Today is Mother's Day, and if you are walking this earth you have a mom to thank for it. Today I thought I would pay tribute to all of the moms in my life by telling all of you a little bit about why their praise is so well deserved.
Of course, I must thank my own mother, Rita Colby. She is the reason I do what I do. We lost Dad over a year ago, and she has been discovering a new life without him. My mom did her best with us, always the level head, always the perfect compliment of love and grace to compliment my dad's wise words and quiet resolve. When dad passed it was hard, but it was after a long illness, and she is spending her time traveling, reading, being my greatest and most welcome critic, and working tirelessly at her local church. She worked so hard to help my dad put bread on the table, for we did not have much growing up, but we had love, a Godly home, and many laughs and tears. She knows how to say just the right thing, knows how to take a joke, snickers at my dry wit, and is great with my kids when they don't deserve it. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
Next is my wife, Kristie. She is definitely the greatest Mom I know. She wanted since kindergarden to be a home-maker, and the proof is in her dedication. We have four kids between the ages of 12 and 6. They are more than a handful, and I don't know what I'd do without her. She now works at the elementary where my children attend, takes them all to school, does many menial tasks around our house that never get noticed, spent all day yesterday weeding our garden, has an artist's eye for photography, takes care of her crazy writer husband and still finds time to plant flowers and love on our kids. I cannot say enough about her. She is fantastic, beautiful and more than I deserve. Happy Mother's day, my love.
My mother-in-law Debbie Berna is probably the most amazing woman on the planet. Not only does she love her bumbling, opinionated and eccentric son-in-law, she raised two children, saw them out of the house (after also taking in foster children) and then adopted two African-American boys and with the help of her husband has raised them as well. One is out of the nest, doing well, and the other has one more year of high school. Both boys, born to broken conditions, live well adjusted lives thanks to her selfless love for them. They are her children, and they call her mom. She is full of dry wit, has a heart full of merciful gold, and is my wife's best friend. Happy Mother's Day, Debbie.
Debbie's mother Dorothy lives down the road from us. One day she had a problem with the engine on her Lincoln Town Car and appeared on my doorstep, hair wrapped in a bandanna, clothes covered with grease, wanting to borrow some of my tools. I offered to help, but she refused kindly, and said that she would drop the oil pan and "fix what needed to be fixed." Grandma Dorothy has had a hard life, lived by herself until her son moved back in with her. She doesn't ever ask for much, goes to bed by 8, is an early riser, a do-it-yourselfer, and has more hummingbirds at her house than there are bees in a hive. My middle daughter, Leigha, stayed with her on Tuesday and they went to town together. Leigha bought a very large flower for her mother and Grandma Dorothy helped pay for it. There are secret things that Grandma Dorothy does for us that we may never know about. Happy Mother's Day, Grandma Dorothy.
Finally, there is my sister, Joyce Dover. She went back to school after her two children were teenagers. Her oldest daughter Kiersten will graduate from high school next May, and her son Colby begins high school next Fall. I went to her graduation at Carl Albert State College on Friday night. Up until graduation, she and her husband were active in youth ministry at their church in Stigler, Oklahoma. Jeff, her husband, left the ministry after 21 years to pursue a career in the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. While Joyce was finishing up her coursework, Jeff entered the 60th Highway Patrol Academy with much promise. He was one of the top five cadets in his class and also the oldest at 39. Jeff came to a point where even though the mental and physical demands of the academy were not a factor (the guy runs marathons), he just "didn't feel right about it." He approached the officers in charge with the news that he was resigning. They tried to talk him out of it, but he felt that God sent him through the Academy to learn that he was best suited for ministry after all, and he is. We are all very proud of Jeff, but I think often about my sister. She supported Jeff throughout his soul-testing. She has graduated with honors from her program all while raising two children and watching her husband go through probably one of the most life-changing experiences of his career as a minister. I am so proud of them both. Seeing her walk across the stage at the commencement was one I will never forget. Happy Mother's Day, Joyce.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there who do great things and are never noticed for it. If your mom is still living and you can get in touch with her, then do so today. She has done so much for you in her life and even if the two of you have exchanged words that are hurtful, or if your mother is angry at you for something, at least try to tell her you love her today. She's your mom, after all.