This has been a tough one since losing my mother 6 years ago. I can still smell the beautiful long-stemmed red roses my dad would send my mom and see the sheepish smile on her face as each of us discovered them in all their glory.
While browsing Mother's Day cards for important women in my life, without fail, I end up with something in my eye. By the time I've read cards for every imaginable form a mother can be portrayed, it's all I can do to make it out of the store without an audible sob.
That said, I am gratefully blessed to have women in my life who have filled the empty places that still need a mother's nurturing and/or another woman's attention: Twila, Phyllis, Carol, Virginia, Velma, Jackie and...
JOYCE, my mother-in-law, a gracious woman who has never been one of those meddling in-law joke-types people so often laugh about. When we visit, which doesn't happen as often as we'd like as she lives more than 5 hours north of here, we just about shop till we drop. We are thrift-shoppin' buddies and do a good job at attempting to make up for lost time. We fill her van with all of our finds, stuff our faces at the local Chinese buffet then head home and melt. For all intent and purposes, I am her daughter.
MARTHA, my precious sister, best friend, teacher, mentor, confidant and prayer warrior. She is a major source of emotional strength and one of my biggest cheerleaders. I need not explain things to death for her to understand. Her wisdom comes, I'm sure, from her close relationship with the Lord. She is a living example of grace under fire, health-wise. Three kidney transplants and all that goes with it (including the meds that are meant to help), well, all I can say is that something hurts every day. Her faith and belief that God will heal keep her keepin' on, and I constantly stand amazed.
LAURI, my bestest friend in the whole-wide world! Although we live in different states and are lucky to see one another every few years, we talk almost daily. It is quite wonderful to have a friend of over 40 years, very uncommon for Army brats as military families tend to move around a lot. Her mother is the closest thing to an aunt I had growing up, something Martha and I have always treasured. I admire how much Lauri's three sons love and care for her, what a great relationship they all enjoy. The fact that we both have twins still blows me away...but I had mine first!
DAWN and VALERIE, my duplicate daughters, my fountain of youth! They keep me interested in life, always pushing me to learn new crafts, make new friends, and even got me off my butt and back to work part-time. They actually like to spend time with me, imagine that. Their love for me is constant and without it, well, let's not go there. I only dreamed I could be such good friends with my own adult daughters, it's almost, I say almost, more than my heart can hold.
Happy Mother's Day Everyone!