Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Momma.


Love. That is the word that comes to mind when I think about my mother. She embodies love, and I have never once even thought of questioning her love for me. She has demonstrated it everyday of my life – even now that we live hours apart.

I sat down yesterday to make a little list of some of my favorite memories of Momma and of things that she has taught me and passed on to me through the years. What I thought would be a simple list of things that I could expound on and blog about today became a two page list that I could not “narrow down” even if I wanted to. So, dear readers, know that this post is long and drawn out and probably way too detailed, but it is for my mom. I want you to read it and know what an amazing and wonderful person she is, but MOST IMPORTANTLY I want her to read it and know that I love her and she means the world to me.

Momma, I love you and you mean the world to me. You know me better than almost anyone so I know that you know how out of character it is for me to write this. Douglas is the letter writer – I am the gift sender. I am terrible at expressing my true feelings around you and the rest of my immediate family – happy, sad, and everything in between. It is not that I want to keep these things from you or that I am embarrassed to say it – it’s a self preservation thing that even I don’t understand most of the time. Sometimes I’m afraid that my heart will explode and the tears will never stop (again, happy or sad) if I show any kind of emotion. I know you know this already – you’ve seen it time and again. But just because I have an issue sometimes with saying the words and talking about stuff doesn’t mean that I don’t love you or respect you or think that you are pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread (or dill pickles).

My childhood was off the charts wonderful. I always knew to a certain extent that I was very blessed to have you and daddy as my parents, but now I understand more and more how truly rare my childhood and adolescence was and how great it is to have the relationship with you that I have today. I’ve been reminded in recent days from listening to so many of the ladies in my Bible Study tell their own stories – stories that are very, very different from my own. I am truly blessed.

We have wonderful memories. I remember going for walks and picnics pulling the little red wagon full of snacks. We would sing “The Ants Go Marching” over and over again and Douglas would make up words to it. We would find huge mushrooms that we called “boats” and we would walk around collecting feathers and flowers and pebbles to use for the boat’s decorations. We would search for the perfect stick and leaf to make the “sail” and then once it was “just right” we would go down to the swimming hole and set it out to “sea.”

I remember you hitting the rooster in the head with your high heeled shoe when it jumped me and Doug that Sunday after church. We learned not to lick the “beaters” with mashed potatoes on them in front of the chicken yard.

I remember building tents in the living room. You are the best living-room-tent-builder. We would use every sheet and blanket and clothespin in the house and then you would make popcorn and we would spend hours just playing under there.

I remember The Tea Lady and her crazy antics in the bathtub.

I remember riding all the way to the Camp on our bikes and the time we saw the water moccasin on Bobby Stewart Road and flagged Bobby down to kill it. He shot its head off and I remember thinking that I wanted to do that one day.

I remember standing on a chair in the old utility room so you could hem or pin or adjust whatever Halloween costume or pageant dress that you were sewing at the moment. I remember complaining incessantly about that part, but being so happy when Doug and I won the Costume Contest . . . again.

I remember the three of us swimming across the lake with only one float and how you would scream and pretend a turtle had bitten your toe and how I couldn’t get my whole body onto that float fast enough. I remember you thinking that was hilarious and me thinking that you should be kicked in the head.

I remember summer lunches in the cafeteria at the camp and Indian Campfires.

I remember that you believed me when, at the age of seven, I climbed down from that tree in the backyard and told you that “Jesus now lives in my heart.” It was true.

Yes, my childhood was wonderful.

I remember being so excited about my first youth group trip to MissionFuge the summer of 1997. Our group was leaving the church at some ungodly hour the next morning and Troy and I had already been on the phone for hours talking about how much fun we were going to have. I remember that around midnight or so you looked at me (still in the phone) and said, “Go load your stuff in the car. We’ll go over there.” There was no chance I was going to let you sleep anyway, so we loaded my stuff, drove to Troy’s and sat up talking all night with him and his mom. I vaguely remember falling asleep next to Troy on the floor of the living room shortly before it was time to leave for camp.

