Saturday, November 17, 2012
Today for lunch in the cafeteria at work they had hot dogs. Hot dogs always remind me of my grandma, and 99.9% of the time, if I eat them, I eat them like I used to with her--cut up in "wheelies" with mustard on the side. Hot dogs eaten any other way just do not taste good to me.
I miss my grandma.
It's funny how foodstuff's remind you of people. I was also recently craving Hormel brand canned tamales, and when I eat them, I invaribly think of my mom. Aside from me, she's probably the only person on earth who eats those, let alone likes them. And guess what? I learned to love them from her.
I love my mom.
This post is really personal, but with all the happy, "good-feeling" things I post on here, I think it's time you learn the truth: I'm not always happy or overflowing with good feelings. Sometimes, in fact, I'm not very nice at all.
Of all people in the world, my mom probably knows this the best.
Over the years, from me alone, she has put up with a lot of attitude, a lot of ingratitude, and a lot of disrespect. I am not proud to admit that. But growing up has helped me to recognize the humanity inside my own mom--how she's my mother, but she's also just a person--and how much she HAS done with what she's been given. My mom is amazing! She gave life to eight children! She cooked upteenthousandmillion meals, and eased all of her children through how many nights of crying, vomit, and bad dreams. She has done so much for me, and for each of my siblings, let alone how much time, love, and resources she has offered in the service of my friends. And what she taught us! She taught me to cook, to sew, to plant a garden, to ride a horse, to read, to sing, how to tie a bucket to your hip to pick raspberries, and the list goes on forever. More than anything she gave me, I am grateful for two things in particular:
1) The Gospel.
My dad was never an active member of the church throughout my life. Everything I learned about the gospel as a child came from my mom. She dressed us up every Sunday (I still remember the awful, leftover-80's POOF she would make of my bangs every week when I was little), got us all in the car, taught my brother to go first and hold the door open for us girls, and sat proudly BY HERSELF with all of us (under 13 years old at one point), during sacrament meeting, only occasionally whispering threats down the pew as necessary. She fulfilled her callings, did her visiting teaching, looked out for those in need, and uplifted others right and left. I shouldn't write in past tense, because she continues to do this today. My mom is fully converted to the Gospel, and she lives it as well as anyone I know.
2) The gift of hard work.
I now understand that it was an act of great love for my mom to teach me, starting when I was very young, how to work hard. She taught by example, because I highly doubt that she has ever lived a day in her life when she has not gone to bed at the end of it worn out, with aching feet and heavy eyes. I am unspeakably grateful to my mom (and the examples of others in my family too) for loving me enough to give me this gift. Nothing that I now have in my life, no opportunity that I have been presented with, would have been possible or attainable if I hadn't learned young how to "put [my] nose to the grindstone rough...." I will forever be thankful to my mom for teaching me to work hard and with integrity. Her supreme motto, when I was growing up, was "leave it better than you found it." If all the world was raised in my mom's house, it would be a better place.
I know there are a lot of people who think a lot of their own mother's, but overall, I just can't help but think what an incredible example my mom is. Of faith, humility, and humor. Remember Elder Wirthlin's talk from conference a few years ago? "Come What May and Love It?" That's my mom. She cries sometimes, but most often, she laughs. I don't know how she can consistently do that, but I live with the hope that, as I get older, I will become more like her in this regard, and many others. I want to be known by others as she is, as someone that is true in all things and can be trusted with anything that they are given to do. To be a person that serves and uplifts others. That will be there to give a hug or entertain a child or clean a dirty house or wash a sink of dishes. She's the kind who does those things. I've seen it again and again. I've seen her kneel in prayer for help and gratitude. I've seen her go through trials that would break any lesser person. And by break I mean "destroy beyond recognition." She's incredible. No, she's not the same mom I had when I was little, but then again, I'm not the same chubby-cheeked cry-baby I was when I was little either (well, okay, maybe I am, but I'm trying to grow out of it :) ). All in all, she's just incredible, and I'm grateful for her. My mom is one of the great reasons I have to rejoice.
Hopefully your mom is one of your reasons too. If so, go tell her you love her. And thank her. Thank her for everything.