Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Family profiles -- my mom

A few weeks ago I began what will be a series of postings about my family members. For my father-in-law, I wrote a couple of stories to illustrate the man. Stories wouldn't work quite as well for my mom, so I'm going to use bulletpoints. This allows me to give you lots of little snapshots in bite-size morsels:

--She has been married to my dad for more than 35 years. That gave me stability.
--She worked as a secretary until I was born, and then she stayed home to raise me and my younger brother. That gave me her presence.
--She was (and is) her sons' biggest champion, always sticking up for us through troubles in school, sports or life in general. That gave me support.
--On the topic of sports, she never missed a practice or game. Most of the time she was the official scorekeeper, team mom, or filled some other volunteer role. She always thought I was the best player on the field. In baseball this was usually true. In basketball and soccer... not so much. That gave me healthy pride.
--She was very funny, but mostly only when she wasn't trying to be funny. When that happened, she was able to laugh with the rest of us at her unique way with words. That taught me humility.
--She has never met a stranger. You hear this cliche all the time, but I mean, she really hasn't met a stranger. Family members, professional athletes, mentally disabled people, foreigners, flaming homosexuals in a Busch stadium parking lot... she has no hesitation to speak to all of them as if they're closest friends. That taught me universal love (alas, I am still a slow learner on this one).
--She turned our home into a haven for my friends, and my brother's friends. Many of these guys had homes that were uncomfortable, unloving, or even downright violent. They came to our house and were always treated as family. Most of them would rather hang out at our house than go out on the town. That gave me an unbelievably powerful example of hospitality.
--She knew what I was capable of in life, and called me on it if I fell short. She didn't care what other kids were doing -- if I could do better, then that was the standard. Period. That gave me accountability and the strength to be myself.
--She knew that what we do for others can sometimes be a sacrifice, but the benefit always exceeds the cost. Here eyes were open and her hands reached out to needs around us on a daily basis. That taught me the responsibility of citizenship.
--She was able to transition with her eldest son as he left home, and her role shifted from caretaker to confidante. That showed me flexibility, and that I should never stop growing and adapting. But I'll always be her son.

She loves shopping, but would rather shop for gifts for someone else rather than for her own stuff. She is an excellent driver, even though she's blonde. She can type dozens of emails a day, but is wary of computer features outside the ones she uses regularly. She has an energy that is still unlike any other person I've ever met. Her spirit is pure, naively optimistic and unabashedly outgoing. Her heaven will be a beachside home (with air conditioning and lemon sweet tea on tap), a short drive from the relocated Arrowhead stadium, where they play (and win) every week. Her family will all have season tickets.

And since it's heaven, and there's no risk of injury, her sons may even be on the field. :)

It is said that mothers are by far the most powerful female influence in a son's life, and have an inestimable effect on how they interract with other women as adults. Mothers have a huge influence on what boys look for in a girl, and who they marry. My brother and I married very well, and we have a solid respect and love for what women bring to our world. We saw it first in her.

It's her 55th birthday today. I love you, mom!


~aj~ said...

This made me teary!

What a sweet tribute to such a wonderful mom. I'm sure you and Matt don't need me to tell you how blessed you are to have been raised by such a special mother, but I'll say it anyway. :) She is a gem!

hard.rox said...

Wow! Just "Wow"! What a wonderful post for what can only be described as a wonderful person.

Happy B-day, Mrs. Wilson!

Hal Johnson said...

This is a gem. Happy birthday to your mom.

MamaRose said...

THIS is the SWEETEST blog ANYONE has EVER written about me--or anyone else that I've read about, for THAT MATTER--THANKS SO VERY MUCH, Michael, for such a GLOWING 'TRIBUTE'--ON MY '55th' BD!!!!!!!!

I thought the one of yours about Lowell was GREAT--but this one, maybe because as a Mother you WANT to be THE VERY BEST MOTHER you can POSSIBLY be & sometimes I struggled with physical 'ailments', etc. in the MIDDLE of raising you & Matt & always wondered if I 'dropped off' any during those times--guess you don't rememeber them--(or just didn't bring them up)--THANKS!!!!!!

We are all 'ONLY HUMAN'--but, I felt like I was ALMOST reading Proverbs 31 about THAT WONDERFUL WOMAN!!!!! I'm 'ON A HIGH, for sure--AND, to say I'm an 'excellent driver', even though I've had like 3 speeding tickets in the last 3 years or so--HOW VERY SWEET!!!!!--don't think Dad would agree with that--HA!!!

To have YOUR OWN SON who LIVED with you 24-7 for 18 YEARS & MORE-- during the Summers in between College--and who KNOWS YOU INSIDE & OUT to say such COMPLIMENTARY things about you/ME is a DREAM COME TRUE--MY GOAL IN LIFE, really!

And, you've got it EXACTLY RIGHT about WHERE my HEAVEN on EARTH WOULD BE--WITH 'my' tea coming OUT of the Tap--what a GREAT THOUGHT--wonder if Dad could 'hook that up' HERE?--ha!!!!! AND, to HAVE ALL MY FAMILY & THE CHIEFS RIGHT THERE--THAT & JESUS WOULD/WILL BE HEAVEN FOR ME!!!!!!!!!

And, to see you & Matt choose such EXEMPLARY CHRISTIAN WOMEN as your wives who LOVE you as much as you LOVE THEM & now HAVING OUR FANTASTIC GRANDkids--I couldn't have asked for ANY MORE IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU, AGAIN--and, for being THE THOUGHTFUL-INTROSPECTIVE SON that you are!!!!!!!!!!!!! You and Matt & Jamie & AJ are ALL ONE-OF-A-KIND!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are ALL SO VERY BLESSED BY OUR AWESOME GOD!!!

MamaRose said...

Oh, you can TELL 'hard.rox' that MY MOTHER-IN-LAW's NAME is MRS. WILSON--My 'name' with all the guys, growing up around here, was/is: MAMA ROSE!!!!!--but, THANKS for the BD wishes!!!!!!!!!

MamaRose said...

OH, AND I have learned how to 'copy & paste' on our computer, which comes in very handy--BUT, THAT'S ABOUT IT--so, you were right.

MamaRose said...

Well, I've never done this before--written BACK 3 comments IN A ROW--but, just wanted to tell you, too, that I'M SAVING ya'lls SWEET BD MESSAGE to me on our PHONE, TOO--it's right after Donnie's--so, now we have 2 Answering Machine Messages that CAN'T be erased!!!!!!

This way I can LISTEN to ya'll ANY TIME I WANT--NEAT!!!!!
THANKS!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU, Mom

MamaRose said...

Well, that was '4', not '3' comments in a row--so, this is '5'--but, just HAD to correct what I said about my speeding tickets--I've ONLY had 2 in the last year or year and a half, the other 'thing' was when I back-ended that guy on 151st Street when he 'QUICK STOPPED' me!!!!!!!!

That sounds better right--NOT 3 speeding tickets--my other one was a LONG time AGO on the way home from a Royals Game with 2 of ya'lls friends in the car & ON 151st Street, AGAIN--Maybe I should just TRY to STAY OFF that Street--Like STAYING OUT OF LEAWOOD--where I got the 2 speeding tickets--too bad our Dentist is over there, huh??!!!!!