, a fancy house or a fast car. Truly, he wasn’t spectacular by the world’s standards.  But, he had everything.

His wife, my friend, loved him.  She glowed as his friends and family spoke of Steve’s impact in their lives.  There was a moment when she dropped her head as a slide show flashed pictures of their lives together –  a young and handsome groom carrying his bride across a threshold, a glowing new mother and father holding a tiny infant.  He loved her so much. What does it take to get a life like that?

I’m sure with six kids, job issues, moves, college, life was hard for Steve and Mary.  My own life is similar to Mary’s in many ways. With so many marriages failing across the country, I have learned that it takes a commitment to something more than the other person to make a marriage work.  For us, it takes a commitment to God.  I promised God that I would love and honor my husband even when he is not lovable.  It takes two people to do that.  There is such pain when one person in the marriage refuses to keep their commitment. I’ve seen that pain and the following devastation in so many of my friend’s lives. I can’t make John love and cherish me.  There are days when I am profoundly unlovable.  John loves God more than he loves me and he trusts God to give him the strength and ability to love me.  That commitment to God first, and then to me, overflows to our children.  That’s a guy I want to love forever. I saw that in my friend, Mary.  No regrets, Mary and Steve finished well.

Our friend Steve left his children with a precious gift – his unwavering love. He loved God faithfully to the end, despite a terrible, debilitating illness.  They saw him live and die well, with love and thankfulness to God for his life. His sons are fine upright young men following their dad’s example  and starting their own families.  His beautiful daughters know their value.  They watched their dad cherish their mother. He loved them well.

Steve didn’t choose to leave his family, as so many men do.  Steve’s family will display his fingerprint of love and faith.  They will miss him, but his legacy will last through their lifetimes.

In this picture, Steve and his daughter Anna are in the middle.  My husband and daughter are directly to their left.  Our girls were in 8th grade. They are twenty-four now.  We called this event the Father/Daughter.  I’ll write on that next time.  For now, I am very thankful for what I have.

The Daddy Doll by Blogger Awanthi Vandaraj and Uncertain Crossroads

This is a beautifully written story of one daughter’s longing for her father – after reading this I am profoundly thankful for my father and for my husband who loves me and our children so well.

 Please read

The Daddy Doll.

Sweating The Small Stuff

This morning, I wrote down the first memories that came to mind about each of my parents.  Here they are:

Dad

  • Making a little fire by the side of a fishing stream so I could dry my boots after falling in the river.
  • Taking eight-year-old me backpacking with my teenage cousins and bragging that I caught the biggest fish.
  • Tying ropes around my sister and my waists and letting us scoot down a steep hill and laughing while pulling us back up.
  • Letting me drive the car around in a horse pasture on Mother’s day and not getting angry when I scraped an old heap of farm equipment in the middle of the field.


Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Mom 

  • Taking us to the lake with a big cooler of sandwiches and drinks.
  • Serving as my Girl Scout leader, sporting a kelly green, polyester pantsuit.
  • Showing me how to mix up a very smelly fish solution to pour on her beautiful backyard flowers.
  • Making me grilled cheese sandwiches when I occasionally came home from school for lunch

So, there you have it, not very earth shattering.  But, those simple memories bring tears to my eyes.  I guess the small stuff really matters to kids.  I wonder what my kids will remember about me?