so i was writing a post about me and my insecurities... and realized that that's not what i want to write about tonight. i want to write about my momma.
she's been through more in the last three and a half years than i think i could possibly ever endure. she's shown more grace, more compassion, more wisdom, and more strength than any other woman i've ever seen.
it all started three and a half years ago when grandma joyce, my mom's mom, went into the hospital. she and grandpa had both been ill around Christmas in 2006, so we didn't get so spend Christmas with them like we usually did. a couple of days after Christmas, grandma went into the hospital. after tons of tests, we learned that she had an inoperable tumor in her brain. treatment wasn't likely to be too effective. it sucked.
but i watched momma as she cared for grandma. she made sure that she was at the hospital all day long. every day. she waited with grandma for answers. she kept everyone informed. she put her life on hold to care for her momma. i don't know a ton about momma's childhood, but i know that grandma and grandpa were very hard on momma in a lot of ways. so much so that grandma and mom's relationship suffered. but i watched momma put all of that aside and focus on caring and loving grandma and grandpa through everything.
for four months, we went through treatment. in and out of the hospital in wichita and in hutch. here... there... all over. and momma still made herself available and was there whenever she could be. she was still teaching full time during the whole thing as well. her students' education didn't suffer a bit. they didn't miss a beat. she was amazing through it all.
losing grandma is one of the hardest things that i've ever been through. i can't imagine how hard it was for momma. there were so many times she was there with a warm smile and a reminder that we all know where grandma is. that we'll see her again. that we're only separated for a while.
losing your mom is something i NEVER want to go through. i don't think that i could handle it with half of the grace and faith that momma has.
factor in that the last three-ish years momma has had horrid principals and experiences at school... good night. she had so many different things getting thrown at her. she was torn down repeatedly by her peers. made to feel like she couldn't be an effective teacher any more. she was constantly told that she was wrong and that her kids weren't learning anything. all of these things were such lies!
and yet, momma held her tongue when she needed to. she stood up for herself when she could. she didn't let her temper get the better of her. she was patient with the people that seemed out to ruin her and everything that she has put into teaching for the last 16 years. she jumped through the hoops she was forced to jump through. she did everything they told her to.
i won't lie to you and say that she did it all with a huge smile on her face. because she most definitely didn't do that. who could? yeah, there were a couple of times that she almost let harsh and hurtful words come out of her mouth. she is human, after all.
but through everything, she always told me the same thing: she prayed for all of those people. all of those people that hurt her. that continue to have such a detrimental effect on my mom. she continues to pray for them even now. does she like them? absolutely not. but she still continues to pray for her enemies. prays that they will come to know Christ and the saving grace that he provides.
she's not teaching anymore. and i know that she's struggling with finding who she is now that she's not teaching full time. suddenly not doing something that you've done every day for the last 16 years is something i can't even imagine.
she's a retired teacher now. not necessarily by her choice either. she may not be in a classroom anymore. but my momma... she's still a teacher. she's one of the best teachers anyone could ever learn from. she's shown great humility. she's shown great compassion. she's shown perseverance. she's shown love. she's shown patience. she's shown grace. she's shown strength. she's shown faith.
all of this rambling (and i really did ramble a lot there, didn't i?) to really only say one thing:
i'm proud of my momma.
i couldn't ask for a better person for God to have chosen to raise me. she's everything i ever want to be in a woman. in a wife. in a mother.
she's the best example i've ever known.
she's my momma.