My mom taught me all the ways to die. Seriously, think of any type of activity you can imagine and my mom will know someone who has died from that activity. Whitewater rafting, crossing train tracks, alcohol, house fires...and don't even get me started on unwashed lettuce. She doesn't worry about these things...she just knows them. It's like her super-power. My brother and I have joked about coming out with a line of mom-inspired greeting cards that say things like, "Happy birthday! Don't forget talking on your phone can lead to cancer!" Ah...a mother's love takes many forms.
So my mom has taught me all the ways to die but, more importantly, she has taught me beautiful ways to live. My mother is one of the greatest blessings in my life. She is the type of mom you wish you had. I didn't do anything to deserve to be born into her care, God just placed me there, and I am so grateful that He did. Her love for God, her hunger for knowledge, and her child-like, heavy-lifting faith have made her a steady, joyful woman. Amazingly enough, she can be ready at a moment's notice to grieve, exhort, comfort or party with you - sometimes within the span of one conversation! Over the years she has been a safe landing place for all variety of emotions and conversations. We say true things to each other - but always in love. She's as ready to learn as she is to teach, and she's so fun to laugh with.
She planned themed birthday parties for us before that was a thing (and probably made all that magic with $20.) She taught us how to wade through the hard days and look for treasures. (This is another one of her super-powers...she can find treasures in the bleakest of circumstances.) She showed me how to fight my depression by getting my eyes off of myself and encouraging others. She showed me that God's word is delightful and rich and something to look forward to each day. She taught me to keep short-accounts with people. We don't let wounds fester, we talk and apologize and forgive.
Now that I am deep into the role of motherhood, I find myself thinking of her at odd times. When I am rubbing my child's back I think of all the many hours my mom spent rubbing aches and pains out of my body. When I am packing for a trip and thinking through logistics, I remember how I never worried about any of that as a kid - she was always so thoughtful in her planning - anticipating our needs with love and grace.
I spend a lot of time writing about how to be a godly mother - a role that I am still growing into - and in case it isn't already obvious to you, more often than not, I am writing about her. She has been a godly mom. She has and always will be one of my favorite people. Today I want to say thank you, mom. Thank you for teaching me the strangest ways to die and the best ways to live. I love you.