Sunday, May 13, 2018

On Mother's Day: Mom

Five years ago my sister posted this photo on Facebook for Mother's Day. I think this was taken when we were stationed in Upper Michigan, K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, near Marquette. I believe it was while we were living at the address 250 Salmon Court. Being in an Air Force family means your memory timeline is based on where you lived.

It's a great photo, right? Mom with all 4 of us kids all bundled up for snowy weather. My brother Dan with an old classic camera around his neck, and those black frame glasses he wore.

I've seen this picture many times over the years. Today I was struck by my Mom. Look how earnestly  she's holding my sister Jan to make sure the camera would capture Jan's face. I think she was so concerned about that she forgot to smile herself. Her look is serious, making sure everything is right for the photo. She's probably also worrying about whether my dad is taking the picture correctly.

I don't think I romanticize my mom. She wasn't perfect. Of course not, none of us are. Mom used to drive me crazy so often, with too much unsought advice, with remarks guaranteed to rub the wrong way, with backseat driving. As a kid, I always knew she loved me and all our family, and as an adult I knew it even more. When I was planning for a visit I would vow that I would not let anything she said bug me, because I knew it was all out of love. Yet, within 10 minutes of her arrival I'd feel that familiar stress of annoyance.

Still my memories are full of wonderful things. When Mom stayed with us and I was working, she would have a pot of tea waiting for me when I got home from work. Do you know what heaven that was? Can you imagine? She knew I loved tea and she'd have the house all clean and calm, a pretty teacup out for me on the table.

When she stayed with us for each new baby, she would clean the house, make meals enough so there'd be a freezer-full when she left, bake her famous banana bread, and do everything she could to help. She told me, "I'm here to take care of other things so you can take care of the baby."

I just sat here for 15 minutes, memories flooding my mind. My previous blog today was about Paracletes - people who answer the cries of those in need of care. My mom did that, and I am grateful to God for her.

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