Tuesday has come, the clouds have lifted and it is a glorious day outside with that crisp, Fall wonderful air. My mom, Jackie is coming today and I’m so excited… she rises early, leaving Morro Bay where she is camping with my little sis’s fam solo just because that’s the kind of woman she is. So strong and independent and brave enough to face anything life throws at her… even a night camping in the pouring rain while her love in life is home in their warm bed. She just absolutely loves the ocean, the sound of the waves and being outdoors in this beautiful world God has given us.
We have one thing that has to be done, my blood work in SLO so as to not waste any of our precious day, we set out as soon as possible. She is totally wanting to baby me … but she knows I am strong, like her, and gives me the freedom to open the lab door … I’m not dying after all! Of course while my blood is being drawn she is making small-talk with all the office ladies, telling them my story and asking them to pray for her sweet daughter.
“Well that was quick,” were my words as we walked back to the truck, the wonder-dog Sadie wagging her tail in the bed. We got back to AG and all these memories were filling my mind. Mostly about how my mom had this awesome privilege of being the mom of twins… how cool is that… the constant attention wherever you go and my mother loves that kind of attention! Not all of it was easy though, she has told us before so many times … how difficult it was for her that Bren and I were so close. We were so utterly connected, a lot of times we just didn’t need her… because we needed each other more. I cannot even imagine my sweet Raegan wanting to be comforted by someone other than me. As very small children we would console each other, while most babies or toddlers cry in the night to get the attention of their mothers, their everything’s… Bren and I would climb into each others cribs for contentment. She was always worried one of us was going to fall climbing the railing in the wee hours and at some point she gave up on the two cribs. So she has lived this life of mothering twins, 38 years, a little from a distance, knowing that she is not the supreme human voice in our lives. And she has done it with so much grace and balance.
Our fun for the day has got to be something creative… that’s just how we are. So she grabs the drill and we brave the wet weeds out to our field where the kids old fort sits. It was a great idea 5 years ago, but why is it those kids won’t play in it? When we built it, there was this tree and it was going to be in the middle of the branches. When the tree fell just days before it was complete, the lure of the fort was never the same! Oh we tried and even made the siding out of old barn wood so I’d like the look from the road but there it sat for years. One of those projects you kinda regret every time you walk by, especially Josh feeling so bad that he and his dad had wasted soo much time… soo much money that just sits!!
So we each pick out our favorite board, the drill spins and we set up the work space for paint on the driveway. My board is old and rough and has this cool yellow algae residue stuff on it, I’m thrilled! The paint begins to take shape, not perfect painting, I need more green so we mix brown and yellow, the colors don’t match but they don’t have to, this is art people! My famous words… if you don’t like it just paint the whole thing and start it again! You have nothing to lose when you are creating. Our plan is Fall signs… mine I think will say ‘With a Grateful Heart’, she has plans for ‘Family’ in dark blue. The word of the year for Mom and her love Curt, my third earthly Dad… after 6 years of being newlyweds and focusing on their marriage, their love, their relationship… their focus has shifted to Family for this 2015. And wow has it been that kind of year and they have risen to it so admirably.
The paint is drying and we are hungry and we relax eating lunch together, me asking her about details of when we were young, how it really was for her … a single mom with three little kids trying to protect us and make the decisions she needed to for us. Those choices were not always what she would have chosen for herself. We load up Sadie and her board, no words yet but we will have time to do that. She orders me to my afternoon nap, otherwise I will get in trouble with Josh tonight for overdoing it … something I tend to do when a project is in the works!
She drives out my driveway and it reminds me of this time when I was 14, the summer after my sophomore year. My mom and I were famous for maybe exaggerating details a little, the dramatic in us. Well we both noticed it and we had this goal to memorize James 3:1-12, our attempt to control our tongues.
It reads “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because we know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
I was backpacking in Yosemite that week I remember, so I memorized and when I returned home we both were so proud of ourselves, proud that we had made a goal and accomplished it. We both still have a flair of drama and can tell a good story that might add a little liberty in the details, after all Like Mother…Like Daughter!