Today I sit down to write my first blog for Choose Joy and I am overwhelmed with the possibilities of choices I have on what subject to actually blog about first. I have many things I want to write about but I think the first thing I want to do is tell you a little about myself. Maybe this will gain a little insight on just who I am and how I have come to be where I am today.
I was born and raised in Topeka, KS. I am the youngest of five. My parents were both hardworking individuals who provided well for our family. My father was a violent alcoholic and my mother an absolute saint. What she endured from my father’s drinking is beyond my comprehension. I never understood how she could love him but she did more than that - she managed to teach the five of her children to love him as well!!
My mother is a rock without knowing it. She is the glue that held us together. She would be up late at night (sometimes all night) being belittled, badgered and even swung at, then she would get ready and leave the house by 6:30am to go to the hospital where she was a nurse - a very good nurse too. I don’t know how she did it, being up all night, protecting her children and then going to work with a smile on her face and caring for very sick people…people that were dying of cancer. How is it that she didn't hate my father for the abuse that he put her, and our family, through while perfectly innocent people lay suffering and dying.
My mother honored and loved my father. She took her vows of “in good times and bad” to heart. And all the while that I was growing up I thought she was crazy. I didn’t understand why she took it, how she could take it. Why didn’t she leave him? Why couldn’t we all get away from him? I was, at times, very angry with her that she didn’t leave him and give us a better life. What could any of us possibly gain by being victims of this man’s drunken binges where he would swear profusely at us, calling us names that you wouldn’t believe?
It was not until I was older that I even began to find the good in my mother’s loyalty to my father. Because of what she endured all those years, my mother is now my biggest role model, my greatest teacher, and my hero. I now know today that had my mother not stuck it out, I would not be the person I am today. I am so much stronger because of what I went through as a child and what I watched my mother go through. She taught me to love unconditionally. She is the reason that I can find the good in the bad. She is the reason that I know I can do anything. And she is the reason that I know that love does endure and is worth it!!
So on this week before Mother’s Day I just want to say to my role model, my confidant but most importantly my MOM….Thank you, for inspiring me to live with JOY…Regardless!!!!!!