To know her is to love her. She moves through life like a soft, and yet bright, golden light. She is warm, and kind. She laughs easily and often, making strangers immediately feel comfortable around her. She is fun and vivacious and would still describe herself as a tomboy even though she looks beautiful, feminine, and put together. She is uber dramatic and animated with large expressive eyes and grand, sweeping gestures. She is a nature and animal lover. She has even been called "the doggy whisperer" because she has such a kinship with them. She sings like an angel (with perfect pitch, too) and has been in the church choir for 35 years and countless musicals. Her hands are strong and gentle and have been well used over her 68 years. Whether cooking a delicious meal for her husband and six children, working in the garden, changing babies and grandbabies diapers, doing laundry, rubbing a child's back, feeling a feverish forehead, or serving a warm meal to the homeless, you can feel the love in everything that she does. She is always there. Ever available. Willing to listen, comfort, and help.
She has not had the easiest life, but you would never guess it by talking with her. My oldest sister died when she was nine years old from complications of Turner Syndrome. Even though I was not yet alive, my mother talked about her often and made sure that we all knew about her, and never forgot her. I remember asking mom if in her grief she ever became angry with God. She responded, "Oh no. I always knew that she didn't belong to me. None of you kids do. You all belong to God. I am just grateful I was able to have her for 9 years." She has amazing faith. It is her faith that truly defines her.
Two years ago on New Year's Eve she was diagnosed with end stage Multiple Myeloma. She was not expected to make it more than 6 months. She, however, knew something the doctors did not. While she was unconscious in the hospital she talked with Jesus. Jesus told mom that she had more work to do, He needed her, and asked if she would come back. She, of course, said yes.
She is doing miraculously well now (and is famous for saying, "I am really healthy! Well, except for the terminal disease, Hahaha!"), and doing God's work as she takes care of my dad who has Alzheimer's. Moreover, this past year she invited my 40 year old brother to come and live with them when he was depressed and out of work. She really is an angel here on earth.
You see, she has a theory. Life is not easy. It is not supposed to be easy. She believes we are given challenges that are intended to help us strengthen our weaknesses in order to be worthy of heaven when we die. She figures she has been given the task of taking care of my dad with Alzheimer's because she always felt her biggest weakness was impatience. This is her ultimate test of patience. And I can be the first to attest she is passing with flying colors.
Mom can be described as warm, kind, loving, humble, generous, beautiful, smart, emotional, fun, thoughtful, and caring. Some even call her Saint Gloria, but it makes her incredibly uncomfortable. She will be the first to point out her failings and weaknesses, which to me, makes her an even more perfect and relateable mother.
Still, I feel that I am not describing her accurately just yet. How do I convey the fun, silly, tomboy side of her personality? What if I told you that she drives around on a Spree scooter in summer with her dog propped in between her legs? How about I tell you about the time she and her granddaughters were zipping up and down the sidewalk on their push scooters, laughing and screaming even when mom flipped over onto her head? Hmmm. Perhaps if I tell you the story of my mom and dad canoeing down a river 10 years ago, then carrying the canoe over their heads up a muddy bank, and falling, sliding all the way back down the bank into the water, laughing the whole time? Maybe if I tell you that as a kid she would challenged the neighbor boy to a "peeing in the snow" contest and got really angry when he could pee his name and she couldn't? Or maybe that she would climb the trees, hike the trails, swim in the lake, camp in the tent, sled down the hill, and jump in the leaves right along with us? Would that do it? Hmmph.
I have heard people say, "Oh no! I'm turning into my mother!" If only I could be so lucky. She lives her life as an example. She doesn't tell you how to live, she shows you. She doesn't tell you how to love people, she shows you. She doesn't tell you how to have faith. She shows you.
She is the most amazing, and influential person in my life. She is my mom.
This post was in participation with Hump Day Hmm.
My Mom in Wordless Wednesday