24 October 2013

I was recently asked...

Who I admired the most.  I wanted to put a lot of thought into it. I immediately thought of my Mom, because I do admire her a great deal.  I love her and I look up to her and I respect her so much.  My Mom is one of my best friends in the world, but after putting a lot of thought into it I chose my grandmother.  Not just one or the other though, both of them.

Both of them were strong, independent thinking, intelligent, God-fearing women who I respect and admire so much.  I don't even think writing this up would give enough credit to their lives.

When people ask me why I had so many kids I'm not even sure what theories they come up with.  I've had people ask if we're Catholic (no but we don't use BC either) or we're Mormon (no, but I have a lot of awesome Mormon friends), if we have a TV (seriously don't get this one really, there are other things to keep us occupied than a TV, like board games, and our kids), or some other rude question that's really none of their business.  But to be honest, my biggest motivator were my grandmothers'.  My Mom was only able to have me.  She had a partial hysterectomy shortly after I was born.  I was the youngest of 3 girls for my Dad but I didn't get the privilege of meeting my middle sister until we were both adults, and my oldest sister is old enough, honestly, to be my mother.  So while I did grow up with her, she didn't grow up with me.  I was, and act like, an only child.

But, even being an only child, I knew what it was like to be surrounded by family.  I have an awesome family.  So many aunts and uncles and cousins.  My father's mother had four children, 3 boys and a girl, and my mother's mother had six children, five girls and a boy, and both of those women were the glue that held our family together.

Both of those women, are who I admire the most.  For their commitment to their families, and especially for the love, strength and courage they showed me in how they lived their lives.

My Mom's Mom, my grandma, my grammy was someone who was quiet but strong all the same.  She was so soft spoken to me, and yet, I never wanted to be on a disapproving side of her stare.  She always made you feel welcome, and she spent time with you and had so much patience when explaining things to you.  She had faith, and even though she had difficulties and many surgeries that could have laid her up she kept going.  She was always there to help and her hugs.  Oh her hugs.  I miss those more than anything.  She raised six pretty awesome kids.  I love all my aunts and my uncle, and so happy to have had the cousins I have.  I feel blessed to be part of our family, and we manage to get along so well even though we all grew up across the country (countries even) and have different views on things, we still come together in love and friendship.

I can remember our Sunday dinners that we had so often.  It was a big deal to have dinners on Sunday, and then we'd watch football, or my cousins and I would play int he backyard or down by Tiger Park, and the house was full of warmth and love and laughter and I always thought, this is what I want my home to emulate.  This kind of love and activity.  When we went home things were just too quiet.

I felt that way also when we would travel up to North Carolina to visit my other set of grandparents (which was not often enough imo).  We'd also have Sunday dinners after church where we'd listen to my uncle sing.  We'd have true southern meals, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, greens, cole slaw, corn on the cob and we'd sit around the table and talk and laugh and catch up on things missed.  We'd watch football, the kids would play on the tire swing and if we were lucky on when we went up, I could watch the hot air balloons from the back yard.

Maw was such a wonderful, head strong woman who I used to love to follow around and just watch what she was doing.  I loved to watch her sew, crotchet, and paint.  Especially paint.  I cherish her paintings, and she used to tell me, Bob Ross was the most wonderful painter in the world, but I truly believe it was her.  She was so talented, and I always felt special when she'd lit me sit there and ask her questions about the paint, and what she was doing and she would explain it all out to me, with not even a hint of impatience in her voice.  I wish I could have watched her paint way more often then I got the chance.

These two women are the ones who inspired my want of a large family.  I want to be surrounded by my children the way they were, I want to have so much love and happiness and excitement and energy in my house like I remember having in theirs.  I want to be remembered like they are.  I want to be that strong role model that they were for me, because honestly, I could have no finer compliment than for someone to say that I remind them of either one of my grandmothers.