I remember wanting to be a cheerleader, like, my whole life. When I finally got the chance to try out as a freshman and made the squad I was thrilled. Little did I know that the coach would turn out to be one of the most manipulative, mean spirited, bitchy people ever to walk the earth and that I would loathe ever minute of being on that squad. I remember you not letting me quit – even when I cried and begged and cried some more. I didn’t understand then – you were trying to teach me to finish what I started – even if it was hard. What a life lesson learned there!

I remember you sleeping with me in my bed when I watched a scary movie or read a scary book and didn’t want to be alone in the dark.

I remember you staying up with me until all hours of the night writing paper after paper for my English IV class through LSU. We did an entire 2 semesters worth of work from January to April and I managed to graduate and walk with the Anacoco High School class of 2001. We both know that that would not have happened without you. At least I know that. Hopefully now you do too. It also wouldn’t have happened without Nash – he totally let me copy his geometry and chemistry homework every night of my life that year.

I remember coming home from two trips to Africa and seeing you and daddy standing in the airport with your arms open wide. It was your prayers that got me through that second trip. I cherish your prayers.

I remember making moles for chemistry. Stupid, stupid chemistry.

I remember knowing without a doubt that if I randomly showed up at the house with say, 10 college friends that you would cook for us no matter what hour of the night we showed up.

I remember thinking that my car had been stolen from the Esplanade Mall parking lot for thirty minutes or so and then realizing after a near panic attack on both of our parts that we were just on the wrong side of the mall. How were we supposed to know that the food court had IDENTICAL parking lots on each side of the mall? And I remember Papa making fun of us when we told him about it that night.

I remember watching you make my wedding cake the morning of my wedding.

I remember you letting me move home from Hawaii after I had a serious nervous breakdown from being separated from Justin. I remember you letting me move home from Korea when we decided I needed to return to the States and get a job. Basically I know that I can come home any time I need to and you will take care of me.

I remember that when all the crap went down with the church and what they accused me of that you (and daddy) never even asked me if any of it was true. You knew it wasn’t and that still means the world to me. I was having to defend myself to people that SHOULD HAVE KNOWN none of it was true and the fact that you didn’t make me defend myself to you spoke more love to me than you will ever know.

There are millions more memories like those.

You are the best momma ever and I would not be the woman that I am today had it not been for you. You raised me to the glory and honor of God and I know that He is so proud of the job you have done. I know I’m married now and not under your roof anymore, but you will always be my momma and I am forever grateful for that. I pray you know how much I love you and that when I fail to show it in normal ways (lets face it, I am so not normal!) that you can look back on this and know that it is true. Thank you for being who you are and for loving me the way you do.

6 comments:

  1. well i just read every word of that. what a beautiful post. you are truly blessed, as i am as well, to have such a wonderful woman you call momma. i had forgotten what a terrible experience you had on the cheerleading squad. i'm so glad i never tried out. i wouldn't have lasted! anyway, i'm glad you had such an awesome mom. i've always thought your mom was the coolest. :)

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  2. That was just the sweetest thing Ive ever read ,including one your Dad wrote for his Dad years ago. I know Cindy must be the happiest mom on earth now. Such a tribute to her. You're the best. DD

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  3. So sweet. I have similar feelings about my Mom and childhood...as crazy as it was. I know I always have a safety net as long as she is around!

    ps I'm glad you like the post...clearly I'm fine...just being my dramatic self. ;)

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  4. steph this was breathtaking! And thank you so much for your note! I often wonder if anyone reads my blog, but every now and then God reminds me why I write. I hope it continues to bless you! I look forward to reading more from you as well! Love you girl!

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  5. I stopped by this page to see your creations. (You mentioned 'sewing' occasionally on facebook). Anyhoo, I stayed to read of your blogs. They were all amazing, but this one is my favorite.
    You are not only blessed to be part of your precious family; you are a blessing to your family.
    I've often heard it said that we teach the way that we've been taught. I'm thinking that Baby Moon is going to have an amazing childhood too!
    Jen (Gibbs) Waterman

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  6. That was an amazing post, Steph! It made me stop and think about how my kids will view their childhood. Somedays we rush through life and don't stop and enjoy the little things. Thanks for helping me to stop and think...I want my kids to have as wonderful of memories of their childhood as you & I do.

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