|My Mom (Anna) and her sister Gail|
My Mom's birthday was almost a month ago on August the 16th. She was born in a little mining town in KY where she lived until she was almost 19. Sometimes now, when she is really excited about something, or is talking to her Sister in KY, I can hear that twang sneaking back in and it makes me smile. I always loved to listen to my KY relatives speak.
It is hard to know what to write about the person who was there for me from the time I needed her to do everything for me, until now. She remembers things I did that I don't remember myself! Through it all she has loved me by listening, teaching, helping, and serving.
When I was eight we moved from Nevada to Kentucky. I still remember crying my first night there. My mother must have been exhausted from moving and getting us all settled, but she took the time to listen to me when I told her I was sad, and a little nervous too. The time she took with me that night was important enough that I have remembered it for decades now. I think it means even more to me now that I have been a Mom myself and I know how hard it can be to listen when you are tired!
My Mom taught me a lot of things. From almost my earliest memories I had chores. I can't imagine that it was really helpful to my Mom for me to do these chores when I was little. I'm sure it would have been faster for her to do it herself! Yet, she knew that I would need to do things for myself one day and that I needed to know how. I learned to clean, and bake, and cook, and even sew (a little). I learned to bottle fruit, do laundry, and give talks and family home evening lessons. My Mom read to me, and bought me books so that I could read too. She loves music and she sang to us, and with us. She sacrificed some of the family funds so that I could learn to play the piano, and when we really could barely afford it, she bought me a flute so that I could learn to play that too. I knew that I was a child of God, and that he loved me and wanted me to choose the right because of the songs we sang. What an amazing gift my Mother gave me through music!
My Mom has the mistaken notion that she isn't very smart. Though we aren't inclined to argue much in our family, I have occasionally argued with her over this. What is more smart than to know how to find answers when you need them? Life has sometimes been hard for my Mom. Dad worked a LOT of hours for a while and she had five of us to take care of, teach, and listen to. Then we started moving. We moved from Nevada, to Kentucky, to Missouri, to Colorado before I was eighteen, and she and Dad, and Brian and Jenny moved more often after that. Friends were made and left behind. Jobs were found and left behind. And she had some health challenges to deal with along the way as well as the normal challenges of being a parent. My Mom is really very incredible. When challenges came she would turn to scriptures, and books, and ask people, and most importantly, she would pray. She learned to listen very well to the help that Heavenly Father would send through the whispers of the Holy Ghost and she did what He said. My Mom is smart.
I could probably write whole chapters about my Mom's many good qualities, but I will finish by talking about her compassionate nature and the service she gives. I remember her taking care of me the many times I had tonsillitus when I was younger. I would get so sick, and she would always offer to make whatever I wanted to eat when I got better. Then, when I was pregnant with Trisa, she came to Provo from wherever they were living at the time and took care of me. Since then she has cooked many meals for me and my family, and done lots of laundry, and watched grandkids, and written letters, and done dishes, and cleaned floors, and helped us move, and any number of other things. I'm sure she has helped my siblings in many of the same ways. My Mom is an extremely hard worker. I have also watched over the years as she has made meals for others, or called them, or visited them. She is good at loving people the way they are and, at the same time, inspiring them to want to be better.
I love my Mom. Her heart is a loving one, which helps to make her incredibly beautiful.