On Saturday my sisters, brothers and I had a party for my Mom’s 60th birthday. Usually her birthday falls during one of our drama camps, so we rarely do anything but sing to her and press forward to the next drama task. This year though, her birthday fell on a Saturday after a camp, so we made up for it.
Around seventy people from different walks of her life came to help us celebrate. We asked a few of them to share their thoughts about Mom. In the interest of time, I choose not to share on Saturday, so here is my tribute to Mom.
Mom, you are the strongest woman I know. I know women, such as my self, that are more power hunger than you are, and make more of a show of their strength than you, but your strength is in your sacrificial nature. On Saturday Anna mentioned you giving up your dreams to allow us to pursue ours. The truth of that statement struck me. With all the passionate dreams I posses, I can imagine how hard it must have been to lay aside your goals to support ours, and I can only pray that God will give me such a strength to do the same for my children one day.
Your lack of possessiveness is another kind of strength that amazes me. You’ve never once been jealous of the other women that I have developed relationships with, even going so far as praising the Lord that He provided me with two other ‘adopted mothers’. Your humility in allowing us to be mentored by other adults shows a heart that recognizes you aren’t you children’s savior. I am a very possessive friend, and I know that tendency will follow me into parenthood. I am thankful that I have your example of humility to encourage me to lay down my need to be affirmed in my ability to perfectly satisfy all my children’s needs.
Your strength of childlike wonder was an irritation growing up, but I am beginning to realize how it is one of your great strengths. We talked about this on Saturday, how your simple soul allows you to be excited repeatedly over the same things – such as your $35 dollar kitchen table. I told you then, and I maintain now, that I’ve come to realize that I was irritated by such wonder because of a cynical and fearful spirit.
You are able to see God’s hand in small things, like thrift store finds, and you get excited about it. I tend to doubt God’s goodness in everything.
You are able to ‘let go’ in public and do things that are ’embarrassing’ to your children because you aren’t as concerned as I am if people think you are a little foolish. As much as you sometimes irritated me, I was always jealous of your freedom. I remember when Eve Kulberg gave an arts and therapy workshop last year, we spent some time playing with musical instruments. At one point you played the drums and got really into it. I wanted you to stop because I was afraid people would think you were silly and by extension – me. But I also wanted to be you. I wanted to experience that same freedom to be able to pound on those drums without a care about what people thought.
Simply put, you model what faith like a child looks like. As I grow in my own faith, I find that I love your simple spirit more and more, because it shows me one aspect of the freedom and joy offered to me as a daughter of God.
There is so much more I could say – about ballet lessons, and vitamins, and phone calls, but I will close with thanking you for your unconditional love and for sticking with me as we’ve had to work through some of the struggles of our relationship, and for the strengths you model. I love you.