Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I’ve been trying to come up with something really profound to say on Mother’s Day but my “profoundity” is lacking. I wanted to say something that would really epitomize what our Mothers mean to us. I wanted to extol the virtues of Motherhood like no one else has done before. I wanted reduce you all to heaps of blubbering emotion with my eloquence but alas, I’m afraid that I’m just going to have to settle for spewing forth some thoughts on the page that may or may not have any great significance.

Why do we love our Mothers? Well that’s kind of a stupid question. We love our Mother’s because they’re our Mothers. I know if I said that my Mother was the greatest Mother ever, I’d get half a dozen comments on how I was wrong. If I said that my boys Mother was the greatest Mother ever, I’d get the same amount of comments. But guess what, I don’t give a “rat’s behind” if you all think the Mothers in my life are the greatest because they’re mine!!

What is it that makes a great Mom? Hmmm, let me see. Someone who makes the very best chocolate chip cookies in the whole world? That would be Janae. Someone who instilled a love of music and who made me learn how to play the piano? That would be my Mom. Someone who, when you’re tempted to do something really stupid as a high school student and you think to yourself, “if I do this and Grandma Edra finds out, I’d be so ashamed” so you don’t do that really stupid thing? That would be Grandma Edra. Someone who teaches you the proper way to eat fish caught off Boulder Mountain in the back of their camper at a family reunion? That would be Grandma Ida. Someone who writes you a letter every week while you’re in Afghanistan, that would by my Mother-in-law.

Great Mom’s are all those things but they’re so much more. As I watch my boys grow into young men, I realize that their greatness is directly attributable to their Mother. Of course I realize that I have made my own contribution to who and what they are but let’s be honest, a boy’s Mother plays an integral part of who they are. Janae is an amazing Mother. As I’ve watched her over the years I’ve been amazed at her patience, her loyalty, her dedication to the needs of our sons. She has spent countless hours molding them into righteous Priesthood holders. Through her service, she has taught them how to serve. Through her work ethic, she has taught them how to work. Through her sense of humor, she has taught them how to have fun.

She’s the kind of Mom that thinks and plans ahead. I can’t tell you how many late nights one of the boys has come to her and said, “I have to make ___ (fill in the blank) for a school project.” Well guess what, she has on hand whatever that is needed to complete the project. Whether it’s poster board, or markers, or this or that, she’s got it. I’m sure some of it has to do with the fact that she’s a teacher but she’s just that way. She’s visionary.

And speaking of teaching, she’s got to be the greatest teacher ever. How many teachers do you know who become teacher of the year as a substitute teacher? Huh, huh? Can’t think of one, well my son’s Mother is one of the few. Being a great teacher has been such a blessing to our boys as well. She has been there for them, helping them with their homework. I remember times working with one of our sons on spelling or some other subject and all we did was butt heads. Of course Janae stepped in and made things so much better. If you didn’t know this already, my sons are brilliant but they didn’t get it from me. They got it all from their Mom.

A wise man once wrote that he was born of “goodly parents.” My boys will be able to say the same about their Mother, that she was a goodly woman and that she taught them in the ways of the Lord.

Another wise man said that he was everything he was because of his angelic mother. Again, my boys will be able to say the same thing.

I know that I am the man that I am today because of the Mother of my sons. All men marry above their station in life and I’m just grateful that she said “yes” to me. (Now I’m only saying that for the public record – the truth is that her Dad paid me to marry her! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!) All joking aside, she has put up with a lot being married to me and I’m just grateful that she has had the patience and the where-with-all to stick by me.

And Janae is who she is because of her Mother. So to my wonderful Mother-in-law, Donna, thank you for being a wonderful Mother. Not only has she been a great Mother to Janae, she has been a great Mother to a rather wild, stuck-up, snobbish son-in-law who tended to put skiing above going to class in the early days of daughter’s relationship with this irresponsible young man. I’m sure she had nightmares about the man her daughter was marrying but I think that I’ve finally grown up enough to justify her daughters faith in me. I can’t think of a better Mother-in-law to have. I’ve been truly blessed.

Well of course I am who I am because of my own Mother. As I said, all sons have a special relationship with their Mothers and I’m no exception. Being the oldest has given me the advantage of being with her the longest. What a lucky guy I am!! A few years ago she was pretty sick. I had the privilege of giving her a blessing. As I lay my hands on her head, I felt the Spirit of the Lord flow through me to her. What a wonderful experience that was. She, who had given me so much, I was now able to give something back to her. It was a truly wonderful experience.

And then there are my Grandmothers. My best-friend, Grandma Edra, passed away several years ago. I still miss her. She was my rock. I still remember her “Sunday school” lessons and how they molded me into who I’ve become. How I wish that she was still physically present in my life but I have to be grateful that I can still feel of her spirit. Even now, after all these years, I think, “I’d better not do that because Grandma Edra is watching and I don’t want to disappoint her.”

Then there’s Grandma Ida. She’ll be 91 this month. Several years ago she asked me to speak at her funeral. At her 90th birthday celebration last year, I told her that if she wanted me to still speak she’d have to wait a year. Looks like she’s holding on. She was the greatest Grandmother because she was a “cowboy grandmother” and who can resist a woman like that. The summers I spent at the Ranch added a whole different dimension to who I became. As we worked in the garden together, walked to the tiny little store together, read together and all the other things we did together, she taught me some invaluable lessons.

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. Like I said, I wanted to be profound, I wanted to be wise and in the end all I could be was grateful. I could tell lots of personal stories about each of these amazing women but I’ll save those for my own memories. All I can say to each one of these women who have so affected my life is thank you. Thank you for bearing me and thank you for bearing with me. I know that there is a special place in Heaven for Mothers and Wives because of who and what they have to put up with.

So on your special day, Happy Mother’s Day to the ones I love the most!!!

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Your comments followed those in our meetings today. Thanks for sharing your mothers with us in this post. It's also a great thing when others can see those same fantastic qualities in your wife, and we do! I'm always amazed about her talents and glad that she shares them with me sometimes :) We look forward to seeing you soon, take care.

Chris Church said...

Thanks for the wonderful words about my grandmothers. I can't ever hope to live up to their legacies of love and service.