My mom is an amazing woman. I get many qualities from her – my ability to be organized, my artistic sense, my “get it done” attitude. Plus, besides my eyes being dark with crazy eyebrows to go with them (thanks, Dad), I look more like my mom than my dad.
For my birthday this year she gave me a gift.
It is a 4-generation picture with me on the right and heading back to my great-grandmother. She asked me for a photo of myself so I got to pick one that I liked (which is always nice). I didn’t know what it was for so when I opened up the package I was completely surprised, touched and overwhelmed with how it made me feel.
I was actually a little surprised that my reaction was so emotional. My mother’s mother Reta died in a fire when my mom was only 5 years old so I never knew her – my mom’s stepmother has always been “Grandma” to me. And to be honest, I have a hard time even remembering my great-grandmother’s name. But seeing those women who came before me has had a tremendous impact on me. They were fighters – each in their own way. They had hard things to deal with and they overcame them. They were strong and faithful women.
We have heard from my grandmother’s sisters that Reta was a lot like my mom, which then means that since I am like my mother, I also share qualities of my grandmother. I have no doubt that something trickled down from my great-grandmother to me as well.
This is who I came from. This is who I am – but with my own tweaks and revisions and edits along the way. And of course – some of my dad thrown into the mix as well.
I love this woman. I see this photo of her as she graduated from college as a teacher and I am grateful that she is my mom. Thanks, Mom. Thanks for your legacy of faith and choosing the right and hard work. Thanks for showing me how to be a strong mother and wife. Thanks for teaching me independence and courage and the value of education.
And thanks for this gift – a reminder of who I am and where I have come from.