While I love and respect both my parents, in honor of Mother's day, I thought I'd share some thoughts about my angel mother.
My mom has been the most influential person in my life. I have watched her since I was a little girl and wondered what it was that made her personality so magnetic. EVERYONE who meets my mom is drawn to her. For years, I thought it must have been her genuine and warm smile. But it wasn't until I developed my own testimony and came to know the Savior that I realized that my mom's charm was far deeper than her smile. My mom emanates Christ-like love. Although she is not perfect, she is the closest thing to true charity that I have ever known. She chooses to love all people without reservation. When I was growing up and I would criticize, judge, or gossip about someone, she would gently correct me with these three simple words... "Just love them." Those words have become ingrained in me through her teaching and example. Although I still struggle to "just love them", I have been so deeply influenced and inspired by her, that I will continually seek after this gift.
My mom is an inspiration in so many other ways as well. For those of you who don't know her, let me help you understand the type of woman she is:
This is a woman who has been stunningly beautiful since the day she was born, but doesn't have one ounce of arrogance or conceit in her body. I'm convinced the emotion of jealousy is completely foreign to her, and she is constantly building up and supporting others.
This is a woman who has her priorities straight. She was Miss Washington and Top Ten in the Miss America Pageant, and had multiple offers to sing professionally, but she sacrificed it all to become a wife and a mother.
This is a woman who realized that she could still pursue her professional goals and dreams after raising children. Her career in opera and musical theatre has taken her all over the world. And due to her great intellectual ability and a strong work ethic, she went back to school to earn her Master's Degree and Ph.D. over the age of 50! Since then she has continued singing, and helping others develop their own musical abilities and find joy in expressing their own talents.
This is a woman who is so loyal and supportive, she has been here to welcome each of her grandbabies into the world... even if it meant abandoning other ambitions, and traveling great distances (from Florida to Texas, and Pennsylvania to Ohio) on very short notice!
This is a woman whose grandbabies squeal in delight and shout (Nana! Nana!) when a picture of her comes up on our computer screen.
This is a woman whose contagious laugh (snort, and all!) and optimistic attitude were the greatest sources of light in our home growing up. When mama was happy, we were all happy.
This is a woman who has endured heart-wrenching trials relating to our family but continues to be an example of faith. She has never wavered in her testimony of the gospel, and devotion to its principles.
This is a woman who loves her family. She has a pure and unconditional love for me, my brothers, and my dad. My parents' love is stronger than ever after almost 30 years of marriage. They have a loving relationship that has been a model for my own marriage in many ways. Their love and devotion to one another is a beautiful thing to behold.
Ok... I could go on and on. And if it sounds like I'm bragging... I am. ;) I couldn't be more proud of my mother or more grateful that I was fortunate enough to be her daughter. The scripture in Proverbs is surely coming to pass; that her children, (and grandchildren) "will arise up, and call her blessed". She is leaving a Christ-like legacy for my family and for generations to come, and for that I am eternally grateful. Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!