In my life I have much to be grateful for. At the tippy top of that list though, is that this woman (the beautiful one above) is my Mom.
My Mom is a beautiful person both inside and out. Growing up as one of her children (along with my six brothers) was adventurous, fun, and downright wonderful. My childhood is full of memories of the places we went with her, and things that we did.
There were weekly trips to the library, where we would browse the giant aisles of books looking for the right ones to take home with us. There were bus trips downtown to visit my Dad at work. Trips to the zoo, and Wheeler Farm. Frequent trips to the park to tromp our adolescent bodies around in, and in the summertime, almost daily trips to the pool. Sometimes if it was crowded, we had to wait in a line leading to the pool entrance until it was our turn. I remember sitting there in the sun, and sometimes my Mom cutting up a cold watermelon, which was instantly refreshing.
We went weekly to visit her grandmother in Sugarhouse. I remember driving down 13th east on what seemed like such a long drive to her house. When her grandmother had to be taken to a rest home we would visit her there weekly. We'd always stop at the gas station to pick out a Butterfinger, because that was Grandma's favorite. We'd carefully pick the one that we thought was best, and happily give her her treat when we got there. My Grandpa (my Mom's dad) once told me that when we were young following my Mom around on our outings, we looked like little ducklings following their mother.
My mom was constantly giving and doing good for others. She would visit the widows and elderly women in our neighborhood, and bring them treats and good company. To this day, she still visits them (and has little luncheons that she calls her "golden girls luncheons"). She would visit others in our neighborhood that didn't belong to the same faith as hers or weren't active in our church and become their friend. She served hours upon hours of her time helping others-- through church callings, volunteering, and community service.
Yet she always had time for us-- her family. She was involved in my school, got me involved in Girl Scouts, and was one of my leaders, formed little clubs for me (one was called the "Busy Bee Club" for girls in my neighborhood who were the only girls in their family. We would rotate houses and do weekly activities together), and was always encouraging me and supporting me in my talents and endeavors (along with all of my brothers).
I'd come home from school, and she'd always have a "3:00 snack" waiting for me, and would take the time to visit with me about my day. She was interested in what I was doing, and who I was friends with. My friends all loved her, and still ask about her (some even still call and visit with her).
Even with a handicap that she's had since childhood (She has macular degeration, and is legally blind), she has never let that slow her down, or stop her from doing anything. I remember so many hours of her sitting and reading, a strong magnifying glass, and her book or paper right next to her face, making out the words. I can't think of a single thing that her eyes have ever held her back from.
Life with my Mom was so much fun. She had a smile to give us, and arms to wrap around us. I'm so grateful for the woman that she is, and the way she mothered me. I continue to be so grateful for her friendship, her example, and her love, as it carries on down to my children.
I remember a year or so ago, when my Mom was here visiting, she was outside playing with my kids, while I was inside the kitchen working on dinner. I could hear my kids happily playing and laughing. I looked out the window, and there was my 56 year old Mom rolling around in the grass with Vaughn. It made me laugh, and my heart seemed to double in size. It seemed to typify everything that I love about her-- so fun, loving, down to earth, full of life.
And still so beautiful.
I love you Mom. Thank you for being the best Mom to me. You will always mean the world to me.