I married my mother! Whoa! Before you start thinking Oedipus, let me explain. Cindy is the only person that I know that is a mirror image of my mother. There’s plenty of evidence that men and women alike seek a spouse that resembles the parent of the opposite sex. So, I’m not weird. I’m just giving my mother an extra compliment by marrying someone like her.
Cindy is such a super mom. She has tirelessly given of herself to all four of her children: Narcie, Josh, Caleb, and me (ha!). She certainly loves our children-in-law, Mike and Karen, too. Now she’s head over heels in love with our three grandchildren: Enoch, Evy, and Kaela. She’s endearingly, “MiMi,” to them. And this Mother’s day has extra meaning since it is our youngest son, Caleb’s, birthday.
Cindy’s life has been focused on family. My mother had the same perspective. My mother was full of unconditional love. She was so tenderhearted. Mother taught me about helping the poor and showing grace to the weak. She was a real lady with appropriate modesty and humility. She had an eye for beauty and fine things. She could decorate a hat when hats were in, and always had a new Christmas theme for the stairway banister. She loved history and made sure that I went to art classes even when I resisted. She also had a green thumb that could grow anything!
She was fun, too. She went camping with the guys and took us to Augusta for a variety of treats. Mother was the most knowledgeable person in town about the perfect route for Halloween candy. She knew just which houses to visit. The car was always full of greedy little gremlins. Every year I had a waiting list of people who wanted to go with us. She humored our every request, even when it wasn’t on her schedule. As a matter of fact, I think we were her schedule.
Mother did have a bit of a temper although she never spanked me. She was too loving for one to deliberately disobey. One time I did get sassy and got a smack. I was standing on the top of the swing set in the yard. As soon as I landed on the ground beside the sliding board, she was cradling me and apologizing. Believe me, once was enough. I didn’t get sassy again.
She had an opinion and words were sometimes pointed for those who had violated the parameters of southern gentility. My father was the usual recipient of those remarks. Cindy and I sometimes act out these vignettes in their honor, calling each other “Ralph” and “Sadie” tongue in cheek. Mother was spiritual and spicy, a lady and a tom-boy, and a lover of arts and crafts while being just as handy with a hoe, lawnmower, or rototiller. We loved her, and love her still.
She fought illness with such grace and without complaint. She endured pain and despair with quiet hope. Mother kept loving even when her idyllic world began to show its age. She never lost her enormous sense of humor. I can relish her insatiable laugh in my mind’s ear right now. She lived a motto that we could all bear to emulate: “Ever she sought the best, ever she found it.” She may have died on January 3 of 1993, but, in Christ, she lives ever more in my heart today. To her in heaven and Cindy on earth plus Narcie, Karen and all mothers, I say: “Happy Mother’s Day!”