On a dark and stormy morning, I stormed into the world out of you, and you became a mom. For the second time.
I’m writing this now because you are still around to read it. I clarify this because the last two times that I wrote about my parents, Claude and then Slanker, it was too late for both of them to read. This time, I wanted to make sure that didn't happen. So, Mom, I hope you get something out of this, even if it's wishing that I had waited until you weren't around to read it.
Our story doesn’t start when you were a child because I wasn’t in the picture then, so we’ll start when I was three, when you moved out with Chris and me in tow, to start a new life. That's when you taught me something I would never forget, though I didn't know it then.
In that moment, I learned that we would always come first for you and that we were your "why," your reason for being, even to the detriment of yourself.
After moving out, you needed a job so you could support us. I remember you telling me how you begged Farm Bureau for a job, which you got and stayed there for your entire work career, always providing stability for our little family, which included Slanker starting when I was 5. Not to mention, you did all the cooking and most of the cleaning, even after working a full day. Looking back, I have no idea how you managed to be everything for everyone without just collapsing.
I remember how you never missed anything that Chris and I performed in, and there were a lot. You, along with Slanker, were always there no matter if you were sick, had a bad day, or you had already seen it multiple times.
When it came to your kids, whether it was playing outside after a long day at work, staying day and night throughout my many hospitalizations, simply listening to our stories for what had to feel like forever, or making sure that we never went to sleep without a hug and an "I love you," you always showed up. You were always there. No matter what. It’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.
You were also a fantastic force at all family functions, where you hosted and ran everything, even adding moments of hilarity when you would say things aloud that, perhaps, you meant to say in your “inside your head” voice. You also had to always put up with Chris and me doing or saying things that embarrassed you and the family. Remember that one Christmas where Chris mooned the camera and I walked around with a giant clown balloon that had a paper clip dangling from a place that was, well, rather suggestive? I kept calling it a "paper clip penis" because that's what it was. Chris’s full moon has been since taped over, but my clown and I remain, as well as you saying, “We did the best we could with him” after I left the crowded living room laughing about another brilliant paper clip penis joke I had just made.
Just so you know, I’ve never for a moment doubted your love and dedication to us. Without you creating a safe, loving, and nurturing home life, Chris and I would’ve never turned out the way we did. Though, to be honest, I didn’t really appreciate or get it back then. I mean, Chris and I were perfectly adequate as kids. I was charming but rather annoying, while Chris . . . well, Chris had a mullet perm and acid-washed overall shorts, so there’s that. But you dedicated your life to two incredible goofballs.
I didn’t understand until I had two incredible goofballs of my very own.
Mom, I was blessed to have you as a mom growing up and to still have you now. Your retirement hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to for you because you, and Slanker, both deserved better than you got. I wanted you to take trips together, hang with your kids and grandkids, and have ridiculous arguments that I could watch. The part where you two do those things together can't happen anymore, but it still can for you, because you’re still here. And so are we.
I know what you're thinking now, Mom. Can you wrap this up now because it's getting long, and I'm ready to watch my soaps? Or Lifetime. Or whatever ridiculous thing you’re watching.
So okay, I’ll wrap it up with one final thought: I hope Chris and I have done you proud and that the sacrifices you made for us, which we will never forget, were worth it.
Thank you for always loving and coming through for us, Mom. Love you.
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.