to Mom

To Mom, who let us play in water, mud, dirt, grass, piles of construction rubble and sand filled with cat poop. Who let us explore and learn, dirt and all… even if the dirt followed us into the house. I am sure it was hard enouh to keep us clean without us rolling in the mud. That’s some serious Mom Love.

To Mom, who packed us all up and moved to Canada for six months so Dad could do research. Looking back, Canada holds some of my fondest memories, but, I am also starting to realize just how much courage and patience Mom had to have. Three kids under five, one of them only a few months old? To a place where she didn’t know anyone else, and had to put up with black fly infestations and buy milk in plastic bags?! That’s some serious Mom Love.


To Mom, who ever so patiently let me bring the outdoors in. Who let me festoon the rafters, literally, with all kinds of nature. Who let me repaint things on the porch, dig up old vessels from the woods, fill them with leaves and acorns and branches, and “decorate” with them. These photos may not be too shabby, but, I promise you… my décor was no Better-Homes-And-Gardens. She let me do it anyways. That’s some serious Mom Love.

Lynchburg-based National Guard infantry battalion conducts departure ceremony

To Mom, who loves her son in law so much, even though he is as far from normal as you can get. Who loves him when he is far away, though all of the changes the military throws at us, and helps me do the same. I mean, let’s be honest here… I didn’t marry the most low-maintenance guy, and to have a Mom that supports him, and supports our marriage, means the world to me. I couldn’t do it without her. Loving your daughter’s husband as much as your own son… that’s some serious Mom Love.


To Mom, who raised us five kiddos. I have to say, I think so far we have all turned out pretty swell! To keep us five clean, feed, and educated was enough work on it’s own, but she taught us how to cook our own food, make crafts out of anything, ask questions, find answers, clean up our own messes, play fair, work hard, dig deep, love, forgive, serve. She didn’t just keep us alive, she turned us into amazing human beings with the character to accomplish big things and leave the world better than when we came into it.  That’s some serious Mom Love.

To Mom, who patiently allowed, and even encouraged, “extra curricular” activities of all sorts. Although we might not have been athletic, we made up for it with recorder, guitar, piano, ukulele, infant cats, crazy puppies, runaway lizards, immortal fogs, turtles, fish… not to mention endless creative craft projects like painted rocks, clothes, carpet, wood (painted anything really)… sewing things, gluing things, stapling things, you name it. Dad may have been the “official” painter in the house, but, Mom was the one that really lit the creative fire in all of us, in one way or another. Sarah writes, Matthew does computer-y program-y stuff (obviously I don’t understand it), Rebekah is in art school, and Jordan is a piano-music-jujitsu prodigy .  We could have all played soccer and been done with it, but Mom let us do our own thing. That’s some serious Mom Love.

To Mom, who has seen me come full circle in the journey of figuring out what I really love to do. From beginning playing outside in flowers and dirt, to bringing them inside. She taught me reading, writing, and arithmetic, then watched me change majors a billion times in college. She supported me as I give up the security of a nursing degree to pursue something arguably less stable, and then gave up finishing college to get married and move far away. Now here I am, back at where I started – playing with flowers. Giving me the tools I need to ask questions and find my own answers, and watching me as I make myself dizzy trying to figure out life, and loving and supporting me through the entire thing… that’s some serious Mom Love.


To Mom. I love you, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without you. You didn’t just raise five human beings – you’ve helped mold the very best parts of me. You’ve given me courage to try new things, and PATIENCE to keep trying. That’s a gift I can never repay you for.



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