I'm linking up with my sweet friend Amy over @ The Story of Us. She and Holly have come up with a great linkup for everyone to share their story or memories of their Mother.
This is all about the woman who still calls me at 6:15 a.m. every morning to wake up. Ever since I left for college, she knew I could sleep through any alarm. I probably would not have graduated from USC if she hadn't woke me up every morning. As a teenager, she would bounce at the end of my bed, tickle my feet, yell, or sing silly songs to me so I would wake up for school. Because Mackenzie is the exact same way - I now realize my Mama had more patience than I will ever have.
My Mama is one special lady. I sat down to write this post and I was trying to think of 1 particular story. Well, I couldn't. My whole life is engulfed with so many memories. My Mama did everything for us. She was and is my best friend. We went everywhere & did everything with her - the grocery store, church, the movies,...everything. Looking back, I can only think of 3 times she went somewhere without us. She really never took 'a break' or had 'Mama time'.
These are some of my favorite photos of her....they make me smile every time I see them. With these pictures I will give you some insight into my relationship with her.
I know after she sees this - she will call me & say 'Melissa Rae! Take those photos off'. (Sorry Mama) :) I think she is beautiful.
|December 1980 - My 1st Birthday|
On my birthday, she would always come in my room singing Happy Birthday to me & follow the song up by saying, "My little girl is gonna be _ years old." She still says this :) And it always takes me back to my childhood. She would cook my favorite meal and have a great cake for me. We would celebrate it with my Granny & Papa and a few little school friends (once I was older).
|Mother's Day 1987|
When I was in the 1st grade, I made her a long card and a key chain for Mother's Day. I can remember this picture very clearly. It was a Sunday and we had just got back from church. After church, she and my Daddy would work in the garden or cut the grass. Before she went outside to garden - me & Luke gave her these things. She probably still has them.
|Mama & Daddy working in the garden on that same day|
Every Easter, Mama would make sure I had a new dress, gloves, and a hat - and sometimes a little purse. She made sure Luke had a cute suit and tie. We would get dressed up and drive down the road to my Granny & Papa's house. My Papa took this picture of us before church.
I can remember her teaching & going over with me a saying every Easter. She would say, "Now Melissa...if someone says 'The Lord has Risen' you are suppose to say 'The Lord has risen Indeed.'"
I taught my kids the same thing...and this past Easter it took me back. Pearson said it to her first and she knew I had taught him. That is a very huge part of life to my Mama. It was always very important to her that I knew Jesus--and she helped me very well.
|Me, Luke & Mama in her office -1995|
As I got older, I am sure I was a terror to her. Teenage girls and the hormones are ridiculous. I can only image how Mackenzie will be. But this particular day - Luke and I drove up to her work to see her during the summer vacation. We were always popping in on her at work - and she never minded a bit.
|Me & Mama 1998|
Occasionally I could grab her and make her take a picture with me. She isn't much for posing for pictures but I know she does it for me. I like to document everything (can't you tell?)
|September 14, 2004|
This was the day I had Pearson. I can remember everything about that day. Mostly, I can remember my Mama being there with me. I was very scared...not knowing what to expect. She was with me for all 3 of my kids & I know she will be right there again if Clay & I have a baby. She has always taken very good care of me. When I am sick - she can tell right away.
This particular day - the nurse on duty was less than stellar in the nice department. Sorry people, but my Mama...she will chew you up and spit you out if you mess with her children. I really have never met anyone else like her. Have you ever seen Terms of Endearment? There is a scene when Shirley Maclaine is trying to get the hospital staff to help her daughter...yeah... that is my Mama. She doesn't care who you are - if she is trying to help us - stand back. :)
Me? I am a combination of her and my Daddy...low tolerance and hot headed - makes for a nasty fight. However, I choose my battles very wisely - I think that has come with age. Don't get me wrong....she is a Mother Lion but she also will help you in a heartbeat.
|Easter 2005 ~ Pearson & Mama|
|Nonie & her 3 Grandchildren ~ July 2007|
After Pearson was born, Mama became a Nonie. :) She wanted to be called GrandMama...but Pearson would say 'Nonie'. She didn't mind it at all. She loves him so much...maybe even more than me ;) j/k And the same stands for my kids....if she feels they are threatened or that the children are not being treated fairly by someone - look out! This is a zero tolerance with her. She will defend us to her last breath. Nonie loves all 3 of her grands as if they were hers. She always says they could go live with her & I know she is serious!
In 2007, she became very ill and had to be hospitalized. I thought I was going to fall apart. She was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema. On top of this - she was hospitalized, because she had pneumonia at it's worst. I was scared to death. The doctors took very good care of her, but I felt helpless. I lived in Columbia & had 3 small babies to look after - but all I wanted to do was be there with her.
She still struggles daily with her condition. But as long as she isn't around any sick people - she can still be up and at it. She works hard...and always has. She is a true fighter in every sense.
|July 4th, 2008|
This is me with Mackenzie, Mama, & Granny. 4 generations of strong-willed gals. The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.
Every Christmas since the kids were born, her and Daddy would come to my house and spend the night Christmas Eve. I would cook (and she would help me of course) and then would 'wait' for Santa to come. She always wanted to be there for Christmas morning to see the kid's faces when they woke up. Mama was making a blanket for Luke in this picture. She is always making something - I would like to think I got my creativeness from her. :)
|My Wedding 2010|
This a picture of all 4 of us at the wedding dinner. Clay & I got married on the beach & boy was it humid and hot! The wind was crazy, but it didn't help Mama with her breathing. She was determined come hell or high water to stick it out...and she did. Everything was so great that day. It was like everything fell into place for my life....and for my kids. Mama is always there...
|Mama & Me|
Dear Mama, I want to thank you for everything. You raised me to stand up for what I believe in and never let anyone walk all over me. You love me even when I am being silly, sad, obtuse or even bratty. I know you love me with all your heart & you love Pearson, Mackenzie & Killian the same. I use to think you were too over-protective growing up, but I now realize as a mommy - there is no such thing. You still know me better than anyone. You know what my cries mean, my laughter, my anger and even my silence.
I thank God every day for you...for keeping you healthy...and for letting you be my Mama. But all in all, I just want to thank you for being YOU. You are a lifeline to me.
I love you so much Mama.
Happy Mother's Day!