Sunday, March 9, 2014

Family History...One Question at a Time

This week's question is this: Tell me about your mother. Can you share some memories you have of your mother?

My mom is Barbara. She is the second oldest of 5 children: three girls and two boys. She was born and raised in Holladay, Utah. She attended Olympus High School. She went to BYU and got a degree in math education. She taught high school math for a few years, but she did not like teaching. I suspect that teaching high school was not a good match for her. Perhaps if she had taught elementary, she may have liked it more. Or perhaps if she had taught at the college level.

My mom is a fairly quiet, reserved person. She is genuinely kind and patient. She has a strong testimony of the gospel. She sews well and plays the piano. She enjoys reading. As young children, she took us to the library often and read to us often. One of my fondest memories is of my parents reading "A Wrinkle in Time" to my sister and I when we were quite young. We were probably a little too young for it, and my sister was frightened by it. I didn't exactly understand it, but I was fascinated by it. It is one of the few books I have read and reread. I love it! I know that when I was very young, my mom made flashcards of all of the family member's names and practiced them with me. I began reading when I was three. I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. I attribute most of my love of reading to my mom (but my dad was also a good role model, and my grandma and grandpa also read to me a great deal. And I had many wonderful teachers. So I was blessed to have many people that helped foster that love of reading.)

I am sure I have written this before, but my mom is truly the calmest, most patient person I know. I can only remember her raising her voice once in my life. (I don't recall why she raised her voice, but I remember it being shocking because it never happened.) If only I were more like her in that way! I aspire to be more like her.

My mom worked outside of the home (as a teacher and then as a bookkeeper, then an accountant), but she was never too busy to help us with homework or to do other things to bless our lives. Today she is a wonderful grandma. While she lives in another state, she calls regularly. And my children often receive cards in the mail for ocassions small and big...Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Thanksgiving or just because. She also visits as often as she can and has flown in for each blessing and baptism. My children know their grandma loves them. (As do their grandpas.)

My mom took us to church each week and taught us the gospel, including during a period when my dad became inactive and then after my parents divorced. Her testimony of the gospel helped sustain me during some challenging times, and it gives me hope that my own children can grow to know and love the Lord despite my imperfect parenting but sincere efforts to teach them the gospel mostly on my own.

My mom has never seemed to like swimming. Even though my grandparents had a swimming pool, I only have a few vague memories of my mom swimming with us (and none of my grandma...she did not know how to swim well). My grandpa swam with us often, and sometimes my dad. My mom never wore shorts, and we sometimes teased her about her blindingly white legs. (I do wear shorts, and I do go swimming, but I still have very white legs. While my arms seem to tan a bit, my legs never tan much. They are just about as white in August as they are in December.)

I am so thankful for all my mom has taught me. For her faith. For her love. For her kindness and gentleness. For her forgiving nature. For her listening ear. She emulates the Savior in many ways, and I often feel like if I could better emulate her, then I would be a lot closer to who I want to be than I am. How thankful I am for my wonderful mother! Perhaps Abraham Lincoln expressed it best when he said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."