Being that today is Mother’s Day I want to pay tribute to three amazing women, the first being my Mom. It will be hard for me to put into words just how amazing she is. She is selfless and caring and would do just about anything for someone she cares about. My mom has been the Relief Society President twice in the same ward (a congregation in the LDS church). For those of you who may not be familiar with the LDS church the Relief Society is an organization for the women in the congregation age 18 and up. The Relief Society President has a lot of responsibility and she is the “right hand” of the Bishop of the ward. My mom is a very classy lady. She is always dressed immaculately, but that does not stop her from rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty to help in any situation where she is needed. Like me, my mom is also pretty shy, so some people mistake her as being “stuck up” I’ll never forget, there was a great man in my ward growing up whose nickname was Tex and he was a very lively character. He left home (in the South) at the age of 10 or 12 or something like that and was a bootlegger (which he freely shared from the pulpit while bearing his testimony) and joined the church later in life. He would also cuss from the pulpit almost every time he bore his testimony, but everyone knew that Tex’s heart was in the right place and loved him dearly. Tex has since passed away, but one time a few years ago he was bearing his testimony and he singled out my mom. He said that when he first met my mom he thought she was stuck-up and probably looked down at people, but then once he got to know her he realized she was the most genuine, sincere and selfless woman he knew and that she would give a stranger the shirt off her back. My mom was probably fifty shades of red that day because she doesn’t do the things she does for recognition, but he was oh so right. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
My mom works outside of the home and has done pretty much all of my life. Yet somehow she found the time to be practically perfect in every way. She cooked and baked and cleaned and sewed. Every holiday was perfect with fun traditions like homemade candies for Easter and Christmas and homemade birthday cakes decorated just right. She made special treats for friends that came trick-or-treating on Halloween…no generic candy for friends. She was always on the PTA board and co-chairing the yearly carnival or some other activity. My sister’s and I got homemade Easter dresses and homemade pjs at Christmas from Mrs. Claus every year. If I could be half the mom to my girls that my mom was to us I would be doing good.
My little sister was always involved in the school musicals and so my mom got involved too. For years she did make-up and costuming for the high school musicals and then the city wide productions. She volunteers hours upon hours of her time because it’s something she enjoys. She enjoys staying busy and volunteers her time with a number of different events and activities in the community because she enjoys staying busy and helping.
The thing about my mom that I wish I could most emulate is her selflessness. She spends many Saturday mornings cleaning the home of a very sweet family in her ward where the husband and the wife both happen to be blind. As I said before my mom bakes (very well I might add) and does so as a way to just visit people and make sure they are doing well. When she was Relief Society President the second time she baked bread or cinnamon rolls almost every Saturday and said it was a great excuse to just stop by and see how people were doing. After she was released from that position she continued that tradition because she said she wanted people to know she personally cared about them and it wasn’t just because she had to for her position. One non-active woman was struggling with the law and custody of her daughters and she would call my mom and ask for her help. On more than one occasion my mom would babysit for her or take her to court or I’m sure many numerous things that I didn’t know about. She is always willing to take dinner to a new mom or visit a sick friend in the hospital. These are just a few examples of the dozens upon dozens of things my mom does for others. She is definitely a role model like no other. Thank you Mom, for being such a shining example of what I have the potential to become.
The next amazing woman I want to talk about is Aunt Julie. She is my husband’s aunt who he lived with starting at the age of 13 I believe. She is another selfless, truly amazing woman that I would do well to emulate. My husband’s mother died of cancer when he was 11 years old. After she passed away he and his brother lived with various family members for a few years before Aunt Julie stepped in and took them both under her wing. She was single and didn’t have any children so to then all of a sudden have two teenage boys had to be a challenge like none I can imagine. It was after he went to live with Aunt Julie that my husband joined the LDS church. Not long after my husband and his brother went to live with Julie she met and married a wonderful man (Uncle Lynn) whose wife had also passed away from cancer and he had two teenage children himself. I can’t even begin to imagine how trying it must have been to take on the mothering role to four teenagers let alone all of whom were all suffering from the loss of their respective mothers. I believe that in and of itself would qualify her to be a saint, but that is only the beginning of her wonderful qualities. She is a quiet and selfless woman who is very much the nurturer for everyone close to her. She is an RN and not long before she retired she was chosen as nurse of the year for the entire state of Idaho. She too has been Relief Society President and Young Women’s President and she is always selflessly serving people around her. I don’t have many examples of the things that Julie does on a day to day basis because she doesn’t flaunt her good deeds and I’m not around her enough to see all that she does, but from what I have seen I know she is truly a servant of the Lord. She and Lynn have always been so sweet to me and have accepted my children as their grandchildren and I can’t thank her enough for all she’s done for my husband and now me and my girls. Thank you Julie for accepting all of us into your family and for being such a wonderful example to me.
Now for the most amazing woman I never met. As I said before my husband’s mother passed away when he was 11, and we didn’t meet until high school so I never had the opportunity to meet this amazing woman. My husband has a compassion and a chivalry that I know had to have been instilled at a young age. Even though his mother did not get to be there as he grew into adulthood I know that a lot of who he became was because of the wonderful mother that he had. She is Filipino and my husband tells stories of living in The Philippines as a young child and how watching his mom give to the poor instilled that compassion for others. She also taught him to respect women. One little thing that I love is that to this day my husband always opens doors for me. I can’t wait for the day that I get to meet his mom in heaven and thank her for the man that my husband has become.