It’s my mother’s birthday today, and so instead of the usual Week in Review, I’m going to share some memories of my mom. There are so many, but today three are standing out in my mind.
This might be one of my first memories. I was very young, maybe a toddler, and we were in church. I was sitting on Mom’s lap, leaning back into the crook of her arm so that I was cradled there. I was looking up at her face, and then she looked at me and smiled. That’s it, the whole thing, but that one moment is frozen in my mind; the comfort of being held tight, and looking up at her smile. A million pounds of love passed between us in that one second. I also remember being a little girl and sitting on her lap, in church again, and playing with her thumbs. Isn’t that funny? I’d hold her thumbs and put their tips together so that the nails overlapped, and then switch them so that one was on top and then the other, back and forth, back and forth. I liked to spin her wedding rings around her finger, too. Strange kid, but it made the look and feel of her hands stick in my mind, and they always will.
When I was four years old my family drove from Minnesota to Idaho Falls to go to the temple. I don’t know if that was the closest temple at the time. It might have been, but I do know that my parents knew a couple who lived in Idaho, and we stayed with them. The Lots, I think. At the temple I spent some time in the nursery, and there were Barbie dolls with great furniture including couch with dark green upholstery, very 70s. Later a very nice, very old woman showed me the white dress I was going to wear. She stood in front of me holding it with one hand by the hanger, and had her other hand behind the skirt, to show it off a bit. I was so excited. And then I remember being in the sealing room, and seeing my mom in the mirrors, and again she was smiling at me. I’ll never forget that.
This next one isn’t a memory really, but a constant happening that was a central part of my childhood. Every day when I got home from school I came in the house through the back door into the kitchen and Mom would be standing there at the sink. Now that I think about it, she couldn’t possible have been in that same place every day, but that’s how I remember it. On days when she wasn’t home the whole house felt dark and so empty, and I hated it. It’s the small constants in a child’s world that give her a sense of safety and stability, and for me having Mom there when I got home was one of those constants. It made everything right with the world.
So happy birthday Mom! The older I get the more I realize all that she did for us for all of those years, and it’s pretty amazing. The only other woman I can think of who has her same quiet, consistent kindness and strength is my sister, and I think that she got some of that from Mom. She really is wonderful.