Friday, March 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

You know you're a good mom when your kids wonder how they could ever live up to your example as a parent. This is a conversation my sister and I have had more than once. My mom used to tell me that she was almost born an April Fool, but I assure you, she is no fool. She has taught me much of what I might know about treating others with love and respect and the power of positive thinking. She makes good decisions based on how others are affected by them. She is not swayed by a vocal majority, but by justice and mercy. She is full of the fruits of the Spirit and blesses others with them.

When I was growing up, I just assumed that it was normal for everyone to know the 7000 people who lived in our town. I remember sitting in the front of the basket at the grocery store amazed after she had stopped to have the 50th conversation with someone she knew. I asked her, "How did you get to know everybody?" She insisted she didn't, but I didn't believe her. To this day, she either knows everyone in Batesville or something about them, which has made her really good at her job and life in general.

My mom always looks great. She insists that like her cousin Odell (who dyed her hair a bright fire engine red until the day she passed in her 80s) she will always color her hair. Fortunately mom's is a good color that appears in nature. She wears great clothes, and her jewelry and hair are always just right. Fashion plate that she is, there is one story that puts her fashion sense in perspective.

Mom works at the bank. There are other banks in Batesville, but she works at "the" bank. Years ago she was head of new accounts, so she had a desk that was right out in the lobby. Every day Drury would stop by her desk to see her. Drury is a true Batesville citizen. He was probably in his 50s at the time of this story. He knows everybody, walks all over town rain or shine, stops into all of the stores, and tells people parts of their personal history that they might have forgotten. He's like a walking Batesville history book. His mind and behavior are developmentally delayed, but somehow he remembers absolutely every detail he is told. Anyway, Drury always stopped by mom's desk during the day to talk with her. While he was there he would inevitably prop his foot on her leg and ask her to tie his shoes. It wouldn't matter what mom was wearing or what the weather was doing outside, he'd just put that foot right up there. Mom said she was always happy to tie Drury's shoes for him and never worried about her clothes or what anybody might think or say. Though I believe design is very important, mom demonstrated for me something I try to live out in my own life: the way something looks is never more important than someone else's needs.

She has tried to teach me many other things over the years, some of which have stuck. I hope she has a good time today.


Anonymous Sally said...

What a nice tribute. Your Mom sounds like a really terrific lady, I hope she has a wonderful birthday!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous jennie said...

Yes, a very happy birthday to a very lovely lady!
She apparently didn't mind my slobber on her lap, either. (WHEN I WAS A KID; don't judge me too quickly. Miss Katy let Julie and me sleep on her lap during Sunday night church.)

9:45 AM  

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