For those of you who read my blogs and follow me for anything length of time, you already know who my mom is, even if you’ve never seen her or met her – because she is part of me. Once you meet her, you will know what I mean. Mom and I are very much a like in many ways.
As I grow older, I realize just how much “mom” is in me. My drive, passion, stubbornness, determination, strong-will, desire to help others, positive attitude, a mind that doesn’t stop and control-freak side of me all came from her. And, every night I stay up late working, Steve can thank my mom for that too. We both have a very hard time turning our brains off and winding down.
Unfortunately there are things I haven’t gotten from her (yet) – her patience, her nurturing spirit, her ability to be quiet, her desire to serve…those are just a few traits I want, but need a lot of work still. 🙂
Although this blog is a personal blog about my family, please look at the things I list that I learned from the moms in my life – because, as I could imagine, I’m sure there are plenty of times a mother wonders if anything sticks. They wonder what words will be remembered and what lessons will be learned. Hopefully, after reading this tribute to my moms, you will not just know me a little better, but you will be encouraged to know every word you say, and every thing you do DOES matter. We daughters and sons are watching, learning, remembering. So, no matter how screwed up we kids are, never give up. You are one of the most powerful leaders in the world.
My 3 Moms
Why do I say “moms”, plural? In many ways, I had more than one mom. I had a mom during the week, another mom on Friday nights and a third mom on Saturday nights. Since my parents were in a rock band most of my childhood, I stayed with my mom’s mom every Friday night. We watched Lawrence Welk and Dukes of Hazzard, and colored for hours and hours. Every Saturday I would go to my dad’s mom’s house and we’d swim until we were prunes. We watched Love Boat, Chips and Fantasy Island, and probably ate enough popcorn to cover the state of Florida. Then, we’d wake up and go to church, where I’d meet back up with my parents. That was exactly how every week went, every year of my life from birth to about 12 years of age.
Mom #1: Julianne
During the week, I was with my birth mom (Julianne Talley). She was the one that cooked, cleaned and tucked me in at night. She was the one who taught me to play piano, and to smile and waive to people when they flip you off when driving.
She was patient enough to braid my hair in a million braids when I was convinced I wanted to look like Bo Derick. She was smart enough to take the ugliest most embarrassing car to pick me up from school when I asked her to pick me up in the Porsche. She was honest enough to admit she was human and made mistakes, and she was quick to ask for forgiveness when she felt like she failed me.
She taught me that it’s ok not to be perfect, but it’s not ok to not strive to be. She showed me how to rely on God and not people – and how important it was to open your house to anyone in need, despite their race, their age or their past.
She even taught me that you don’t have to be a talented hostess to entertain, you just have to open your front door. She explained to me how you do things because they are the right thing to do, whether you feel like it or not. She showed me how to make a meal out of whatever you can find in the pantry and make it amazing.
And, she’s not done teaching me, and hopefully, I’m not done learning.
I even can thank her for my career in fitness. I just found this letter to my mom when I was visiting my Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Bruce and two cousins, Brandon and Ben Tanner. I had to laugh when I saw how proud I was to tell my mom I’d taken a shower and been doing my exercises. SO, I guess this letter marks my first commitment to health and exercise. Just don’t read the part about gum and candy! ha!
Mom #2: Bertha
My dad’s mom (Bertha Lee Talley) taught me to giggle, how to garden, dog paddle and float in the water. She introduced me to popcorn and scuppernong grapes, which she grew in her side yard. She taught me to sing “Five Foot Two”, to never talk ill of anyone, and to read my bible. She taught me that a good snack is tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in vinegar (fresh from her garden) and not potato chips and junk. She showed me how to grow old in style, and have fun always.
She taught me how to love and hug, and play old maid. She taught me that music brings people together, as she’d often entertain the family by playing some of her favorite hymns on the piano. She loved to cook and make her own jelly – and she often showed people her love through her food and endless hospitality.
Mom #3: Julia
My mom’s mom (Julia Rigby Tanner) led by quiet example. She showed me how to serve others and how to make a difference. She taught me that prayer is powerful and to never give up on anyone or anything. She taught me that joy is not about being happy or having everything go your way. With a life of chronic back pain, she showed me that you can have immense joy despite pain – and THAT was one of her biggest testimonies to me. She also taught me the power of a written word, which has driven me in many ways to do what I do.
Although I haven’t learned to listen like she always did, she gave me the model to go by. She selflessly cooked scrambled eggs, toast and bacon for me every Saturday while I stayed glued to the TV set watching cartoons. She was the one who taught me to put bacon on my toast with jelly, introduced me to congealed salad (which I never learned to like), and is the reason I love pot roast and poundcake.
Work in Progress
You see, I am a little bit of all 3 of these women. To understand me, where I came from, what my beliefs are and to know my role models, may help you know what I desire to be. While I have a loooooong way to go to be as good of a woman as they were, I realize they had many more years of practice – and one day, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a fraction of how awesome they were to me.
Thank you to all the mom’s in my family …my mom, grandmothers, mother-in-law, aunts and cousins. I am so thankful for every one of you!