Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Amazing Mom!

There are moments in time that ingrain themselves like a photograph in your memory.   It is those split seconds where time stands still.  Each sound, smell and sight forever captured for you alone to remember.

One particular moment came when I was very young – perhaps three or four years old.  I stood in the kitchen of our home staring up at my mother.  My (imaginary) friends, Vanilla and Banilla, stood there with me – their furrowed brows mirroring my own.

I cocked my head to the right as I realized that there was more to this woman, my mother, than I knew.  I had never considered it before and chances were, more than likely, I would need this information sometime in life – so I asked her, “Mommy, what’s your name?”  She smiled down at me, humored by the fact that something so… so simple… so evident to who she was, was still unknown to me, her own child.  

“Sarah…” I tried the name out for size and realized she was right.  I remembered the aunts calling her “Sarah” and even the occasional “Sarah-Kathryn”, pressed together to make one name, from her mother.

Today, my children relish the moments I share stories of my childhood, and I well remember hearing mom offer glimpses of hers.  Her stories took me to visits on Aunt Rosie’s farm.  Later, I hid in the back of Grandma’s car with her, giggling over a stolen trip to town without “all the other kids”.  We chuckled together over her brother calling the cows to repentance – and ruining seed bags from the all the fist pounding in the process.  

During my childhood, I firmly believed my parents were amazing and could fix anything!  Besides being a master seamstress (she created my wedding dress from three different patterns), her artistic abilities turned my messes into works of art.  By the time I reached womanhood, I thought I knew all there was to know about the woman I called “Mom”.  Yet, she continued to surprise me!

Despite a sometimes rocky relationship with her mother-in-law, my mom moved in to care for Grandma in the last weeks of her life.  I’ve never told my mom, but the care, the unselfish love, she gave to Grandma amazed me.  Never being a family who offered lots of hugs and words of love, I was surprised to see the generous doses of “I love you, Mom” as she smoothed back Grandma’s hair and the gentle ways she’d wipe Grandma’s lips after offering her a drink.  Mom seemed determine that Grandma know how deeply she was loved – as well as retain all sense of dignity until the very end – and, in my opinion, she succeeded.

After Grandma’s death, mom gifted Grandpa with that same love and compassion until he passed away four months later.

I have always believed my mother was caring and compassionate – almost to a fault, but I certainly didn’t expect the distance that sympathy would take her several years ago. 

Mom’s friend, Mary Lou, had been battling lupus for years.  The time had finally come when doctors said she was ready for a kidney transplant.  Without a second thought, my mom agreed to test to see if she would be compatible to donate a kidney to Mary Lou. 

Needless to say, I had second thoughts! 

Now, I love Mary Lou, but this is my mom we were talking about!  I argued the fact that surely there was someone else that should or could offer their own kidney!  Despite my fears, Mom was an exceptional match to Mary Lou and began the months of pre-op testing to prepare for donating her kidney.   

I researched the dangers and mulled over the “what if’s” of the surgery, but mom looked at it so differently.  “It’s simple, Lynette,” she was relaxing on the sofa that Sunday afternoon, and tucked a blanket in snuggly around her ankles, “I’m healthy and she’s not.  I have something I can live without, but she can’t.  There really isn’t anything to question.”   Her matter-of-fact approach caught me by surprise, but I saw her point.

That day in the hospital created more photographs for my memory book – there’s the one of the doctors prepping her for surgery, my dad in the hallway acting more nervous than I’d ever seen him before in my life and our giddy-from-relief-that-she-was-ok-laughter once she came out of surgery, picked up her head, crossed her eyes and proclaimed, “I like Jo-Jo’s pretzels!”

Her compassion challenges me.  Despite the ups and downs in life, my mother continues to provide love and care to those in need.  In a world where selfishness is the norm, I see in my mother a person who wants the best for those around her - and that is a picture I want to emulate for my own children.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
I love you!


Phil and Marcia said...

Beautiful, Lynette! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Lynette, you are too kind, but I had to think about my Mom. Compassionate almost to a fault! And when I think of your acts of kindness and love, I can see that Amy will be the same. She comes from a long line of love!

Anonymous said...

Lynette I Love your Mom too. She will always be a Special part of my life. Anyone can be a friend, but not anybody can be a TRUE fRIEND LIKE YOUR MOM was.She was excellant Donor for me. She had a LOT of FAITH, Very Aggressive, Possitive look, Didn't feel Sorry for herself, thinking this will make her NOT HEALTHY. She Trusted GOD,and believed the TRUETH that it will NOT RUIEN her HEALTH. I WILL ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR FAITHFULNUSS. P.S. Wanada Wanded to GIVE me her's SOOO BAD, but was still in childbaring age. The day your MOM told me she's going on the list, A SMALL STILL VOICE TOLD ME, It will be SARA. I told Mark, A VOICE TOLD ME IT'S SARA. And it WAS TOO. AWSOME GOD. THANKS AGAIN SARA!!!!