Happy Mother's Day to My Favorite Nurse!

I discovered yesterday that it's Nurse's Week this week, which probably means nothing to you, unless you know and love a nurse. I happen to know a pretty great nurse and am the daughter of that nurse. So, I guess that means I have double reason to honor her this weekend!

It's quite an experience growing up with a Mom who happens to be a nurse. Lots of cautionary warnings were issued to us before we left the house to do anything, lots of medical terms were thrown our way and lots of routines were established if any of us felt even the slightest bit sick. I didn't really realize the impact of her influence until I left home and found myself saying things like, "You can't take that ibuprofen on an empty stomach" and "You should really cut those grapes up so you don't choke" and "That baby should not be out in this weather without her head covered up! She's going to get pneumonia" Wow. It began. I was becoming my mother.

Unlike the many people in this world who are horrified at that thought, I consider it a great privilege to be compared to my Mom. She is a woman that I admire for a million reasons and I love becoming just like her. Now at 16, I wouldn't have said that. Our similarities were often the source of many classic mother/daughter clashes,always initiated by me, I should add. But as I've grown up, left the house, and started my own life I've realized time and time again how blessed and fortunate I am to be my mother's daughter. I love her more and more with every year, every life experience, and every milestone I reach. She is a wonderful mother and a fantastic nurse too. She deserves much honor and for her children to rise up and call her blessed. So, in honor of her, here are a few of the things I admire about my favorite nurse, who happens to be my Mom.

#1- She is funny. I mean really funny. My Mom has a sense of humor that is sharp, witty and very hilarious. We often tease her about being a little warped too, because she finds humor in the oddest things. But she has this great ability to cut tension and make you laugh, even when you don't want to. We are so alike in this way (although she's funnier than I am) that often we'll be in a store somewhere or at a restaurant and we'll both observe or see something that strikes us as hilarious. Many, many times we have to separate or look away from one another just so we can hold it together. One of our classic stories about this is when we were in Lenscrafters looking for new frames for her. We were just browsing when a salesperson came up to my Mom and introduced herself, asking if she could help her. She said her name was Cindy and when she did, I immediately had to walk away because you see, poor Cindy had one of the worst lisps I've ever heard. Totally not her fault, but imagine where she was working. As LenScrafterS, selling glaSSeS, with a lisp that left her unable to pronounce her "S's"...not good. I had to wait outside because I could not even look at my Mom without both of us losing total control. Now I tell you that story not because we are heartless and like to laugh at other people, but because we were both thinking the exact same thing...Cindy Brady, why are you working at LenScrafterS selling glaSSeS?? Perhaps you might want to look for another line of work??????

#2- My Mom is a Hospice nurse who is faced everyday with very difficult people, often in crisis, as they face the thing they fear most, death. She hasn't always been a Hospice nurse, she's worked in the hospital, in doctor's offices, and even for a group of lawyers, but this is the role that I think she excels at. She would tell you it's the hardest thing she's ever done and for sure, it's not easy for her. Her days are filled with hard conversations, less-than-ideal procedures, and counseling for everyone involved. She has walked with families and patients who know the Lord and view impending death as a joyous home going, and she has walked with families and patients who are at odds, in turmoil, and surrounded by anger and bitterness as they are forced to face death and let go. In this job all her patients die. She gets very close with most of them and then has to hold their hand or comfort their families as they do the hardest thing, grieve. She is given difficult families because she is so patient. I've been home when she gets a call that her patient has died and seen her cry over those she loved. I've met some of the families that she's worked with when we've been out shopping or running errands and they always tell me how much they loved my mom and how grateful they were to have her. I've also heard her stories about the amazing conversations she's had with patients who are realizing what lies ahead and are confronted with their need for Jesus. I think the Lord has given her this job as a ministry and he's equipped her by allowing her to go through some very difficult deaths and losses personally. I know she is weary some days of the physical, emotional, and spiritual toll this job demands, but I admire her for pressing on and doing the best job she can, regardless of the thanks she may or may not get. She is a true servant who has an incredible gift of mercy and love and I think about her often when I find myself doing something I don't always like or serving someone who never bothers to say thank you. She is the best nurse I know.

