I have been waiting until Mother’s Day to post about my mother, Charlotte. First, a little background info. She is the oldest of her siblings. She has three sisters: Donna, Jeanne and Brenda; and one brother, Charlie, a.k.a Buster. She is a hard worker and has been her whole life. Being the oldest, a lot of things fall onto your plate to be responsible for. It seems she is always looking out for someone else and helping them along.
My mother has been a teacher for over 35+ years. She has retired from teaching once, and only has about a year and a half before she can retire again. Mom is a true advocate for children, and teaches for all the right reasons. I mean, let’s face it, being a teacher isn’t exactly a high-paying job, folks. I have immense respect for teachers because they have one of the hardest jobs in the entire world.
I wrote a small speech a couple of years ago when I was asked to speak at our church’s Mother-Daughter banquet. I would like to share it on this blog, because this came from my heart.
When Diana asked me to speak about my mother, one of my first thoughts was…”I don’t know…what would I say”. But, I think that may have been just a bit of the public speaking jitters, because in reality, there are so many things that I would like to share with you about my mom, Charlotte.
The 5th Commandment directs us to “Honor thy father and mother”. Tonight, it is easy for me to honor my mother, because, she is wonderful, she is loving, she is smart, she is thoughtful, she is generous, and she is dedicated in every aspect of her life. Be it as teacher for the children of X County, a loving wife to my dad, a wonderful grandparent to her 7 grandchildren, or a loving mother to myself and my husband, as well as my two brothers, and their spouses.
My mom has made a great impact in all aspects of my life…throughout my childhood, into adolescence, and my journey into adulthood and parenthood. I tell my parents quite often….I had a wonderful childhood!
It is no doubt due in part to the many sacrifices my mother made throughout her life, not only for me, but for all 3 of her children, and her family. My mother’s influence is what has helped shape me to become the person that I am today.
Mom is the oldest of 5 children; she has 3 sisters and one brother. She has worked hard for everything she has ever received in her life, and nothing was ever handed to her.
My grandmother, Memmaw, was a dedicated wife and mother as well s a strong willed woman. I know that is where my mom gets it from. Because of her will, hard work and commitment to her family, she has shown me how to work hard at every thing I do, including my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Another example I want to share is about the love that my mother has and shares.
My Father was married to a lady by the name of Debbie before he was married to my mother, and they had a son named Chris. Debbie passed away from a brain tumor when Chris was only 2 years old.
When my mother married my father, she not only became a wife, but she lovingly and unconditionally took Chris as her own son, and she instantly became a mother. And although it took some time of healing, she would also eventually become a daughter in law to Debbie’s parents! Even though it might have been hard for my mother, she knew what the right thing to do was and she unselfishly helped other people heal their wounds. Honestly, Mom has never once made any distinction between Chris, myself, nor my brother Joey. She made us all feel special; we were all equal in her eyes! We are all her children! I am so glad and will forever be grateful that my mother had the strength to do what she knew to be right, and follow her heart. Through her wisdom and love and forward thinking, I not only gained a brother, but also another set of loving grandparents.
Mom has always put other peoples’ needs in front her own. I am so proud to say my parents carried on a relationship with Debbie’s parents, my grandparents, Jean and Everett, up until the day they passed away. That showed me what a big heart my mother has not for just her children, but for others who are hurting and need love.
Another thing I can say about my mother is….she NEVER complains about what she has had to do in her life. NEVER! So many sacrifices she made, and still makes. When I was little, my father went back to school to finish his college degree, and also worked second shift at a local underground cable company at the same time, so he wasn’t home a lot, at least not when we were awake!
Mother was perfect…single-handedly, she got her three young kids dressed in the morning, made breakfast and not the pop tarts or cereal breakfast…actual Bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy breakfast…J …drove us to and from school, helped with all the homework, graded her students homework, did all the housework, cooked supper, drove supper back up to town from Western Anderson so Daddy could eat and we could have 30 minutes of family time with him, drove back home, bathed all of us, and put us all to bed. She did this for a couple of years, and never complained about it. It was because she loved my father so much that she did all of that for not only my brothers and I, but for Daddy, too. When I go through a rough spot, I always think of Mother. I think to myself if Mama can do it, so can I. I believe she’s done it better than me, but at least I have quite the example to work towards.
During my adolescent years, my mother supported me in my love and passion for the arts by driving me back and forth to dance classes inLexingtontwice a week. She was what they call “the backstage mom”…always there waiting and watching on the wings of the stage for me to run off so she could help me change my dance costumes in 30 seconds or less.
In dance you use your body, and if my mother wasn’t there I think it would have felt like I had lost a limb. I wouldn’t be able to keep my balance…I couldn’t have done any of the things I accomplished in dance without her. I would not have reached full potential without her there. Mother could never afford to take dance classes when she was little, so I guessed I always tried to dance for the both of us. We had so many nights together just driving and talking in the car to and from dance…I’ll will always cherish those times! And now I am trying to do the same for my daughter.
In adulthood, my mother has taught me what it is like to truly love your spouse. My mother has always been committed to my father. I think she has been a true example of a loving wife. I look at her example, and I see how important that is to a child. My parents displayed their love for each other and we as kids saw what true love is. I hope my children see through Travis and myself, what true love is like, and accept nothing but true love when they get older. My parents have been a team throughout my whole life…my father supported my mother, and my mother supported my father. It was us kids against our parents, and the parents always won.
Another thing my mother always told me…”when you marry someone, you marry their family as well”. I do believe this. Because I love my husband, I love his family, too. I love his mother, Susan, and I have learned many things from her. She has taught me to stand up for what I believe, to always believe in yourself, and to not be afraid to follow your dreams. I think that is so important. Susan has always been one of my biggest fans…always supporting me. Like mother, she is a wonderful grandmother, too.
I think many times people look towards their father to be the leader, the strong one, the provider. I am not saying my father did not do any of those things, because he did and he did it well, but I often wonder if he could have done it as easily without mother, and honestly, I don’t think he could have. What’s that saying…behind every good man, there is an even better woman? J
In closing, I want to share with you the things that matter most to me in my life are…1) to be a good and willful servant of the Lord, and to listen and trust the Lord in all aspects of my life; 2) to be a loving and faithful wife to my husband, to be all he needs, and to grow old with him; 3) to be a loving mother who impacts her children the way my mother has. I want my kids to know I am always here for them no matter what…throughout all of life’s worries, disappointments, hopes, and dreams…I want to be a part of it all. Just as my mother was!
So, to all of the mothers here tonite, I think I speak for everyone in saying that I admire you all for accepting the privilege of motherhood and I want to thank you! As we all know that it is not an easy task, but hopefully it is a task we accept without complaint and one that we will do to honor our Lord Jesus Christ.