Mom Plus God
“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.”
― Lisa Wingate
My mom tells the story that when dad and she decided to get divorced and she was alone in the house with us that she laid down on the floor and stretched out her arms and legs and gave up. She told God she couldn’t do this thing: raise the four of us without dad in the house and without his daily presence and love. She told God she needed Him to give her the strength as soon as possible, PLEASE! She just laid there until he answered her. From that day forward she always said God was her husband. She was NOT a nun, she was real flesh and blood. She got frustrated with the four of us who could be very unruly without dad to yell out our given names! But, she had a lot of love and determination and incredible energy. I’m not surprised looking back to think that it was not really mom raising us at home, but mom plus God.
Now I want to stress again that my dad took care of us, too! He was there for us emotionally and financially and on weekends and holidays. But on the weekdays and every night it was mom + God who raised us. She needed help from others too and got it when she would. She was very beautiful and dated some. I love this picture of us taken at Minnehaha Creek by my all-time favorite of her boyfriends, a doctor and a really great guy. She didn’t have very many of them, but they were all sweet to us. Some wanted to marry her. She never took them up on it, and finally stopped dating. She maintained she was married to God. That might sound a bit goofy to some, but my mom was not goofy, she was full of love. I think, however that she never really got over my dad. She is 81 now, with Alzheimers, and her face still lights up like a Christmas tree when she hears his name!
And my grandparents, were always around. I had two sets. I was very fortunate in that department. My moms parents we saw the most, because they lived near by. They were an important part of our lives. And my cousins too, of course. Yet, sometimes we were lonely. My mom started this ritual of putting is all to bed individually and lying down with us and talking to us for a good long time. My mom took a couple of hours to put four kids to bed. I mentioned she had energy. She was very happy raising us. She would get up the next day to begin the adventure again!
She depended on me for help with my brothers. My sister Suzy helped more around the house. We all helped mom when we could. I was her rescuer. One early summer day I rode home on my bike and saw her holding the window air conditioner out the window! I ran upstairs to see what the deal was and found she had it stuck outside the window, not in the brackets and could get it in or out! She was holding onto the thing for dear life. She wasn’t about to drop an air conditioner! I got on my bike and pedaled to the nearest gas station (about a mile) and the guy who knew us came and helped mom out! Wow! What a day. I get tense just thinking about it! Okay now I’m laughing. Life with mom was never dull!
Mom raised us on the praise method. She had been raised that way by her dad with a bit more of a critical style by her mom and saw no value in it. Even today, my husband Mike calls her the president of my fan club! She is the first person I call when something great has happened. Well it’s a coin toss! The second person I call is my Dad! They are two great people who built a wonderful happy family, together and apart. One of their secrets: they loved their children. A second? They never had a bad word to say about each other! I had the two best parents in the world, plus God!