Last name, EVER. First name, GREATEST. Middle name, MOM.

Posted: October 12, 2010 in Family
Tags: , , ,

Me & my Mom!

So today marks my mom’s (censored)th birthday.  I know that a lot of folks claim to have great and wonderful mothers but… my Mom is amazing and has given me some fantastic memories.  Growing up, it was just the two of us for my first 5 years of life before my brother was born and before she got married later.  She would lug me with her all over the place, which couldn’t have been easy during the times when she had to take the bus.  I remember that I loved books and reading as a kid. Do you remember the old school “tape and books” that they used to make? There would be Disney picture books that also came with audio recordings of the book. The recordings would make a chime to let us little kids know when it was time to turn the page. Before I could even really read, my mom not only bought me some of those books, but she also recorded her own voice reading some of my other children’s stories. She would shake a baby rattle to let me know when it was time to turn the page. I truly appreciate that my mom went to such lengths to be a positive influence on my desire to learn as a kid. She regularly showed her love for me by doing little things like this as well as telling me that she loved me. Even when I got old enough to make bad decisions, she was always there for me and always in my corner.

Growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money.  We did alright, probably lower middle class-ish, but we’ve never just had a ton of money to throw around.  For my 16th birthday, she wanted to go as “all out” as she could.  Maybe about a week before my birthday, we got a call at the house.  We had caller ID and I recognized it as one of my friends.  I picked up the phone and as I said “hello,” I heard my mom pick up the phone also.  I told her “I got it,” but she blurted out “no, it’s for me.  Hang up.”  Real slick, right?  So I’m pretty certain that my mom is planning on throwing me a surprise party.  I have to pretend like there was nothing wrong with one of my friends calling for my mom and get ready with my best surprised face for whenever the party was going down.

Anyway, my parents take me out for dinner and I know that this is it.  I got my surprise face down and I’m ready for this.  We walk into this room at a restaurant and not only do I see all of my best friends there, I also see  my aunts, my cousins and my older sister, all from my biological father’s side of the family.  I hadn’t seen any of them for several years.  She somehow managed to get them all in town to celebrate my day without me having a clue.  This was easily the best birthday gift that I have ever gotten.  It was GREAT to see everyone and I will never forget that day as long as I live.  My mom has always been extremely thoughtful and it is a testament to how well she knows my heart to know that this would be so special.  This is just the type of woman that she is.  If you plan on bringing harm to her family, she will fight you tooth and nail.  Her heart is so deeply entwined with family and I hope to someday be half as thoughtful for my family as she is.

Me with cousins and my big sis at my 16th b-day

Another one of my favorite stories with my mom is something that happened in elementary school.  I grew up in a 2 story house.  If my mom needed something and she was all the way on the other side of the house, her voice was the intercom system.  “TONY!”  And then I would have to walk all the way to wherever she was at to see what she needed.  I learned at a young age that it was a bad idea to respond with “WHAT?!?!” when she would call for me.

Anyway, I had my buddy Stephen over and we were kickin it.  I was in probably 4th or 5th grade.  We were having a good ol’ time, playing X-Men on the Sega Genesis.  “TONY!”  I would go see what she wanted and then get back to my friend and my game.  A few minutes later…  “TONY!”  Again, I would go see what she wanted and then get back upstairs again.  Then yet again, “TONY!”  At that point in time, I was like “Dang, why does she keep on callin me?!?” as I walked towards the sound of her voice.  The only thing is, this time she wasn’t all the way on the other side of the house.  She was right down the hall and well within earshot of my comment.  “Why do I keep on callin you?  Oh, you think because your friend is here that you can talk crazy?  Go to your room.”  So I was grounded to my room, even while my buddy from out of town was over visiting.  Even though my mom is a kind-hearted woman, she don’t take no mess.

Mom, I thank you for everything that you have done for me, everything that you have been to me, and everything that you have taught me.  You took me to church and showed me how to pray.  My faith has been the prime source of strength for me and that relationship with Christ that you planted in me has been the foundation for my life.  Thank you for teaching me how to speak to and treat others.  This has paid huge dividends in showing me how to love my wife well and speak to her with love and patience.  Thank you for your sense of humor.  Laughter has been the antidote to a lot of my difficult life circumstances and I love that it comes so easily to me.  Thank you for your unconditional love.  I know that I don’t always do the best job of keeping in touch and visiting as I should.  But you never lose patience with me.  You never become bitter at me.  You just keep on loving me.  Thanks for being a great image of what God’s love for me must also look like.  And thanks for teaching me how to identify what a bad weave looks like.  This makes me feel like I’ve got insider information that most men just don’t have.

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