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Happy Mother’s Day

May 8, 2011
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Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mom (pictured her in her senior year photograph. I have always loved this picture).

A few facts about my mother:

  • She is really, really pretty. I mean, look at her. And she is still just as pretty — honest, I’m not just saying that! So is my grandmother, in her mid-80s. Let’s hope it runs in the family.
  • Also, in addition to being pretty, she is charming, kind, helpful, talented, funny, and a very hard worker.
  • She was the mom that all our friends were envious of. “Your mom is so nice/pretty/fun.” Yes, she was and is.
  • She grew up on a rural farm in Eastern Oregon; her 8th grade graduating class had 3 (or 4?) kids. She grew up farming, doing 4-H, learning all the practical skills which she (mostly) passed on to me.
  • She is an excellent seamstress and quilter. When I was growing up, she made a lot of our clothes. I never got much past a basic dirndl skirt and pajamas, but she could make beautiful clothes, and made a couple of formal dresses for me. Now she mostly makes gorgeous quilts, some of which she hand-quilts. I could never, ever, ever do that. I know how to sew (sort of) but I have no patience for the kind of good work she does.
  • She taught me all the handy household tricks that you never really think you need to know until you do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been grateful to know how to do an actual hemstitch, for instance.
  • She taught me the value of homemade cookies. Even when we were in our whole-wheat flour phase, we always had cookies in the house. PS: whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies kind of suck. It was a relief when white flour made an appearance again.
  • And perhaps most importantly, I have never ever questioned my mom’s love for me. She has made it clear that she loves me (and my brother) unconditionally, no matter what. This is a pretty awesome gift. I’ve never had to wonder if my mom would ever stop loving me, or love me less because of something I did or some way I am. Consistently, my whole life, the message has been: You are loved. Even if she didn’t like some of my actions or choices, there was never any question of her love and support. For that, I am truly grateful.
When I think about all the hardship my mom went through when we were little, I have so much admiration for her. We had very little money and she worked side by side with my dad to raise our garden; made bread every week; canned the harvest; helped with the butchering of steer, deer and elk so we would have meat to eat; and worked full time as a secretary so we could have health insurance. It was homesteading out of necessity, not trendiness, but it was a good lesson for me and my brother (I’m sure she wishes we hadn’t had to learn all that, that way — I’m sure it was not very fun sometimes.) Both my parents taught us how to be creative and work hard, but it was my mom who showed me that a woman could work just as hard as a man, and take care of all the things that a family needs, and still be kind and fun and not a total grouch, even though she was tired to the bone. It’s because of her that I know I can handle everything that comes our way. My dad taught and still teaches me the particulars of being a handy-person, but my mom taught me the can-do attitude. We had lots of challenges and we learned from watching to just tackle them head-on, look for the practical solution, and then get back to cookie-making.
I wish I were spending the day with her, but since travel is currently on-hold while we nurse Katie, this tribute will have to do. I celebrated in her honor by hemming shorts and ‘creatively’ altering a dress. Yeah. My sewing skills are barely passable. BUT — it seemed appropriate. Thanks for everything, Mom. You are an amazing role model and I’m so glad you are my mom. Love and miss you all the time.
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16 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2011 6:19 am

    Happy Mother’s Day to your mom. What a great tribute to a woman who obviously did, and still does, mean the world to you. It is a fortunate thing to have a mother who sewed positive seeds into our lives.

    • Mom permalink
      May 8, 2011 8:18 am

      Thank you, Carl. I am, indeed, very luck to have my wonderful Daphne and brother Matt in my life. I must have done something right along the way.

  2. Mom permalink
    May 8, 2011 6:53 am

    My sweet, lovely daughter. I’M the lucky one, to have you in my life. You and Matt inspire me every day to do the best I can, to try different things and ways, to be adventurous, to be the best “me” I can be. I’m so very, very proud of you and Matt. I love you both very, very much. Thank you for the tribute. And, whole wheat chocolate cookies do suck, BIG time.

    • Lara Starr permalink
      May 8, 2011 9:59 pm

      And you did a wonderful job Terri! Inspiring to all of us who don’t do it with 1/2 of your grace.

  3. May 8, 2011 7:58 am

    oh this made me cry! your mother sounds wonderful! happy mothers day daphnes mom!

    • Mom permalink
      May 8, 2011 8:18 am

      Thank you. And Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom, too. 🙂

  4. May 8, 2011 9:54 am

    best mom ever! 🙂

  5. May 8, 2011 11:05 am

    What a wonderful tribute! Happy mother’s day, Daphne’s mom, and all the moms out there reading this too. Thank you all for what you do.

  6. D'Arcy permalink
    May 8, 2011 4:38 pm

    I can vouch for the fact that Daph’s mom still is that pretty, and is crazy nice, and can sew beautifully. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Mom permalink
      May 8, 2011 5:02 pm

      D’Arcy, I love you, too. ONE day we’ll have to reconnect.

    • Mom permalink
      May 9, 2011 10:31 am

      D’Arcy, we both know sometimes my sewing leaves a lot to be desired (gigantic bridesmaid dress on teeny, bitty you).

  7. May 8, 2011 7:33 pm

    Wow. Happy Mother’s Day to your sweet, hardworking mom.

  8. Lara Starr permalink
    May 8, 2011 9:57 pm

    Oh you’ve got me all verklempt! Lovely tribute to a lovely mom!

  9. Elk Tracker permalink
    May 10, 2011 7:37 pm

    Dear Daphne what a wonderful tribute to a woman, and a Mom that I know to be truly amazing. I admire your Mother for having such a loving daughter, who, in her own right is strong and brave. Your Mother is certainly all of those things and many many more, but to see a bit of that in her daughter must be more than a “slight” blessing for a wonderful Mother on her most Special Day. Bless you for writing such amazing words, obviously from the depths of your heart.

  10. May 11, 2011 1:19 pm

    What a beautiful photo of your mom! I hope she had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

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