#3-My Mom has overcome some tremendous hurts and odds in her life and has emerged without bitterness or resentment. Her growing up years were difficult to say the least. She was a child of divorce and trauma and yet she's been able to forgive and love regardless. She lost her Mom at a very young age, after many years of dealing with mental illness, physical suffering, disease, and hurts. I think about this all the time because I cannot imagine not having my Mom to lean on for support during these years in my life. We grew up knowing and loving my Grandma, but with each year she slipped further and further away as illness took over her life. My Mom buried her Mom too soon, but she lost her years before that. She had to make painful decisions in the prime of her life, with three little girls at home, a full-time job, and a husband. She has not been given an easy road to walk, but she has walked it well. I'm incredibly proud of my Mom for this. She didn't give in to the temptation to blame others and become a victim, even though she had the right to. She would tell you that she wouldn't be able to do any of that without the Lord in her life and I know that's true. She's set a tremendous example for her daughters and we're better for it.

#4- She laughs at the days to come! Like the Proverbs 31 woman, my Mom doesn't fear growing older or the changes that come with that. She knows who she is in Christ and she's able to laugh at life. She is entering a stage in life that is not easy for most women, she's about to become an empty-nester. But she's also enjoying the fruit of those years she spent raising us. One thing I appreciate about my Mom is her willingness to let us go and to become who God created us to be. Both Stacie and I have moved away now, which I know is hard on my Mom and Dad, but never has a day gone by that she made us feel guilty for leaving. She knows God has plans for each of us and she is wise to let them unfold as He sees fit. I know she'd love to have us live down the street if she could, but she is also very supportive of us and the lives we've chosen. Some Moms operate in guilt-inflicted modes, trying to control their kids lives and make everything perfect. I respect that my Mom hasn't done that. I know she's always there to listen and to give me advice, but she's never made me choose between her and Travis, even though she's probably wanted to! She loves the times we all come home and she makes any sacrifice she can to make our stay fun! She cooks all our favorite meals, takes us wherever we want to go, and stays up late with us, laughing and talking for hours. These days are full of change for her as her girls grow up, move out, and bring husbands home. But rather than trying to hold on to what has passed, she embraces the change and finds the joy in the new stages ahead. I know it's not easy for her, but I believe the Lord is blessing her for her faithfulness to Him. For all those memories she didn't get to experience with her Mom, she's doing a great job at creating them with us.

#5- Aside from the day my Mom chose to believe that Jesus died to save her and give her eternal life, the best decision she ever made was to marry my Dad. By choosing him, she chose a different way of life and broke the cycle of divorce in her family. My Dad's influence on my Mom changed her whole world. He rescued her and introduced her to a new way of living. She was welcomed into my Dad's family and thus continued the Godly heritage that had been established. I never lost the lesson that she modeled by marrying a Godly man who loved her unconditionally. My Dad has been a Godly, stable, loving, supportive, kind, and trustworthy man all my life and my Mom demonstrated the importance of waiting for that kind of man by choosing him. I am so incredibly grateful for the good choice she made, because I am a product of it. Her Mom also supported my Mom's decision by loving my Dad and spoiling him when he came into the family. My Grandma was the best mother-in-law she could be. My Mom told me what an impact that made on her, and when I brought Travis into the picture, she did the same thing her Mom did-she loved and spoiled him! Now I've watched her for 5 years welcome Travis, Jesse, and now Dave into our family with open arms. She loves each of them in ways that minister to their hearts. She teases them, buys them funny things, makes their favorite meals, watches the silly movies they love, and encourages all her girls to love and respect them. But more than that, she modeled the role of a loving wife for 32 years. She would be lost without my Dad and she knows it! I'm so thankful for her influence because it's trickled down to the three of us and influenced us to make wise choices in who we marry. It's a testament to her and my Dad to see how much our three husbands love coming to visit. I never have to talk Travis into going home. He loves my Mom too and he often teases me by calling me "Little Debby" because I apparently say things that sound just like her! He smiles at me, laughs and says, "Steph, you are totally becoming your Mom!"

So there you have it, 5 things I admire about my Mom. I could list a million more about her and also about my Dad. I'll save the latter for Father's day though. I am blessed to be Debby's daughter and I don't take it for granted. I have my own personal nurse, who's always on call for me and someone to laugh my head off with! I'm a lucky girl!

Happy Mother's Day Mom...I Love You With All My Heart.


sheltonfamily said...

I know your mom printed this one out. It is better than some cheesy card that's for sure! I feel like I know your family and that we'd get along real well! What a sweet letter to her. You really could write a book. We've decided now there is nothing that Stephanie A. cannot do!

Anonymous said...

Good words.