Saturday, May 10, 2014

Grandest Grandmommy: Happy Mother's Day

Abe: My mom was always the coolest mom at all the school events. She was involved, and all of my friends loved her. She is also very generous and has a happy, friendly disposition. She has carried on the tradition of her father by taking people into her home when they need it. Just recently I had some friends who needed a place to stay while they were in Orlando, and they stayed with my parents while they were visiting. It would have been enough for them to offer a place to stay, but mom (and dad) went the extra mile to make them feel comfortable and welcome.  This has been a regular occurrence since I can remember, and especially since they moved to Florida!

I always remember my mom being involved at the school and in the community. To this day, she holds a leadership position in the HOA and works as a crossing guard at the junior high. All this, while being the Stake Relief Society President. Most of these are things which I have observed her doing for others, which has had an effect on my own life. She has also dedicated countless hours to helping me and my family. She has always been encouraging and supportive. Her work is never done. Thanks for living a life of service, Mom!! I love you!

Jackson:  "Grandmommy gives us wonderful stuff like our basketball hoop, and she makes sure we're ok.  She's very active, and she takes us to wonderful places like the movies.  She takes the time to buy us gifts.  She's very sweet.  She teaches us about places and animals in Florida, and she's willing to sacrifice anything.  She looks younger than she is, and she does missionary work.  She does nice stuff for people even if she's tired.  She's very beautiful.  I love Grandmommy sooooo much!!"

Tyson:  "Grandmommy is very kind.  She lets us watch movies.  She takes good care of us when we visit her.  She does a good job securing the neighborhood and at the school where she's the crossing guard.  She makes yummy pie.  I like it when she takes us to the park.  I like it when she helps me with my school work when I come there.  I love her soooo much!!"

Jordan:  "Grandmommy is always preparing for when we come, and she's always fun with us.  She takes us to the park a lot.  She helps us when we're trying to do something and it isn't working.  I like when she always gives us stuff like shoes.  I like when we visit her because she's very nice.  When we go to this swimming pool, she always tells us about the ducks swimming in the pool when the pool is closed off.  She always tells us about alligators.  I love Grandmommy!!!"

Mariah:  "Grandmommy lets us watch movies.  I like it when she laughs because it's a beautiful laugh.  I love her because she hugs us, and because she's beautiful.  I like her because she takes good care of us, and she never stops watching us.  She's nice to us.  I love you sooooooooo much Grandmommy!"

Juliana:  "Grandmommy is with Grandaddy.  She loves Jesus.  Grandmommy takes me to the park.  I like her painted fingernails.  I love Grandmommy!!"

Jayden:  Jayden loves to hang with Grandmommy!!  They became fast buddies when she started slipping him treats.  He loves her big hugs. 

My Turn: My mom/mother-in-law is very, very special to my heart.  Something that shines forth in my mind is the support that she endlessly gives to our family.  Anytime we are in need, she is ready to help without any questions asked.  Actually, her heart and mind are open to see all those who are in need who are not even part of our family.  She watches people, feels their need, and then sacrifices her time and money to make them feel more comfortable.  Our family lived with my in-laws for 5 months… we left behind broken furniture and dirty walls from little handprints.  She never once grumbled about us disrupting their calm lifestyle.

I believe she has been at every single birthday of every member of our family this past year… even before we lived with them for a season!!  They make special efforts to attend baptisms, priesthood ordinations, and our children's musical, theatrical, and sporting events.

Most daughter-in-laws wonder what type of mother-in-law they will have.  When I first met her, I felt immediate acceptance.  She wrapped her arm around me and laughed her beautiful, hearty laugh to let me know I was a part of the family.  As we prepared for our wedding, she took me around to florists and cake decorators.  I had no clue about how to prepare for  a wedding!  I was just winging it, but I remember being in awe that she had arranged so many meetings with all the right people to make our wedding special.  She never told me what to do… she just provided the options and the means and let me decide how to make our wedding extra special… much more than it would have been on my own.

Funny Story:  One day we were sitting around a table with a Hispanic family.  A man was telling a story in Spanish.  It was a VERY funny story.  We all started laughing… my mother-in-law started to laugh too!!  In fact, she laughed harder than any of us!!  I remember my father-in-law and I turned to look at her.  Knowing she didn't speak Spanish, we asked her, "Did you understand what he was saying?"  Still laughing she said, "No!!!  …but I could tell it was really funny!!"   I ALWAYS loved that story because when I was learning Spanish I used to feel sad that I couldn't understand the funny stories being told.  She didn't feel sad… she let the Spirit fill her soul with joy, and she laughed her hearty laugh anyway.

Funny/Loving Story:  Last fall I often fought feelings of hopelessness because of our seemingly helpless financial situation.  I told Abe I was leaving for a while to go on a drive.  I wasn't running away.  It was late at night, but I just needed some time alone to think and get my mind straight.  Well… after about an hour and a half of my quiet time in my van crying and praying, a hand slapped hard against my windshield.  I looked over and my mother-in-law was standing outside my van!!!  She was laughing hysterically.  Confused as to why she was laughing so hard and how she ended up outside my window, I'm sure I looked at her with a strange expression on my face.  She climbed into my van and said, "I'm sorry for laughing, but I just knew I'd find you here!!  It was the first place I looked!"  I couldn't believe she had gone looking for me!  (I was in the Walmart parking lot… lol!  Where else would I go, right?)  She was worried about my safety being out too late at night and wanted to tell me how much she loved me.  I had been worried that they would judge me for taking a moment alone; but on the contrary, she wanted to give me more love and show understanding.  

After my in-laws' mission to Sri Lanka, they went to find a house in Florida.  They had only been there for 2 weeks when the Bishop called her to be the Relief Society President over the ward!!  They didn't even buy a house yet!!  He could immediately see that she was a woman of great testimony, love, and service.

Yep!!  She's a pretty special lady!!  Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!

My in-laws came all the way from Florida to Michigan to watch the kids in their theatrical performances.

My in-laws attend as many of our children's sporting events as they can.

My mother-in-law is always ready for a party!!!  She is a GREAT dancer!! :-)  This is at the "Blue Man Group" show with them last year. What a party! :-)

She's our Crossing guard champion!!  She has a separate uniform she wears to patrol the neighborhood in a security car. :-)

She's always ready to visit the sick and needy.  Even when we lived with her we were not aware of all the visits and donations she made to those who were in need until much, much later.

They make every birthday and every occasion so special!!  We all love her dearly.