My own mother is serving a mission in the Palmyra, NY temple. They're having a marvelous time, and setting such a great example for all of their descendants. As I think back on memories of my mother, I get an overall feeling of warmth, love, and admiration. I know I wasn't the easiest daughter to raise. Always thinking I knew everything, and stubborn as a mule. My parents always say that they just backed out of the way and let me do my own thing; but that is not entirely true. My mother has a profound influence on who I've become by the loving example of motherhood that she lives every day.
With each child and each new phase I pass through, I gain more and more understanding of what we put my mother through, and more and more respect and admiration for how well she has fulfilled that role. My mother raised 6 rowdy boys, 1 tomboy, and 1 truly kind and nurturing daughter. (I'll give you a clue; that last one was not me.) And despite the broken windows, toilets, china cabinets, and bones, my mother has not only retained her sanity but managed to shape us all through her love, patience, faith, and quiet persuasion (and a needed sense of humor) into a pretty respectable group of adults (even if I do have to say so myself.)
She taught us good principles, allowed us to make our own choices, and was there to love us through both the good and bad consequences of our decisions. She has never tried to just tell me what to do; but she is always willing to listen and give sound advice when I have finally asked for it (and never made me feel bad, if I decided to ignore that sound advice.) She's gone through some really hard trials, from financial difficulties to even the death of some of her children, but I have never felt her waver in her faith or strength. And through it all, we always know that her family and God are her highest priorities.
I feel this is all very disjointed so let me just sum up: Mom, you're my hero! Happy Mother's Day! and I love you very much!
(Bummer this photo turned out so blurry!)