Today I’m joining with other women to honor my mom through the 1000 Moms Project.
The 1000 Moms Project is about 1000 people standing up and thanking their mom publicly (what mom doesn’t want a gift like this for Mother’s Day?) – and the act of honoring your mothers will be matched by funding a Maternity/Child Survival Program in Haiti for a whole year.
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Now to my story and my thanks to mom.
As I’ve shared portions of my memoir writing with you, my focus has been on the difficulties of living with an emotionally and verbally abusive parent, my mom. She’s seen here walking in downtown Nashville carrying me in her arms. You can see by the expression on her face that she’s a determined woman (she’s on the right of the photo).
Late in Mom’s life, I learned a great deal about her childhood. This wasn’t learned from her but through conversations with a friend as we talked about the why of Mom’s treatment of her children. Eventually, I moved Mom to Oregon to care for her in the last 10 months of her life.
During that time, I was able to forgive her and understand why my memories from early childhood to age 57 were what they were.
But what I want to share with you today is that despite those difficulties, every day in Mom’s life reflected her strong, unwavering faith in God. Mom left each of us, my two brothers and me, with no questions in our hearts or minds about her beliefs or her faith walk. Her Bible was always visible, her daily devotions always open to the current date, her participation in her church and volunteerism in her community always active.
One curious thing we learned as adults was the level to which her volunteerism went. When we were notified that Mom had been selected as one of the ten finalists for the Volunteer of the Year Award for the State of Tennessee, we were stunned! The article and notification cited 40 plus years of volunteering. When did she do this? Where did she do this? Why didn’t we know? Rooted in her faith was the essence of humility when giving back and ministering to others. We were taught not to brag about what we did, and so she set that example.
Here’s a more recent photo of Mom with my nephew, Kevin, at the awards luncheon. Although Mom didn’t win top prize, she was honored to have been included and enjoyed this particular day to the ultimate.
Mom died October 3, 2001. At that time, I wasn’t totally aware of the impact of her gifts of goodness. That too will be shared in my memoir but today I come here to just say,
Thanks, Mom, for all you shared about your faith. I’ve been made stronger because of your example.