This week my assignment for my siblings was to write a tribute to our mother for Mother's Day. We will share them with her on Mother's Day. You can find Raymond Pert's here, and Inland Empire Girl's here.
When I was growing up, I think I had a very narrow view of my mother.
She was just Mom. She was a teacher at Silver King School. And she was a wife, married to my dad. Sometimes I saw her as a daughter when we were with my Grandma’s house in Orofino. But in my mind, Mom was just Mom.
But as I grew older, I started discovering the different nuances of my mother. One thing that really helped me see Mom in a new way was having people tell me about her.
When we returned back home to Kellogg to live in 2000, Mom was just finishing up her chemotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
We moved in August of 2000, and the next summer I was hired as a reporter for our local newspaper. The great thing about this job was it got me out in the community talking to people about a variety of things.
And it amazed me how often I was asked about my mother.
“So, how is your mom doing? I haven’t seen her in a while.”
“She is doing great.”
“Boy, that mom of yours is so funny. She just cracks me up.”
Now this threw me for a loop. My mom….funny? I guess I always thought dad was the funny one, but apparently mom also had her own special type of humor. And apparently this surfaced at her monthly Delta Kappa Gamma meetings. (DKG is a fraternal organization for teachers that my mom is a member of, and has been for as long as I can remember.)
So after this comment, I started watching my mom, and, sure enough, she had a great sense of humor. My girls think Grandma Mary (or Slash, as they fondly refer to her) is really funny.
One of the reasons I knew Mom was a great teacher, was because people would tell me. When I got to junior high, students would fondly speak of Mom and talk about what a great teacher she was, and how much they liked her. I never remember a kid saying they didn’t like Mom as a teacher. And I remember feeling very proud about that fact.
Everyone spoke fondly of my mom. Young and old alike. And I still have people ask me how she is doing.
“How is your mom doing? I haven’t seen her much lately.”
“Well, she doesn’t like driving much in the winter, when the roads are slick. But now that it is spring and the weather is nicer, she will enjoy getting out and working in her garden. You’ll probably see more of her now that the snow is gone.”
Part of it is living in a small community who cares about people.
Part of it is having a person as your mother who people are genuinely fond of and they care about her welfare.
In the last seven years since returning to Kellogg, I have had the good fortune of living just across town from my mother and seeing her on a very regular basis.
And I have gotten to know her, not just as my mom, but as a person.
And this picture came, not just through my own eyes, but through the eyes of those in the community who care deeply for her, and that mom, in some way, has touched their lives.
I am thankful for a mom who is cared for by so many people.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
I love you, and are so proud to have you as my mom!!!!