The final post to my Mother’s Day Week series is obvious, a climax to the entire series. You saw this coming right? You know I am talking about you Mom. (tears)
Behind this successful young man, there is a good mother. And what I say today Mom I do not say on my own, but I say it in the voice of three sons, James, Joseph, and Joshua.
Mom, you were there when dad had his seizure, and your presence during that incredibly scary time brought peace. And you were there when Grandpa and Grandma died. And you were there when we lost dogs like Yappy and Buttercup.
But you were there during great events too, like graduations from Pepperdine and ACU, and during my trip to Italy, and for that incredible family driving trip from Cali to Kentucky, where we had ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner over and over again.
But your presence has an interesting twist. While I am the oldest child, we have not always been perfectly tight. Sometimes, church relationships have made things tough between us, and sometimes, we have probably not always been on the same page. But you shown me about perseverance in relationships. You have never quit in our relationship. You never quit when family relationships were tense and uneasy. You never quit when it seemed like life was falling apart financially and there were great pressures at home and work. You never quit. And you persevere through it all.
You know about perseverance. You know about the troubles and difficulties in life and yet you continue through and continue to be positive about what life brings you. Even when churches are not home, you persevere for others, for your nieces and nephews, for yourself, for the family. Your presence then was always about helping others make it, helping others to feel like life was not going to end right then and there. This is helpful perspective and presence- it is invaluable. When crisis happens, you care that people make it and that people get along. And you will keep people together so that they can persevere through it. As a chaplain, I get to help families persevere.
And from you I have learned the meaning of family. You continue to try to give your children what you may not have had. You continue to focus on your kids, your grandchild, your nieces and nephews. It is absolutely incredible how much responsibility you place on yourself for family, and it is a sign of how important family is to a good life. It is not that family is important just because, but you value family because that is where love needs to be found and where life begins. This attitude and perspective of yours encourages and makes me want to look forward to my own family. I look forward to the time when I get to bring my kids to you, because I know you will be an incredible grandmother as you are a wonderful mother, simply because you treasure the place of family.
For our family, you have been glue for us. You have instilled in us the need for one another, the need to persevere, and also, the need to dream. You have been a constant source of encouragement to pursue more. You have encouraged me along the way, affirmed the path of each brother, and wanted us to be happy. For me that has been a dream of being a chaplain and moving away, and you have been a support of those things. And you have encouraged us to dream of other smaller things, like being an adventurer around Southern California and wanting to drive cross country. Dreaming is something you do and encourage, and I hope and pray that your own dreams become reality as they have for me.
Thanks Mom for all you do and for all that you are. Thanks Mom for encouraging me to be what I can be and actually pursue the dreams. Thanks Mom for being present and persevering and for setting an example that your mom, Grandma would be proud of. Love you!