Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my Mom's birthday. I love her to pieces and could go on for hours, but in an effort to keep myself from rambling on and on, I am limiting myself to 66 reasons why I love her so much--1 for each year she's been on the earth. This is nowhere close to an exhaustive list, but you will get the idea. :-D

I love my Mom because. . . .

1. I wouldn't be here without her! :-D
2. She gave me 3 sisters that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
3. She is one of the most giving people I know.
4. She has lived in her current house for almost 25 years and just replaced some of the flooring for the first time a couple years ago. She doesn't need the newest, best accommodations to be happy. This is because her treasure is not wrapped up in the house itself, but in the experiences she helps to create in it.
5. I can't remember a single moment in my life when I didn't know for sure that she believed in me. I don't remember specifically all the ways she showed me, but she made sure I always knew.
6. She loves Jared like her very own.
7. And she is just as proud of him as she is of me.
8. She and my sister Jody planned a surprise trip to Nashville several years ago just because they "could tell I was down last time we talked on the phone." It ended up being exactly what I needed.
9. She makes up occasions to send surprises to Macy and Grace. ;-)
10. She flew to Nashville the weekend before each of my girls started kindergarten to host the perfect "Big Girl Weekend" just before each of them started school. This included a nice hotel, room service, shopping, and all sorts of fun activities like bowling and movies.
11. She is a scrapbook-a-holic.
12. It is not unusual for a dozen extra people to drop by her house during mealtime, and when they do, somehow she can throw together a full meal for the whole group within 15 minutes.
13. When my kids list their favorite places in the whole wide world to be, they always say "Grandmom's house" first. (even before Disneyworld!)
14. She is FUN to spend time with. We always laugh A LOT when we're together.
15. My friends in Vermont want to adopt her. :-D
16. And pretty much all of my childhood friends wanted her to adopt them.
17. She hauled entire volleyball, basketball and cheerleading teams around for years and years and years while my sisters and I were growing up. She never missed a single game.
18. She collected every single article and movie review Jared wrote while he was in college.
19. She loved her Mom and Dad with everything in her and took good care of them until they went home to be with Jesus.
20. She knows no limits when it comes to making her grandkids happy.
21. She let us keep every stray puppy and kitty we could find when we were growing up. And then they would have puppies and kittens and she would tell us we needed to get rid of all but 1, but she never actually made us follow through. Sometimes we had 10 or 12 pets at a time. :-D
22. She can get ANY baby to stop crying pretty much immediately.
23. She rides my Dad's motorcycle with him, which I think is a special kind of awesome.
24. She keeps her swimming pool looking like a resort, and she is never more happy than when it is full.
25. She has moved several friends into her home over the years to help care for them during difficult times--sometimes even literally having to help bathe and clothe them after surgeries, etc.
26. She has a gumbo pot that I could use as a hot tub, and she fills it to the top on several occasions.
27. Every Christmas when I was in elementary school, she used to have singalongs at our house for each of mine and my sisters' classes at school. It was always the favorite field trip of the year.
28. She has more energy than most people half her age.
29. She knows almost every single person that works in her local Wal-Mart. And not just their names. She knows ABOUT them.
30. She has the biggest collection of magnets I've ever seen, and she would still rather get a $3 magnet for Christmas than an expensive gift.
31. She thinks I am smarter and prettier and more talented than I actually am.
32. She's addicted to online canasta
33. She makes the best shrimp po-boys I've ever tasted
34. She has 11 grandchildren and she treats every single one of them like they're the only one
35. She somehow can survive on almost no sleep at all--especially when her house is full of company
36. She is the best hostess ever
37. She has always treated my friends like royalty, whether she's just met them or known them all their lives
38. Her house is somehow always clean, even when it has been full of her wild and crazy grandkids for days at a time. I don't know how this is possible.
39. I have literally NEVER heard her complain about being sick or in pain. This is not because she has never BEEN sick or in pain. It is just because it doesn't occur to her to complain about it.
40. She hurts deeply when someone she loves hurts.
41. She would so much rather spend her money on someone else's happiness than her own "stuff."
42. She has only owned about 5 vehicles in her entire lifetime, and that is just fine with her. New cars are not a priority.
43. The more people I meet, the more I realize my childhood was far from typical (in the most amazing way possible.)
44. She is proud of my Dad and has served him well for over 44 years.
45. She wouldn't know how to be selfish even if she wanted to.
46. She talks to me about things she struggles with and asks for prayer when she knows she needs it.
47. I find myself hoping that my kids will feel the same way about me as I do about her.
48. There is no such thing as "just an ordinary day" at Grandmom's. EVERY day is an adventure!
49. She would much rather be eating a sandwich and playing games with her family than being wined and dined at some fancy restaurant
50. She used to let my sister "shop" from her pantry, then just grin and roll her eyes and replace whatever she took. :-D
51. When she says, "Call me if you need anything," she means it with all of her heart. (And if you don't call her, she will probably find a way to help anyway.)
52. She has no idea how special she is.
53. I'm absolutely positive no one has ever left her house hungry.
54. And I'm pretty sure no one has ever left sad. Unless they were already sad when they arrived, in which case I'm sure they were less sad when they left than they were when they arrived.
55. She is one of my very best friends in all the world, and I would choose her as a friend even if she wasn't my Mom.
56. She listens to Macy and Grace and is never too busy to hear their latest stories and ideas.
57. She can't bear the thought of a child feeling lonely or sad
58. She honestly believes that her grandchildren are the most amazing kids on the planet. Period.
59. She takes GREAT DELIGHT in making someone's day--whether it's by doing something simple like bringing them lunch unexpectedly or by doing something that changes their whole life like paying off a strangling debt
60. I never remember not feeling completely safe and secure as a child. I know that doesn't happen by accident.
61. She sends us happy care packages all the time with some of our favorite "southern staples" like Tony Chachere's seasoning
62. She always made sure we had Godly leadership in our lives when my sisters and I were growing up.
63. Our Christmas traditions are important to her (and were pretty much exactly the same for 30+ years), but since my family moved to Vermont, we've done something completely different every year, and she is happily rolling with it. I know that's hard for her, but you wouldn't be able to tell by the way she acts.
64. I walked through a horribly difficult situation with some very dear friends at the end of last year, during which Mom checked in often to ask me what she could do to help from across the miles. And help she did, no questions asked. She loves anyone who loves me, even if she barely knows them.
65. She taught me everything I know about loving people joyfully.
66. I can't think of anyone in the whole wide world I would rather call Mom.

Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you with my WHOLE heart!

1 comment:

Kris Frenchak said...

We all love your mom, her compassion and never ending desire to serve others. Happy Birthday. What an awesome tribute to your mom.