My mother is the one woman I look up to most in this world. It's true. She's a huge role model to me, and if I could turn out to be half the woman she is, then that would make me happy.
She's taught me so much throughout my life, that she has helped mold me into the person I am today...as well as shown me the person I want to continue to work to BE.
When I was little, growing up on our ranch, she took us (me, my little sister and our four older half-siblings, her stepkids) on hikes into the woods. She taught us the names of every tree, flower and bush...and even showed us the edible ones. I wish I'd listened closer.
She encouraged creativity, doing crafts with us at home, making God's Eyes and collages. I wish I had her artistic ability. It inspired me to try to do crafts with my kids, and they love my attempts.
She kept a steady supply of books on our bookshelves and boosted my love of reading. She read to us and encouraged knowledge and learning. She went back to school and finished two undergraduate degrees and a law degree with children at home.
We learned to be mischievious from her...from all the little pranks she pulled around the house; from the styrofoam head in the toilets to the "I'm not your mother, an alien has taken over my body" events. When she toilet-papered her friend's house who was turning 30, we went along and learned the art of papering.
She gave me my first camera, an Olympus 35mm, and passed on her love of photography. She also gave me my most recent digital camera and Photoshop Elements so that I could continue my love of photography. She taught me to preserve my family's memories through pictures and to put them albums right away, so we could enjoy and relive our happy times through them.
She shared her love of animals with me. My life is not complete with an animal in my life. We had cats, dogs, cattle, pigs, chickens, donkeys, ducks, horses, peacocks and rabbits on our ranch. She rode horses growing up, helped out at her dad's vet clinic as a child. We always had pets growing up and she even talked me into getting a pot belly pig in high school when I wanted a puppy, and the pig, Kory, ended up being one of the best pets I've ever had.
I learned that I should reach for the stars, and that I could do anything I put my mind to from her. I haven't done it yet, but I know that potential is inside me somewhere because she put it there. She taught me it's never too late to do something with my life.
Best of all, she is now teaching MY children these things, and for that, I am thrilled beyond belief. They will benefit from knowing her and her knowledge, just like I did, and I could honestly not ask for more.
I'm a little worried about what my kids are learning from me..."Mama, is that going on the blog?" and "Mama, do NOT put that on the blog!" or "Mama, you HAVE to put THAT on the blog." lol
I love my mom. She's my best friend, my mentor, my confidant, my idol, and one of the most amazing people I know. I truly treasure her and the relationship we have.
Thanks, Mom, for all you do and all that you are. Always.