In Living Tribute

The first word a lot of us ever say is “dada.” And for the rest of us, your first word is “mama.” Little did you know then that they would be the most influential people in your life for at least the next eighteen years. And no matter what they do or don’t do, it still shapes who you are. Most of the time the things they do for you may go unnoticed or just lost in everyday life. So here I am to tell you about one such unsung hero in my life, my mother.

Yes, Mom is still living now but we will get to that a little later. I don’t remember much before I was 5 really but I know she was there taking care of me. I can imagine when I was a baby my two older sisters giving me back to mom when it was time to do the dirty work of diaper change. And a few years later, I am sure it was Mom who patched me up after my crash into the mailbox on my first bicycle ride. It is the little things done day in and day out that we almost never notice that makes someone special in another person’s life.

The things I remember from day to day are many and varied. Mom always ate Product 19 cereal for breakfast with wheat germ and let it soak so it was soggy when she ate it. Yes, I was a bit spoiled. Every day Mom made my made until I went away to boarding school. And so I could get a Christian education, she got a job as a secretary. That also meant driving in rush hour traffic every day both ways. And more than that, she picked up other kids to take to school on the way. After her two hours a day driving and working a full day, Mom would start cooking supper. She would have it on the table by the time my dad got home.  She also did all the cleaning and all the laundry as far as I can remember. Mom kept me safe too. Because Mom worked, I spent summers at home by myself. The day the tornado hit the neighborhood, I wasn’t sure what to do. Mom got off work and came home. Even though God protected our house and me, several other houses in the neighborhood were totally destroyed. And so life went. Day in and day out.  For years and years. Mom was always there, a faithful presence in my life.

Fast forward till now. It is my turn to be the faithful one and take care of Mom like she did for me. Mom is 94 years old. And has Alzheimer’s. I will do my best to care for her as long as I can. You have to laugh at some of the things that happen now. Some of the things she says or things she does. If not laughter, it would probably be tears. I know that the mom I knew is pretty much gone today but I will still strive to be there for her as I know she would have been for me.


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