Mother's Day Weekend, 2016 - "A story of my48-hour Getaway"
I’m not quite home yet. I mean, I am here, in my town. In my home city. I just had to pull over into a parking lot and take a moment. A breather. A time to build up courage to drive the rest of the way home. You see, I have just spent the last 48 hours in Utah. Park City to be exact. I made a quick escape to be with friends, to spend a day with some dear people that God placed in my life about 4 years ago. I went with the support and love of Greg and my children – each of them vowing to do their part to help fill in for me while I am away. And here I am, back in Idaho Falls, just not quite ready to drive up to my own house, pull in, park, begin to unload the car, hear the excited squeals of my children as they run to greet me, which will quickly turn to screams of contention within minutes as they fight over who will get what out of the car, and why can’t I have those? And Mom…guess what so-and-so did? As they fill my brain with every detail I have missed for the last 48 hours. I know it will happen, part of me can’t wait to hear it. The details of Lane’s first piano recital and how his soccer game went. The details of Maelynn’s date last night, how they each spent their Friday and Saturday nights, and how the AP calculus test was for Landen and Maelynn. None of it is bad, it is all good stuff. It is just so much stuff. I am not complaining at all. I mean, lest any reader should get the idea that I am, rest assured, I know I am blessed. I am beyond blessed, I am in the midst of a life that is overflowing with blessings and goodness. And for that I am honestly happy.
But the last 48 hours have been a good reminder to me of what may be ahead waiting for me in my future…of what I may have to look forward to when my kids are grown and gone. Not that I will ever be in a clean and luxurious home akin to the one I was in, but that I will have more and more moments of quiet, of a time to just be. Just to be. Not to be a driver. Not to be a phone service. Not to be the debit card holder for all needed payments. Not to be a student spending hours on end reading and studying till my eyes literally ache. Not to be the one bending over and picking up the dirty clothes. Not to be the nagging voice that I hear getting after the kids to do their chores, finish their homework, wash their hands, fill out that application, finish that assignment, help their brother, help me - Oh heaven, just help me! Not to be the grocery-buyer, dinner-maker, and dish-washer. But, just to BE. Just to be ME. Just to be the one that can sit, as I was this weekend for hours on end, on an oversized couch, listening to the amazing tales of other’s lives and how the Lord has worked in them. Listening to the triumphs and fears and the joys and failures and utter despairs of others. Just to BE.
I stopped in Bountiful on Wednesday and spent a quick night with my folks. Actually, I had a sleepover of sorts with my mother. Because of circumstances, she and I shared a room, she in one twin bed and I in the other. It was the same room that I used to share with my sisters Jennie and Emily – the other 2 parts of our “Three Little Girls” trio - back in the late 70s to early 80s. We made a lot of memories in that room: monkeys jumping on our beds, literally cracking open our heads; whispers in the night to each other as we imagined what adventures our futures might hold – our futures generally consisting of the next two or three days; a partially cracked open door so that we could hear the voices and laughter of the older siblings and their friends staying up long past our bedtime; the huge square bath tub in the bathroom that we would all three fit into at the same time; and those all-too-frequent nights I spent writhing in a febrile state – my body seizing from the excess heat as mother held a cool washrag to my head, that look of concern and hidden fear in the back of her eyes.
Mother, oh mother, always there in my hour of need. She was there at a moment’s notice when the school would call her to say I had just thrown up. She was there by my side when I had two surgeries within months and was feeling quite sorry for my little self. She was there when I ran away, handing me a bag of cookies to take with me so I wouldn’t get hungry. She was there holding my head in her lap as I was having an asthma attack, reassuring me that it would soon pass while at the very same time I was so tired of fighting for breath that I silently prayed to God to please make me stop breathing at all. She was there when I grew into a spoiled brat, always talking back, with her gentle face-slap full of love to knock a little sense and respect into my stubborn head. She was there when I went to Prom and just had to have a new dress so she sewed one for me from scratch, even though I was daughter number eight and I am certain she was beyond sick of sewing clothes by this point in her life. She was there for me at 2 am when I returned home from a date, scriptures open, waiting to read them with me. She was there to send me off to college with all the advice I should have heeded. She was there, pen in hand, week after week, for 18 straight months while I was on a mission, sending me encouragement and love. She was there for me in Hong Kong, listening to me go on and on about this boy I loved named Greg. She was there for me when I called her across the continents to talk about my testimony and how I feared I was losing it. She was there when I finished my nursing school exam in Arizona, watching my 4th baby for me for days while I was at the hospital, testing. She was there when I called her, sobbing, and only could choke out the words, “Mom, my baby is dead.” She was there when I got visibly upset with my own children, years of patience on her brow, swooping in to save them from me. She was, she IS always there.
And here I was, sleeping in the bed next to her. Listening to her rhythmic breathing as her aging frame succumbed to much-needed slumber. Tiptoeing around the room when I got up in the morning, so as not to wake her. Creeping out silently as possible so that she could sleep on. And it hit me, that only 35 years earlier, she had likely done the exact same thing for me, her quiet footsteps on the exact same floor, hoping not to wake me.
Mother, oh mother – I believe that I have now arrived at that place, that place where all mothers want their own children to be someday – a place of true understanding. I think I understand what you went through, I think I understand what you must have felt so many, many nights. I think I understand the plight of being needed so much by so many at the same time that you feel you might just brake.
But, I fear I do not understand how you remained so calm,
I fear that I may never get there. I fear that my desires, my hopes, my energies, my dreams, and my goals as a mother may never come to fruition.
My children are standing at the edge, perched on the nest, wings spreading out, ready to take flight. And while I am excited for them, I also feel a tinge of sadness, for them to be leaving without the same amount of motherly armor that I had. And I want you to know, that while the luster of my own armor may have waned dull, the metal is still there, solid as ever. And I am going to do my best to send mine off with the strength of my testimony, my love, and with a little piece or two of my own nest, the ones that have stuck to me since I first flew off the edge of the loving nest you created over 57 years ago.
I don’t deserve you, but I love you dearly. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
|Holding her favorite daugher on the beach.|
|With her own precious mother, Marie Sabin.|
|Spending time with her grandchildren in Idaho|
|She was the best air hockey player at the Family Reunion that year!|
|Cameo appearance at the scene of her own wedding|