life lessons taken from the history of my mom
My mother was certainly the center of our family life and of my life. She had energy and enthusiasm and made every event more fun. When she was happy, life was good, when she was upset, life was really bad. Mom was emotional, and all those emotions, for good or bad, were infused in our life.
She made everything fun and exciting. Every holiday, every trip and vacation, every picnic, every event was infused with her enthusiasm and energy. I knew she loved me. She doted on me, and cared for me. She spent her energy and time making my life better. When I had children, she did the same for them. She loved children, hers and others, and loved making baby afghans, giving presents, playing games, making food, serving people of all ages. She worked hard. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to hear her working at 1 in the morning and getting up before 6:30 to begin again. I never remember her getting up after me and she always got dressed and made her bed before she left her bedroom. She lived in a day where things were ironed and she ironed everything. Sheets, pillowcases, underwear, tablecloths, as well as all our clothes, were washed, hung on the line to dry, sprinkled, possibly starched, rolled up and put in a plastic pillow case, and then ironed to perfection. Mother was a perfectionist, and I tried hard never to fold towels for her or hang clothes, because I could never do it right. She did laundry 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. She had me do Wednesday because that was her little load. The process of washing, starching, sprinkling, drying and ironing in those days was a long process. But, she did it and didn’t complain.
Mother talked to everyone and made instant friends. As a teenager, I was embarrassed that she couldn’t get in an elevator without visiting with her fellow travelers. As an adult, I married someone who does the same thing. We often marry someone like our mother.
Mothers spend their life serving and teaching their family. They bring happiness, the spirit, truth, comfort, instruction, training, strength. Motherhood takes time and effort and is the most important thing you could ever do. I was once told ”there is no more noble, more exacting or more rewarding calling upon the earth, than being a mother”. I remember hearing a talk by President Benson. It was a YW meeting and the essence of his remarks was a chastening to the mothers. He asked the mothers if they were preparing their daughters to be happy at home. The most important thing that you can teach your daughters s not to have a career, but to be happy at home. You teach by example, testimony. I was worried about my daughters about being safe and having a career and I felt the spirit say “whoa, you’re getting off here girl.” Not that having a career is bad, but the most important thing is to learn to be happy at home.
I have felt very blessed to have been a stay at home mother. Before we had children I worked outside our home. As we moved to different locations; Orem, Utah, Columbia, South Carolina, McLean, Virginia and Raleigh, NC, all before we had children. When I wasn’t working, Brent said he could feel the difference in having me at home. When I worked, I had loyalty to my job, as well as my home and family; I had less time at home and had another focus. When I have been at home I have been more focused on the family and what was needed there. I have been able to spend time studying the scriptures, reading, pondering, praying, and doing things for my husband, children, home, and service to others. There are many things that can be done to enrich the family life and strengthen the family. Mothering is a very individual career where you use your talents, gifts and interests to bless your family and create the environment of your home. Some mothers sew and some do crafts, some love art, some read and some are musical, some are sports and activity minded and some do quiet acts of service. Teaching and modeling these things and many others enrich family live and children’s understanding of the world. When your focus is on your family, and doing what makes them strong, serving them and also strengthening yourself and your relationship with the Lord that becomes an amazing career. Michael Wilcox taught that mothers through their mothering become sanctified. They teach the gospel and sacrifice for their husbands and children. They work with the Lord in the teaching and training of the next generation of builders of the kingdom. I do not regret having someone else tell me when I need to be doing things. I know there are many good careers where service is given and lives are helped. I know there are women who must work to support their family and I believe the Lord helps them do what needs to be done. But, I am grateful that I was able to be home and I am grateful to Brent for supporting me and our family so that I could do that.
I have to add that my mom was an incredible mother. She enriched our lives and was the center of our home. I think of the countless hours talking with her, laughing with her, watching shows, learning, reading or working on her history were marvelous time where she taught and trained me. She had a bright mind, strong opinions, quick wit, and infectious laugh, firm commitment deep faith and was a delight to be around. She was kind and wonderful to talk too, and had a way of making you feel important. She believed in me and the woman that I can become, even through all of my weaknesses she loved and inspired me. She was my greatest fan and supporter, and my very best friend. I never heard her gossip about anyone or anything. She was loyal and trust worthy. She was an amazing cook, avid reader, talented musician and student of life. She made life better by being around her. She loved beautiful things; music, art, people, scenery. At the end of her life when she was sick, we had the chance to serve and care for her. It was a privilege and honor. Even when she was so sick, people would flood our home to see her, visit with her, enjoy her company and spirit. She was a deep person and didn’t really talk about things, stuff and people. She discussed ideas, learned about you, and made you feel special. She fought to the end and is a beautiful example of enduring until the end, in dignity, beauty and love. We all miss her, but her influence and example live on in the lives of her family and close friends.