But a heart that is opened for love’s sake.
Giving birth is not required
But love unfeigned to the child wild
Many are the women who have mothered me
On this blessed day, I honor thee.
Ø Sister Hogan was our backdoor neighbor when I was a curly blonde, bright blue eyed, wildly spoiled pre-school child. I knocked on her door almost every day and every day that I knocked, she invited me in. Her toy drawer, cookie jar, and elderly arms were always open to me.
Ø Mrs. Prengubber taught first grade at Young Elementary. One day she gave me a pair of pants, pants that I wore proudly the next day to school. Gently she took me aside and told me the pants were actually pajama bottoms. (This in an era when pajamas were NOT worn in public. Ever.) Kindly she told no one else. My secret (and my heart) was safe with her.
Ø Sister Moffett was my BYU mom. She and Brother Moffett (there is not one without the other) lived in Brigham City at the time. On my way to Idaho to visit my parents, on my way back from Idaho after having visited my parents, and many, many times when I was not going to or coming from Idaho, I was in their living room, in their frig, and/or in one of their beds. Once I arrived late, let myself in, and rolled out my sleeping bag on their front room floor. I awoke the next morning to Brother Moffett gently lifting the edge of my bag, trying to figure out who was sleeping in his home. I planned my trips to and through Brigham City so that I would arrive at meal time, knowing that Sister Moffett would offer to feed me. Her food filled my stomach; her love filled my heart.
Ø Aunt Beth mothered me the summers I worked Pioneer Trek. College poor and poorly paid, she and Uncle Doug augmented my bank account by feeding and housing me and increased my confidence by completely embracing me.
Ø Early in our marriage Lance did something that seemed huge (but that I cannot even remember now…..) that hurt my feelings. Sad and feeling lonely I fled to his mother for comfort. From the first time we met, Dianne Hislop has treated me like a daughter. Thank you Mom Hislop for accepting me and embracing me.
Ø Later in our marriage, at a family gathering, burdened by concerns I felt were too heavy to carry, I quietly slipped away, knowing that I had to escape before my sobs became audible and planning to hide until I could pull myself back together. Aunt Linda followed me and, in her kind and wise way, let me know that she cared. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes even now. Hers was and is pure mothering.
Ø Aunt Joanne, Aunt Wanda, Aunt Edie, Aunt Reta, Aunt Ethel, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Jean…..Thank you for accepting me, believing in me, and supporting me. I hope to be to my nieces and nephews what you have been to me.
Ø Marjorie mothers me in countless ways…..cooking for me on field trips, mailing me birthday presents 18 months in advance, sewing Easter and blessing dresses for my girls, providing transportation when my van blows up, giving support to me when I am literally and figuratively weak in the knees…..Thank you, dear sister. Thank you.
Ø In a wonderful role reversal, my daughters mother me. “Would you like to talk?” Tanah offers when she senses I am struggling. Recently I was almost clotheslined as I staggered to the bathroom at 4:30 a.m., by duct tape strung across my bedroom doorway. Attached to the tape was a loving message from Grace, accompanied by a flashlight and my glasses so that I could read the message. A triple trail of nice notes dotted the floors; one leading up the stairs, one to the bathroom, and the third to the office. I had gone to bed early the night before, collapsing, and she had stayed up late, creating. What a blessing my mothering daughters are to me!
Ø Mother, my Mother! I honor you, I cherish you, I treasure you! Thank you for taking me, an often whiney and generally spoiled young girl, to feed the ducks, to check out books at the library, and to visit Mr. Jefferies. Thanks to the childhood experiences you gave me, I still love ducks and rivers, I still haunt libraries, and I take my children to visit lonely widowers. Thank you for countless encouraging notes, for enduring my tantrums when you taught me to sew, and for spending money you did not have to buy a new dress for me so that I could feel pretty when I went to BYU to interview for the Kimball Scholarship. Thanks to you I write notes to (and receive notes from) to my children, I patiently and empathetically endure Tanah’s fits when I am trying to teach her chemistry, and I spent money I did not want to to buy Tanah a prom dress because I remember how important it is to feel pretty. I take Tanah’s forgotten homework to school because I remember how meaningful it was to me when you drove from Newdale to Sugar City (30 minutes each way) to bring me nylons when mine snagged on a chair in the science lab. You have always loved me, Mother my Mother, and I will always love you. Thank you.
Many are the women who have mothered me.
On this blessed day, I honor thee.