To The Awesome Women I Love:

My mother is dedicated to each of her eight children. She is the woman who brought me into this world and showed me how to be a mother.

Last year, mom pictured with my first baby.
Last year, mom pictured with my first baby.

She ranks highest on the list of most influential people in my life. So, you can either thank her or curse her for my awesomeness (don’t hate).

She taught me to love music. She taught me how to learn and think. Although she tried to teach me how to cook, sew, can food, keep a clean room, do my own laundry, write my own papers for school….it wasn’t till I moved out of her home at 18 years of age that I actually put those skills to use. She still serves me like I’m still 10 years old and I don’t mind. She shows me unconditional love and always has.

Ranking somewhere near the tip top of women who influenced my life for good: Nana and Grandma White

Nana
Nana

Nana is one of my angels currently, but her influence is still very much felt in my life. She taught me how to put my husband at the top of my list of priorities, she taught me the importance of loving everyone, she taught me to that peace making usually entailed keeping my mouth shut (rather than make things worse) and forgiving people – because things will work out. She also told me I could be anything I wanted to be (except a full-time writer, “you can do that as a hobby love”….oh she was so wise). And she made me feel loved the second I walked through the front door of her home.

My Maternal Grandma with my Mom
My Maternal Grandma with my Mom

My Grandma taught me to do what ever I was asked to do with a level of excellence. She was my second mother, as I lived with her and Grandpa during college and she gave me ample opportunities to cook and clean (I gradually learned excellence….). Grandma also filled my life with the arts. She took me to ballets, Broadway shows, art exhibits and let me name her oil paintings. She also let me touch all her pretty things and wear her expensive perfumes. She taught me to treat my things gently, so they could last a lifetime. Grandma also taught me patience, meanwhile, Grandpa had patience with me. They are a good team together.

To the other women who affect my daily life:

Nona and baby last year.
Nona and baby last year.

My mother in law – who raised my husband – the things you taught Danny (and wondered if he would apply to his own life) are a part of my every day. You taught him correct principles and he once told me, “if my parents knew it, then it must be right.” Daniel tells me about being a little boy and going to the family history center with you, watching you serve in various church callings and my favorite story is how he would run outside everyday when you got home from work and ask, “Did you bring me anything?” – one day you brought him a pack of gum and he was over the moon happy – thank you for still remembering us – we love your generosity and visits. Thank you for having a great sense of humor and love of family.

CSC_0422I’m also grateful that you and my mother are dancers – although that gene skipped me – the baby dances all the time!

Gregre
Gregre

Gregre, the first time I met you we talked about politics and you gave me a book to read about Ireland’s history – I knew that we would be great friends. I’m also grateful that on my first visit to your Ward (LDS congregation) you and I sang an impromptu duet of “Mother I Love You” as it was Mother’s Day 2011.

Papa and Gregre with the boy
Papa and Gregre with the boy

Thank you for taking care of Daniel when he was a little boy, he remembers the example you set and looked for those qualities in a wife – so of course I need to thank you for that. I love receiving your letters, you are a wonderful writer.

We look forward to coming down to Texas soon and beating you and Papa at Rumicube.

Grandma Judy and Grandpa Shannon
Grandma Judy and Grandpa Shannon

Grandma Judy is my husband’s Paternal Grandma. The minute I became a part of the family, she has spoiled me every Christmas and birthday. She raised all of her children with academic excellence, which is a reflection of the intellect that she is. She is also wickedly funny, I can sit around the dinner table and just listen to her talk about a mundane topic peppered with her clever remarks and I’m in stitches. I’m always amazed at the great families I joined when I married Danny – what a lucky girl I am.

Over the years I have also had surrogate mothers – the home away from home mothers who loved me and counseled me when my own mother was too far away to sit on the couch with.

I’m grateful for the Mothers that continue to remind me – even as a memory – to be a better woman, to remember that I am loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you women – those who have children of their own and those who mother other people’s children – your loveliness makes the world better.

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