This post is EXTREMELY past due, but I simply couldn't let another day go by without honoring the woman who gave me life. I have racked my brain trying to put into words my respect and admiration of my mother, but the English language simply will not suffice. Therefore, I'm going to tell you a story about my momma, and in it I think you will see her beautiful character and wonderful spirit.
Every family looks forward to summer vacation and come June cruises are being booked, plane tickets purchased, condo's prepared and bags packed. Aside from Christmas, it truly is the best time of year. And so, as our friends were packing their designer bags and jetting off to the Caribbian, we were loading up the trusty, ole RV headed for the Kentucky State Fair! That's right, we stuffed that camper full of board games, Gaither Cd's and enough Chef Boyardee speghetti to last the entire week week.
As our friends put in their head phones and boarded planes headed South, we piled in the RV singing countless rounds of good-ole Southern gospel favorites. There was of course the occasional argument as to who was singing what "part," but since my sister was (and is) tone deaf we quickly harmonized our "quartet."
Now, I should stop here and say that while insanely happy, my family should be the poster people for travelers aid of America. Our vacation mishaps include two sets of stitches, a broken leg, a broken toe, and a near earlobe amputation. We have also managed to dump an entire weeks worth of groceries into the lake, drink contaminated water, and catch fire at the gas pump. So, you can imagine our delight when this particular vacation went smoothly.
After several days of fair food, free concerts, Kentucky Kingdom trill rides, and several trips to see Freddy Farmer, we decided to to head to the flea market our last night for some shopping. That's right, most families eat at gourmet restaurants, see Broadway productions, go to Disney and meet Mickey Mouse, but the state fair is our Kentucky take on that vacation!
While wading knee high in junk at the flea market, my mom saw a cermanic chicken staure she just had to have. I've never really understood the fasination with chicken decor' but we were all into the 1990's trend, so we bought. My mom picked up the box commenting on it's light weight. Intrigued at how such a large statue should be so easy to carry, we passed the box around "oohing" and "ahhing" at its impressive weight.
The next morning we loaded up all of our stuff, including the chicken statue and headed back to Lexington. Along the way we sang our favorite Bill Gaither "hits" argued over who got to sing alto, and wondered where we would put that light-weight chicken statue.
After making it home, unpacking our bags and gearing up for the next week, we opened the newest box of home decor' and wouldn't you know it...there was NO chicken!!! That's right, we had carried an empty box around the Kentucky State Fair marveling at the light-weight chicken inside and never having the slightest suspicion that it could be empty. In all the disappointment, my mom said, "well, I'll be danged!"
Ha, that's it! And that's Mom. These past few years I have watched my parents brave life's storms, and as the thunder rumbles my mom has remained strong. She has never complained about her circumstances, or asked for sympathy. Rather, she has danced in rain, clothing herself with the memories of dysfunctional vacations past and the warm memories of better days.
I may not have jetted off to five star-hotels in my youth, but I wouldn't trade the memories of that RV, our family sing-alongs, and that empty box. My mom always find the rainbow after the rain, and as I raise my own son I pray I'll bring the same laughter and joy into my home. Ironically, I kept a few of those old chickens from my childhood home and put them on a shelf in my own house. They stand as a constant reminder of my mother's strength and joy and legacy I hope to carry.
I LOVE YOU MOM...Happy Mother's Day!