A Very Special Mom
Christmas was her favorite time of the year. I don’t know why. She usually had to work Christmas Day because she was the manager of a minute market. Not only was she the manager of the store, but she continued to work there for years after she was robbed and shot in the face by a man who would have killed her had the attempt not been thwarted.
Our family would celebrate the holiday on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning; she worked Christmas Day for her employees, to allow them to spend the time with their families. She did it without ever saying so, but I remember her care over those she managed. They worked in a particularly dangerous job, and her concern was always for their safety.
My mother was also a single mom. She owned her home, always managed to keep our car running, and she provided me with excellent meals while growing up. Looking back, I really don’t know how she did it. I was a single mother for a short period of time, and I would have drowned under the constant responsibility. Of course, I didn’t appreciate her ability to make ends meet while I was growing up.
Mom would start preparing for Christmas around January 1 when she would ask me to think about what I wanted. I learned early not to ask for anything during the year because Mom was saving up for Christmas, and she would not be deterred from her goal to provide me whatever I said I wanted. No matter what it had been. When I was very small, you can imagine the toys I requested: a bike, a Susy Easy Baker oven, a pool table that would take up one of the three rooms of our small house, and a huge above-ground pool that would fill a good portion of our yard and take away from her garden.
When I was fourteen, the man who shot my mother showed up at our house intending to do her harm. Our worlds changed after that. Mom’s years of putting up a strong front came to an end. She fell apart. Her fear was so great that she could no longer work in the store. Our income was diminished, and my father’s mother and father helped us tremendously through that time. As a result, I began to work. Mom would only allow me to contribute to the household by buying my own clothes, paying for my medical visits, and eventually my own car payment and insurance.
Not once did my mother forget to ask me what I wanted for Christmas. With a growing understanding of her determination to give me anything I wanted, I began to ask for practical things. One year, while I was still a tomboy at heart, I asked for bunk beds. Another few years later, I wanted a particular bedroom set, complete with lamps, rugs, and curtains. Whatever I asked for, on Christmas, it was delivered.
I said it has taken me twenty-three years to write this post. The reason was the unstable relationship I had with Mom. Colleen Mildred Thompson was a difficult woman to live with. She had her quirks, and we didn’t often see eye-to-eye. For years after her death, I only focused on the trauma of our relationship.
I have finally come to terms with some of the “gifts” I have received from my mother. They aren’t the things listed above. The true gift comes in the fact that one woman cared enough about me to work hard and to put money back each year. I suppose she asked me in January so that she could price my “wants” and put the appropriate money back from each of her minimum wage paychecks. So, no, the material things aren’t the gift at all. Long after Mom’s death, I have been reminded of her work ethic, her sacrifice, and, yes, her love for an ungrateful daughter. Even before I accepted Christ as my Savior, Mom offered me a sample of what He had done for me.
When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask her to forgive me, and I’m going to thank her for all the wonderful Christmas memories.
The authors of Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens Publishing, invite you to join us tonight, December 7, 2014, between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. for our Facebook Party. We’ll have food (virtual, of course), fun, and party favors (not virtual–you have to join us to see). Stop in. We’d love to say hello to our old friends and get to know some new ones.
You can still pick up a free copy of the wonderful children’s book by Peggy Cunningham, Really Rare Rabbits: Giant Green Ghosts and the Secret at Peppermint Pass.
There on the mountaintop stood at least ten giant green ghosts. They were real.
Fi Fi and her brother heard about Jesus when they ventured down their mountain in Bolivia and peered into the windows of the missionaries’ house. Now, she and Chi Chi are starting a long journey to meet Grandfather who went to visit his Inca relatives of long ago. He’s waiting for them at the mysterious Winding Wall. But first, they must journey through secretive Peppermint Pass.
She’s heard stories of giant green ghosts at Peppermint Pass, and she sure doesn’t want to meet any ghosts––especially giant green ones––along the way. So, the morning they leave for the big trip, Fi Fi tells her brother about her fears. Chi Chi waves them off as just stories. While Fi Fi still trembles, she remembers a Bible verse tucked away in her racing heart, “Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)
Fi Fi realizes why it is so important to memorize Scripture––so it stays in your heart always and comes back to you when you need it. Even so, she has no idea how much she and her brother will need to call on God for help to rescue them from the dangers that await on their journey through Peppermint Pass.
And today, thee first novel, Charisse from my series, The Ties that Bind is still available free on Kindle today as well:
Charisse Wellman’s husband has been gone a year, and she’s about to lose the only home her son, V.J., has ever known. She’s quit law school but the money just isn’t there. Her only option is to work as a law clerk for her ex-friend, Gideon Tabor. The only problem: Gideon is the judge who let her husband’s killer go free, and Gideon doesn’t know the connection.
Gideon Tabor can’t believe that the woman interviewing for the job is the girl he loved in high school. Charisse is hesitant about accepting his job offer, and when she does, Gideon makes every attempt to apologize for his relationship-ending blunder in high school. Charisse accepts his apology, but she keeps him at a distance. When Gideon learns that Charisse’s anger actually stems from his release of the man who ran down her husband, he tries to explain, but Charisse doesn’t want Gideon’s excuses or the love he has to offer. She wants her husband’s killer to pay.