I received a text from my Mom on Tuesday.
It sort of shocked me.
In a “this is really happening” sort of way, more than anything. And in that way, a “this is sort of sad” kind of thing. But then my Mom attached this jewel:
“And so it begins… or should I say Bekins.”
While Mom is always good for a laugh, I should warn you– this is not her humor. What you see there (the really corny, cheesy kind) is the direct result of being married to my Dad for exactly 30 years. There are many more advantageous correlations, I assure you.
Matter of a fact, though I credited my Dad as being the beginning of “us” in my last post, Mom coming into the picture is when we really began. In more ways than one, he couldn’t have done it without her. If the man– his character, his integrity, his discernment– set the bar for this family, then his choice of my Mom for a wife reveals just how high he was aiming.
To us she is baby, Trudy, cruvy, honey, tutu and fro-no-mo. Of course, we also call her Mom, but that title– almost like my Dad’s professional titles– doesn’t begin to really cover her role. Or the amount of fun we have with her. Oddly enough, the use of these nicknames should really convey the amount of respect we have for her. Trust me, if she didn’t want us calling her these things, we wouldn’t be. a.) because she demands of us a certain amount of consideration and respect for her and others that we would not just slide by without showing and b.) because something about Trudy Susan Nash Smith makes you decide early on that this is a woman you want to keep happy.
NOT for fear of the consequences if she weren’t, but she is the friend, wife, Mom, daughter, sister, and aunt you want to make happy because of how she counsels, teaches, loves, prays, and leads. Because of the irreplaceable role she plays in anyone’s life lucky enough to have her. I don’t say that just to sugarcoat it. That wouldn’t be her style, the sugarcoating. She’s a “say what you mean, mean what you say” kind of woman– a real inspiration to this daughter who scarcely inherited her mother’s personality.
She is strong. Really.
Exhibit A? Her first reaction to moving to Fayetteville was to assure Dad that she wouldn’t let resentment build up for having to move away from her home of 21 years– instead she’d paint it in her mind as this wonderful adventure, embarking on empty nest 2.0 (the phase when kids are done awkwardly coming home to live intermittently), just the two of them.
Then he asked her if she really meant that or if she was grasping at air to find a way to “get happy” about it.
She advised him not to ruin it.
She is a nurse by trade, a caregiver by nature. Calm in the face of mothers worried sick about their kids as they go through pre-op. Patient with the parents hysterical with fear when they see their babies in post-op. Reliable to friends and family whose bedsides she sits herself next to out of love, not occupational obligation. Strong for the friends and family they leave behind.
She is a giver. She thinks of the perfect gifts and the recipients that need them the most. In the face of offense, she developed compassion, not bitterness. She, like my Dad, believes in the God whose gift of mercy is most perfectly embodied in Christ. So desperately has she sought that mercy, so she began to show it herself. Mercy is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion.” Many describe Mom as exactly that.
Exhibit B: Around the time Mom was most inundated with sharing the grief of friends losing loved ones– of losing friends herself– her best friends moved away. Just another one of those things that happens; just another thing to bear. It so happened that my best friends were the daughters of her friends moved off, so I, too, felt alone. Having the self-confidence of a 7th grade clam didn’t help along the prospects of laugh-out-loud, share-your-soul sort of friends. But there was Mom. We giggled and we cried– tears were shed in both occasions. No need for loneliness. Years later, when by a miracle I did have new, great as well as vibrant, old friendships, they were all the better for having my relationship with my Mom to model.
You see she does so much, has given so much of herself (so much of this house!) to see other people through that you just don’t feel right when she isn’t happy. It applies to the little things– if she weren’t happy with us calling her “baby”, we just simply wouldn’t be– as well as the big. So when she says she’s getting happy about the move, then by golly, the rest of us will get happy, too.
And when she sends a text captioned “and so it begins,” we are– if not physically, then in spirit– right behind her.
(Then she sent me this text and I nearly gagged and thanked the good Lord for bringing me 1000 miles away for school: )