Sunday, January 14, 2007

You Are My Favorite

I WAS BORN TO BE A MOTHER. Being a mother of 3, I can honestly and truly say that I love them all the same. I love them all passionately, unconditionally, and fiercely. I am telling you the truth when I say that I would give my own life to save theirs. I am a lioness protecting her cubs even though they are adults. I would still stand and fight for any of them, take up for them, and comfort them like I did when they were small children. I gave them each a book for Christmas. Heather my oldest received, My Oldest Child, I Love You the Best ......Ashley my middle daughter is reading, My Middle Child, I Love You the Best .....and my baby (grown man) son is proud to own, My Baby, I Love You the Best. Each book enforces the truth, that a mother can not distinguish between those maternal surges of love that never end. That no one is a carbon copy of the other nor expected to be!
But, I can tell you that they each possess different talents and personalities. They were disciplined differently because what worked for one didn't for the other. They learned differently. They reacted to situations differently. What might cause one to burst into tears didn't affect the others at all. And vice and versa. They all were athletes in some way or another. The girls both actively pursued cheerleading and dance from Jr. High on through college cheerleading scholarships. They all are gifted speakers and used to represent their clubs and classes. Our son kept us in the bleachers for every sport for at least 12 years. Rain or shine....we were there. He led the prayer at his high school graduation. They were active with youth groups in church and very popular at school. They stood up for God and what they believed in and their friends respected them for that. But, they were still fun, happy, and energetic. None of them had a shy bone in their bodies! Ashley used to have a poster in her room with the bird from the Peanuts cartoon that had flocks of birds all over him and it said..."You can never have too many friends." That is how they all were. They never met a stranger and were all friends to everyone.....it didn't matter who you were or where you came from. I was always so proud of that trait in them all. They never judged others. Everyone looked the same to them. They are all 3 as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside too.
But today, I want to tell you about my oldest favorite. Her name is Heather and she is 33 years old. She is my most sensitive. She cares what everyone thinks about her. It bothers her if she thinks anyone is upset or mad at her. Her tears flow easily when moved by a word or a story. She believes everything! She finds the good in all people. She is so compassionate. When she was just a baby, she couldn't stand to be reprimanded. She would cry and some of her first words were, "Don't be mad for me " if you told her no no. Her spirit now is that of a Godly woman with a quiet and serving spirit. She is constantly studying and learning what God has planned for her life. Her children are being raised with loving parents who are consistent disciplinarians. If you are a parent you know how important consistency is. I look at her and hear her discussing life and wonder how she turned out so wonderful with me for a mother! Honestly. Miracles do happen.
For the past year she has been training to run in the Houston Marathon. In high school, Heather didn't play sports. She used to say it made her sweat. And that messed up her hair and make up. She stayed busy enough with cheerleading and dance team. She was in band and kept her grades up. When she was 14 she was in love with the high school quarterback. Who was a senior. Who didn't date and she couldn't yet. Who rode his bike 5 miles to our house to see her. Who was content to sit on our couch for 2 years until she was 16, or dating age. Who we loved dearly. Who is now her husband and the father of our precious grandchildren. Anyway, when Heather decided to start training to run the marathon we were all a little suprised but excited for her. As she likes to remind us, ".....one day she started running and couldn't stop." The famous words of Forrest Gump! All year she has faithfully trained with a group in the Bay area and today was their day. The large group ( I think about 300 ) was broken up into teams. She and 2 of her close friends were on the same team. The teams are ability grouped basically. The were training to run the 1/2 marathon this year which was 13 miles. They were NOT in the marathon to win or break a record. They were not in to prove something or to impress anyone. They were in to finish something they started. On Friday night she joined some of her team members for a carb buffet and a "Blessing of the Feet." Then this morning at 4:45 AM the same girls met with a large group at the site of the race and had church services before they lined up for the race to begin. One of the runners who had run there before told Heather that when she got to the top of the first hill to look back and see the amazing throng of runners behind. She was too scared she'd fall and get trampled! Around 20,000 runners lined up. We were able to track her online ( don't ask me how it worked ) and see her location/speed/and predicted finish time. Her husband and kids were there and would call Ashley every little bit to see where she was so they could drive up to the spot and catch a glimpse of her running by in the crowd of participants! Close to 11AM, Troy called Ashley for one final update and hurried to the spot where the finish line was. Ashley told him she should be coming down the hill any minute. Sure enough, here she came. Heather told me that she and her friends paced to join together for that finish line and held hands while they crossed it to the cheers of their husbands and children! Then they all burst into a heap of sobs! Victory cries. Overwhelming, exhausted, and happy tears.
I am big into analogies and could tell you how that reminds me of the race of life and our finish line at the feet of our Heavenly Father. But, I won't. But, it does. Overwhelming, exhausted and happy tears. And I don't even run.

10 comments:

Nicole said...

That is an amazing story. I don't know you, but found you on Holli's blog. I NEEDED to read your post today. It is funny how God leads us, even in blog land.

I love to hear you describe your oldest daughter. Reminds me SO much of one of mine and of me too, but only the hair and make-up not wanting to be messed up. ha. The marathon story was just awesome. I am training for a 5K and a this point could do it, but my real goal would be to one day do at least a half marathon. I know you are proud of her and should be. I just enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing.

jodyreese said...

OKAY! That made me cry...Heather is our own little Rocky! I am so impressed; can you imagine running that far? I am so proud of her...not for the running, but for the discipline and commitment it took to complete such a goal. She can never say, "I can't do it" again because she can do anything! I wish I could have been there...tell her we love her! Aunt Jody

Paul said...

That is an amazing story! Praise God for mothers like you that nurture your children to become great people of character and love. Congratulations Heather!

Paul said...
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Giggi said...

Wow! That story has tears running down my cheeks. We are blessed with awesome children! I am so proud of them all. Way to go Heather! I wish I could've been there to see her cross the finish line. What a huge accomplishment! I can't even imagine attempting such a feat! She is an inspiratation to us all!!! Love ya'll, Kathy

nana said...

Heather, we are so proud of you. Poppi says to keep up the good work and he'll be watching for you on TV soon. You've always been a winner in our hearts. Just keep on being you. We'll be there when you run the full marathon. Love you!!!Nana

Heather said...

Mom, thank you so much for that sweet post. I love you so much and thank you for the sweet words. Knowing that you were all behind me cheering me on made it that much easier to cross that finish line. I wish I had inherited your passion and gift for writing. I think I will just copy and paste your blog onto mine! HAHA

Your love for me and my family, Bubs & JD(&baby) and BA & Ash (&possum) is such a blessing from God. I think I can speak for ALL of us (since I am the head sister) when I say that we are glad that you are here with us.....you are our rock. We love you to the moon and back.

Amy said...

Okay, I'm crying. I also have three children. My youngest daughter and I say the "love you to the moon and back" all the time.

I loved this post, and am so proud of Heather for running a marathon! I am a runner too, but not like that!

This is weird, but my word verification is amyfm. That's like Amy in stereo! :)

Layla said...

Wow, just reading this made me cry!

How beautiful, you are a special person and your children are each blessed to have you!

Paula Harrington said...

How sweet! Thanks