Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dry-Erase Board Memories...

It is incredible how meaningful little moments can be in life. We often get so caught up in the busy of daily living that we stop embracing the special moments and memories in even the smallest of things.

Just before the new year we found out that my beautiful Momma had breast cancer. It turned life upside down. Daddy took time off from work to be with Mom through medical appointments and procedures, my sister put looking for a job on hold, my brothers took on extra responsibilies around the house, and I withdrew from college to move back home and help support her on this journey.

On February 4th, she woke up early and prepared to go to the hospital for major surgery. I walked into the kitchen that morning and saw that she had drawn one of her Mommy doodles and written in bold letters, "Mom LOVES YOU!"

Beneath her words I wrote, "And we love Momma!"

Next to my words my sister wrote a long line of O's with two X's at the end.

My heart was comforted as I looked at the board the rest of the morning. There is so much love in our family. Momma loves each of us so very much and we each love her and one another. We aren't prefect. We bicker, we disagree, we sometimes hurt the feelings of one another, but we choose to keep loving. We learn lessons daily in forgiving, loving when someone is acting in a not-so-loving-way, comforting through hard times, celebrating in times of joy, having honest conversations, and growing together. Family.

The older I get the more I realize that all relationships take work. It is a choice to keep loving in my friendships, my family, and other relationships. Relationships take investment and nurturing. I learn that more and more each day. It means so very much. I continually give thanks for my family and the close relationships that we have. I also continue to learn to never take it for granted and to always remember that we are as close as we are because we continue to choose to love and learn and grow together.

Today I sit and write all of this from a hospital room while Momma sleeps. Today I reflect on the love of my family. In this month so filled with hearts and valentines, I give thanks for the love of my Momma.

My Momma who:

-Carried me within her and fought through pain to help welcome me into this world.
-Taught me how to read, to love learning, to cook, and so much more.
-Comforted me in sickness, in heartache, in pain, in sorrow.
-Was the first to celebrate with me when life held cause or news for such jubilation.
-Spoke truth into my life even when I didn't want to hear it.
-Held me when I needed to cry and rubbed my back when the world felt overwhelming.
-Let me fly as I was more and more independent.
-Stepped back and let me make mistakes.
-Led by example in her faith in Christ.
-Taught me to look beyond myself and to help others.
-Showed me the passion of a Momma bear when she told an angry dog to leave her babies alone while we were on a childhood walk.
-Allowed me to explore creativity even when it looked very messy.
-Instilled the lessons of how powerful words can be and the importance of meaningfully apologizing.

I am so humbled to call this woman Momma. I am so thankful to have her in my life. Today as I look at this mighty woman in the hospital room, I am reminded of all of these things. Today I hope that I can love her even half as much as she loves me. If I ever have children, I hope I can love them as fiercely as I have been and continue to be loved by this incredible woman.

This February, I hope you won't forget to look beyond the busy swirling of daily living and cherish the "dry-erase board memories" of life. There is so much love contained in those little treasures.


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