Happy Birthday Mom!
Today, the best mom in the world turns 75 years old.
I’m just so grateful for every year I get to spend with her, I couldn’t help but boast her age.
As this Blog is based on overcoming trials, I felt it fitting, to write a blog post about the woman who modeled this best for me.
There are few things in this life we can truly count on…The sun rising and setting, your teenager sleeping until noon (unless someone or something intervenes), your “Incentive Clothing” never actually leaving your closet, and the answer you will get when you ask my Mom, “How are you?”.
While the rest of the world is “fine”, my mom’s response is always “I’m terrific everyday of my life”.
Really, this is what she says, no exageration …every time. Ask anyone who knows her, and they will tell you the same. For, as far back as I can remember, this has been her mantra.
When I was a Junior in high school, I remember Mom dropping me off at a Varsity Basketball Game. Just as we reached the gym, she announces to me that she has M.S.
Multiple Sclerosis? What? Isn’t that debilitating and even life threatening? What does that mean for our family? I can’t even process that! How am I supposed to get out of this car now? My whole world has been changed!
In my 16-year-old mind…my mom just told me she was dying.
For years, I questioned her timing in telling me. But now, as a mother of teenagers myself; I get it… She probably tried to tell me the whole car ride there, maybe even for days or weeks before. She may have even made a promise to herself that she would finally say it before I got out of the car that day. Whatever the case, I know what it’s like to share something difficult and life altering with your child. So, while I’m at it, let me add one more thing to the list of things you can count on…it’s not easy to tell your kids hard things and you’ll probably mess it up.
While M.S. is a deterioration of muscle over time, my mom is one of the strongest women I know. It’s been 27 years since the day of that fateful drive when I reached some strong conclusions in my finite 16 year old mind. But the truth is: we all are dying. (Oh, yes, add that to our list of things we can count on.)
Ironically, from that day on, I began to really watch how my mom was living. She has never stopped showing us how to live an appreciative life. A life that says, despite my circumstances I refuse to alter my attitude… I’m Karen Preston and I’m terrific everyday of my life, no one can take that from me.
Over the years, I have witnessed her strength in different ways:
- Retiring from the airlines with unlimited free flights, but lacking the muscle power to travel.
- Feeling the weight of eyes on her as she took slow and steady steps down the aisle on both mine and my sister’s Wedding Days.
- Wanting to do more as a Wife, Mom and Grandmother; but feeling the limitations of her body.
In the last 3 decades I have watched my mom’s eyes show brief moments of disappointment, followed by a lingering smile that genuinely states, I am terrific everyday of my life!
The truth is, things didn’t pan out like my 16 year old self thought they would. Instead, I watched my parents relationship strengthen as they lived out what it means to Love in sickness and in health. Seeing she didn’t do much traveling, my mom has always been available. Whether it be helping me with teaching projects at the dining room table, watching my kids at a moments notice, or just having the time to sit and listen to my life…Mom’s been there.
I love that my Mom’s birthday is January 12th and my little Jeremiah’s birthday is January 13th. These two people, I have been both emotionally and (at one point) physically connected to. One 43 years ago, the other; it will have been 3 years ago tomorrow. Both have changed my world and inspired me greatly to look outside of myself and choose to be terrific everyday of my life!