And not but five days behind my Dad comes my amazing Mom – who also turns the big 6-0 this year with a daughter turning 3-0 just a few months behind her!
What a blessing my Mother has been in my life. I never realized my mom was so amazing until I started comparing – let me explain: in my little world, it just seemed obvious that a Mom would do what my Mom did. Unfortunately for many others, that is just not so. My mom is so supportive – even with the phone call from her 11th grade daughter letting her know she was never going to play basketball again, her response was, ‘Karolyn, that’s fine. Just come home.’ I know many parents that would’ve redirected or told me to suck it up or talk about how ungrateful I was that I’d been given the entire summer to play and now I just wanted to throw it away. But she didn’t. I’m sure she knew I’d play again once the fatigue passed, but it was so reassuring knowing I didn’t have to perform to be loved.
My mom made my lunch through my junior year of high school (my senior year I didn’t eat at school, or I’m sure she would’ve made it then too) – she did my laundry up until I left for college – and she came to every event I ever participated in. I’m talking I had to request for her to NOT attend some things. I never realized that some Moms didn’t do this until I was in college and had several teammates and friends whose moms had NEVER shown up to sporting events. My heart broke for them and swelled with the amount of appreciation I had for my mom being one of my #1 supporters and encouragers.
At times, my mom would cook four different variations of a meal just to appease all of the eaters at our home (I was always doing some strange diet, my mom has salt restrictions, my sister was vegetarian for parts of middle school and high school and I’m pretty sure my dad just wanted to be fed). Not that this caretaking of hers allowed us to be lazy, I don’t want you to think that. We still had stuff to take care of around our house, but my mom’s heart is a servant’s heart. She serves and serves. She cleaned and she cooked and she cheered and she loved and she listened and she did some more and then woke up and did it all over again. And, now, here I am raising a family of my own and I realize that magnitude of what she did. And please note she always had a full-time job while I was growing up. I’m trying to make it all work in our little family and it’s challenging. It’s tough. And I’m so thankful I have an example where I have seen it done. And done well.
As I’ve grown up and seen my Mom for more of who she is rather than just a parent in my life, I’ve also grown a greater appreciation for her as a person. She’s shown me it’s never to late to change, to learn, to grow, to get better. She’s been intentional about chasing her dreams – about finishing her Master’s, moving to California, marrying Jim, etc. She’s been intentional in improving – in having difficult conversations, in forgiving, in asking for forgiveness. I’ve been impressed by her example. And I love our relationship.
It was the coolest thing to get to live with my sister as an adult and have my mom within driving distance. We had our Wednesday girls nights and plenty of get togethers in between. It was the greatest thing to be newly married and have my mom a drive away to meet up for dinner a few times a month (also a huge part in how I even became a newlywed!). It was the perfect situation to be new to this parenting gig and having a mom live a drive away and so willing to love and invest in Kalyb’s life. I miss the drive. I miss having my mom close. But, I’m so thankful for the mom that I have. For the example that I have. For the life she is living. And the love that she gives.
Happy Birthday, my sweet Mother! I can’t wait to celebrate with you this weekend!!! I LOVE YOU!