Friday, May 11, 2012

remembering a mother and honoring one

it was 1996. i was about to start planning a wedding. newly engaged. newly in love. my life was, in a way, just beginning.

i remember the exact day all too clearly. my mom sat me down on our living room couch.  "i have cancer." those were the words out of her mouth. it was almost like i didn't even hear what she said next. everything became foggy. something about going to houston for treatments. something about it spreading from her ovaries to her abdomen.
growing up, my brother and i were my mom's life. she always told me she didn't know what she would do if something happened to one of us. there wasn't a basketball game my brother played in or a sporting event i cheered at that she missed.

she would bend over backwards to make sure we had everything we needed and most of the time what we wanted. she did without just so we could have more.

my friends loved her almost as much as i did and she loved them.
 by the time i left for college, our relationship had taken a whole other turn. the arguments and disagreements that we had in my adolescent years had diminished and it was starting to become a real adult relationship between the two of us.

she was so excited when i got engaged. she loved kevin. she was also constantly asking him if he was sure he knew what he was getting into with me. she knew i could be hard headed at times :)

so here we were, planning a wedding in the midst of  chemo treatments and taking trips to m.d. anderson in houston.

not once did she miss a chance to help me make a decision about the biggest day of my life. she was in every detail of the whole event.

we finally made it to our wedding day. she donned a navy dress and a blond wig. she was gorgeous.

our first year of marriage she did what any mom would do. she gave me advice on washing clothes, cooking and just becoming adjusted to this new life i had.

then she got sick. really sick. her cancer had gotten worse. it was superbowl night, january 25, 1998. we had both our families over that night to eat and watch the game. while everyone was in the kitchen making sub sandwiches and my mom sat in her wheelchair because she was too weak to walk, we told them we were expecting our first child.

just two short months after she found out i was pregnant with her first grandchild, my mom lost her battle with cancer. it was march 23, 1998.

this was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. there was a lot of things going on in my personal life at the same time my mom was dealing with her illness that i won't share. but there was also one person there giving me advice through it all. not too much and not too little. kevin's mom shared with me some of her own story. she opened up to me which in turn opened a door for us to start this new beginning that God was creating for the both of us.

 if i had to sum it all up, this mom is a woman of faith.. she puts God first and foremost in her life. she puts her husband (kevin's dad) a very close second. and she has taught me to do the same. her first piece of advice for me, almost immediately after giving birth was,  "remember you were a wife before you were a mother".

she believes in the power of prayer. i went into labor with our first son, ethan, while kevin's parents were at our house. i was twenty-nine weeks pregnant.  something happened. i was in our guest bathroom and blood filled our toilet sorry about the details. i was screaming for kevin to come quickly but i think his mom made it to me first. i just remember her wrapping her arms around my neck and praying out loud for God to watch over ethan and me.

she and i have a lot in common. she often asks if i'm sure i'm not really hers. we love to decorate. when she's adds something new to her home, she can't wait for me to see it. and i'm the same way with her.

she has been a role model for me in what i want my marriage to look like. she's shown me in many ways how to put God first in my marriage and let everything else fall into place.

in any one conversation we have, we can talk about decorating, raising kids, and something we're learning in God's no particular order.

i had a wonderful mom growing up. God blessed me with being able to spend the first 22 years of my life with her and for that, i will be forever grateful.

but what i'm also grateful for is how He created this relationship for kevin's mom and me to have to carry me into these adult years of my life.

happy mother's day mama!! i couldn't have asked for a better mom to share the younger years of my life with. i love you and miss you each and every day!

happy mother's day pat! you have taught me so much. i love you and thank God that he put you in my life to guide me, teach me, and to be the mom He knew i would still need as i continue to grow as a  woman.

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