Sunday, February 19, 2006

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!

February is a busy month of celebrations for us -- of course, with the large family we have, every month is rather busy celebrating one thing or another. But of particular importance is the celebration of my wife's mother's 90th birthday. Both Susan and I wanted to express our love and appreciation for all she has done for us:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being the perfect mother-in-law. I remember the first time we met at the impromptu 20th birthday party that Linda and Susan put on for me. I knew you were a winner that night when you went to bed and left this 20 year old stallion alone with your 15 year old daughter!

Among the many things about you that keep me in awe and admiration is your acute ability to rise above difficult circumstances and overcome them. If anyone has come from an adverse and difficult childhood—you have. Your mom was a challenge to say the least, you really had no father; your family was poor economically; you had no spiritual or social guidance and no encouragement—yet you did not only survive, you excelled.

Like good King Josiah, who followed in the blasphemous footsteps of an evil father and grandfather, and still managed to be one of Judah’s most successful kings, so you have trod through a similarly muddy past, and yet have become the very model of a successful mother and mother-in-law. As King Lemuel wrote about his mom:

“Strength and dignity are her clothing
And she smiles at the future
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness
Her children rise up and bless her…
Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all….
Let her works praise her in the gates.”

Mom, not only will the thousands of people whom you have blessed, greet you with honor and thanks in eternity for all of your kind and gracious works—but the greatest legacy you will leave in your long and protective shadow, will be your two beautiful daughters, your four strong and successful grandchildren and your ten promising great-grandchildren. For these gifts, who stand tall above your cheering fans, I am most grateful! I love you Mom.

Barry


To the Best Mom in the World,

I can’t believe you’re ninety years old. You’re the youngest, brightest ninety year old I’ve ever seen. I know it is because of your complete faith and trust in the Lord. You let Him worry about things instead of carrying those burdens yourself. It is no wonder that your whole family turns to you when we are in need. We all know that Mom/Gram will pray and get through!! I’m so thankful for all your prayers for your children while we were growing up. Thank you for praying for my future husband, you did well. Both of your daughters did well. It is hard to believe that you had only two daughters and now your family has turned into 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. What a heritage you have.

Thank you for all the love you gave me. I’ll never forget the camping trip that you, Dad and I went on after dropping Nancy off at Bob’s parent’s home. What a hoot that was. Just you and I trying to put up that tent in the dark only to have it fall on top of us, and you and I collapse laughing while Dad fuming in the car. No wonder I’m a hotel person and not a camper to this day.

Thank you also for being the best grandma to our children. You are loved so much by them. Barry and I were threatened many times that they were leaving home and going to live with Gram. You truly are the perfect Gram to our children and now our grandchildren. Wow!

Mom, I want to tell you just how much I love you and appreciate everything you’ve sacrificed for me over the years. I know you worked to make sure Nan and I had “things” we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford, thank you for all the music lessons, taking us to Sunday School, cadets, VBS, youth, camps, etc. You not only took us, but taught to be with us. You’ve been such a perfect example of giving of yourself to your family, church and friends. Everywhere I go, people tell me how blessed I am to have you for my Mom. I know that and tell them I agree.

I’m finding “ninety” such an emotional time for me. I know life doesn’t go on forever, and I can’t imagine life without my Mom. I look forward to hearing your cheery voice on the other end of the phone, and love knowing you’ll understand me and have an encouraging word for me, and what would I have done without you throughout the Breast Cancer and Depression years. Your prayers got me through. When you told me I’d be all right, I knew in my heart if my Mom said I’d be all right, then I would be because my Mom hears from the Lord.

I thank you and love you from the bottom of my heart for being such a loving, giving and encouraging Mom throughout my whole life.

All my love,

Susan xoxoxox

1 comment:

mel said...

Nancy is such a precious soul. I couldn't believe she remembered my name after our first meeting last year at church. I love her hugs and kisses and beautiful smile!
I too am blessed to have an encounter with such a generous woman of God! Amen!