Living Wholeheartedly

I keep trying to write about other things but my mind and heart are so full of my mother that I guess I will just go with the flow and see where it takes me. We did not talk on the phone every day or even every week, but we did talk daily in my head. Mothers are more powerful than they feel or know. I feel her “votes” on everything I do. Sometimes I agree with her and sometimes I do not, both are valuable lessons.

Here are the words I shared at my mother’s memorial …

….My mother had a great gift for going overboard. It used to embarrass me as a kid and teenager. But in later years I came to realize that the better word for her was “whole-hearted”. She did nothing just halfway or half-hearted.

When my mother became interested in painting ceramics, she took ceramic classes, began buying the molds and then for several years taught her own ceramics classes and ‘fired’ her student’s creations in her own kiln in our garage! She also loved to oil paint and so for as long as I can remember there were numerous oils of great old barns around our home.

She loved card games, we often found ourselves sitting in a circle late into the night for hours and hours when visiting. There is an entire drawer in the dining room full of playing cards! I have played Shanghai for many hours while longing for my bed!

My mom loved to garden. Did she just do some pretty yard planting and leave it at that? No way! She went to classes and became a Certified Master Gardener and displayed a garden scenes at the fair, she also created and sold some beautiful planters called Hypertufas, for several years. Her yards are a lush and inspiring place to walk or sit and enjoy the scenery. My mom’s yards have “rooms” divided by greenery that have distinct themes and colors and moods.

When Mom became interested in photography, she again attended classes and my first-born is embarrassingly THE most photographed kid in the world! This was 28 years ago, before the digital age and every one’s phones included a camera. She would show me pictures of him in outfits I had never seen because she had her own little fashion shows when she babysat him!

But her best time for going overboard was the holidays. The boxes and boxes of decorations were brought in from the garage and “Decoration/Craft Room” and the house was thoroughly transformed top to bottom. Curt still talks about his first Christmas in our family. Walking into my parent’s home had him wide-eyed and a little dis-oriented! No room was left without holiday cheer and adornment. I remember him coming to me and quietly saying, “Umm, there is a Christmas Tree in the bathroom!” My response was, “Yah, so?”

But my mom did not confine her decorating to the house and yard. Every job she held in my growing up years was another opportunity to “brighten the place up”. At the hospital jobs, the dry cleaning and office job, and our home church; her holiday decorations changed the atmosphere for the better. And I would not be surprised to hear that she has been decorating for her church functions and women’s clubs here.

Mom’s gift of doing everything with her whole heart will be missed….

Another thought that I will add here but was not appropriate at the service is that my mom made me crazy and she also kept me sane. That gives me great hope for my own children’s sanity!

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