When I close my eyes and recall the memories of that which I hold close to the heart, I see your natural beauty. Wearing your off-the-shoulder 1980's blue terry clothed one piece romper, your dark oversized Audrey Hepburn sunglasses, your buckled navy blue sandal clogs and your signature ear to ear smile glowing on your thin elegant 30-something frame.
You, Mom, were the ultimate standard of flawless beauty in my six year old world, and I was determined to one day own every piece of freshly iron-pressed Talbot's clothing hanging in your treasured wardrobe. Staring up at the vast array of colorful apparel in the upstairs wood paneled master bedroom closet, I longed for the day I could be just like you.
You were my example of elegance, of womanhood, of grace. And I fervently watched with my impressionable six year old in-awe eyes.
Yes, I watched.
I watched you warmly open our home to others.
I watched your smile light up an entire space.
I watched you surround yourself with invaluable friends.
I watched your enjoyment of hallmark movies.
I watched you laugh louder than anyone in a room.
I watched you tirelessly serve on multiple committees in our home church.
I watched you make holidays memorably special.
I watched you work a job, care for your home and have dinner set promptly at 5:pm sharp.
I watched you resolved in making family-time a priority.
I watched you sow seeds of peace into your extended family, while simultaneously sewing girlscout badges onto my 3rd grade sash.
I watched you make birthdays as special as the one being celebrated.
I watched you home bake each individual chocolate bunny in the Easter baskets.
I watched you extend grace to others in order to prevent division.
I watched you keep our home in proper order while beautifying every corner.
I watched you throw both simple and extravagant parties with ease.
I watched you transport me to and fro in your happy-yellow painted vehicle.
I watched you rejoice.
I watched you cry.
I watched you embrace.
I watched you mourn.
I watched you celebrate.
I watched you grieve.
Yes, I watched.
But I owe you an apology mom. My childhood soon turned into teenagehood and my watchful eye turned into a critical eye. A judgmental eye. A closed eye of that which I once found delightful and beautiful. I became self focused, self obsessed, self protective, self centered and self seeking.
You loved with compassion.
You empathized with understanding.
You trusted in His plan.
But there's something I didn't know then, that I know now. You're a survivor. You're a perseverer. You're a warrior. You, Mom, are a conqueror. You have taken that which was hurtful, grievous and painful from your past and used it as a doorway of determination to prevent me from experiencing anything remotely similar.
And so today, I watch again. I watch through eyes of understanding. Eyes of compassion. Eyes of love. Eyes of respect for a woman I'm sincerely honored and privileged to call mom.
I watch as you weep in pain over the loss of those closest to your heart.
I watch as you weep in joy over the births of your precious grand babies.
I watch as your unshakeable love for Jesus remains anchored in the storm.
I watch as you swoop up your sweet grand-babies into your nurturing arms.
I watch as your suffering administers His powerful and active love to our family.
I watch as you give generously and live open-handedly.
Yes, Mom, I'm still watching.
And through the eyes of my six year old heart, I'm back staring up into the vast array of colorful apparel in your upstairs wood paneled closet. Except this closet doesn't contain pieces of Talbot clothing. No, instead it holds pieces of you. Your life. Your character. Your love. Your sacrificial choices; leaving me longing for the day I can be just like you.
Happy Mothers Day Mom.
Happy Mothers Day Mom.