Once, on our way to visit our family in Michigan, we made a late night stop at a gas station in Toledo, Ohio. I was waiting in line to pay for snacks and watching through the window as my Mom waltzed across the parking lot. “Son of a Preacher Man” was playing on the radio, and Mom threw open the door, singing as she did. A twenty-something guy happened to walk in right behind her. Assuming it was my Dad or BJ, she immediately backed up against him and starting breaking it down. The guy didn’t miss a beat—he danced right along. After a glance backward revealed it was a complete stranger, Mom just grinned and kept on dancing. I watched in utter amazement as she shared this hilarious moment with a random stranger. Meanwhile, my Dad and BJ were practically convulsing in laughter. When the song ended, she and the guy smiled and went their separate ways. That’s my Mom.
A couple years ago, I ordered a bridesmaid’s dress a size too small, and I stood in front of a mirror trying to magically squeeze myself inside. I sucked in while my sister pulled and my Mom pushed. It still wasn’t happening (not by a long shot). And, to make matters tragic, it was the night before the wedding, and there was just no way to round up a different size. So, Mom did what she always does—she saved the day, by staying up all night and taking apart that dress seam by seam and putting it back together. She labored from dusk to dawn to make that dress a full size bigger, and not even the folks at David’s Bridal would have been able to tell the difference. That’s my Mom.
My sister and I often remark that we wish we had Mom’s energy. Most days, she does Zumba and runs twenty laps up and down the stairs. And THEN she works all day. For as long as I can remember, she’s always been this way. And I suppose it’s a good thing, or she never would’ve survived chasing after five kids and dozens of their friends, all of whom crashed our house on the weekends. She never batted an eye at the piles of teenagers filling up her house. Instead, she threw together vats of chili and flipped mile-high stacks of pancakes, reasoning that it was better for her kids to be at home where she could keep an eye on them, even if it meant entertaining thirty extra kids. That’s my Mom.
Just a couple weeks before we moved to Wyoming, I stopped at a store in Rainelle, WV to pick up some wrapping paper. The cashier took one look at me and paid me one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received when she declared, “You MUST be one of Nora’s girls.” I was proud to respond, “Yes!” My Mom is the kindest, most generous person I’ve ever known. She serves Jesus and others. She is hardworking, resourceful, and loyal. She is smart and spunky, vibrant, beautiful, and strong. She is fun and funny and spontaneous. She is creative and confident and extremely capable. She can shoot a gun, milk a goat, speak two languages, talk to anyone, make strangers laugh, feed a crowd, rock a baseball cap, get any plant to grow, draw, sing, and dance. She is everything I want to be, and then some. That’s my Mom, one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy! I love you, love you, love you!