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My Mom Was There
by Jessica Schmit
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The first few years of my life were spent revolving around my mom. My father had to travel most months out of the year due to work, which left me and my mom to spend a great deal of time together. When I learned to crawl, and shortly there after learned to run, she made sure I was close by. In many cases she used what I call a “kid leash.” This Velcro contraption allowed my mom to keep me strapped by her side-literally. The leash was for shopping activities and thank God doing crafts with my mom didn’t involved shopping. We made everything together. We made homemade play dough, egg carton caterpillars and beautiful plastic beaded necklaces. When I decided that I wanted to help her cook and fell onto the oven door, burning my hand, she played nurse for weeks.

My mom was there with me.

She was there beside me when I spoke one of my first few words. A word that I was scolded for and told never to repeat again. My mom later talked to my best friends’ mother (she was the source of my new word.) Words were our first struggle. I was born with a speech impediment. “Ookie Fruffrin” was “Cookie Monster and “Purrher Don” was Prairie Dawn (from Sesame Street). My mom took it upon herself to help me with this incredibly frustrating experience called the English language. She spent countless hours exercising patience with me. She took me to see a speech therapist and by the time I was four, I was beginning to get that hang of this thing called talking.

My mom was there with me.

Talking helped to develop my social skills during class time in elementary school. The days when I didn’t have to serve detention, I went home immediately after school and was greeted with the sweet smells of Windex and freshly baked cookies. A few times each month my mom would place a small gift on my pillow. My favorite was a pack of Trident cherry flavored gum.

My mom was there with me.

And when the years passed and I traded in my cherry gum for cleats and volleyball nee pads, she was there in the stands cheering. Not the “screaming with her face painted blue,” kind of cheering, but the smiling, thumbs up kinda cheering.

My mom was there with me.

When the teenage years hit and I decided that dressing in black and acting depressed was the only way a teen should act, she “hinted.” I’m sure all you mothers know exactly what I’m talking about. The “hints” are little conversations like, “God is so good. He’s done some amazing things in my life. Times when I could’ve chosen to be depressed, but no! I chose to listen to God’s truth and grab hold of that joy he offers.” Maybe she thought I wasn’t catching on, but I did. I tried to do the best job of ignoring her that I could. There was one problem though, she was always there with me.

When I stood behind the podium at my High school graduation and gave the Valedictorian speech for my class. She was there. Without her persistence and patience that she imparted to me to help correct my speech impediment, I doubt I would’ve risen to give such an address.

My mom was there with me.

When I came to her with my first “real” crush and told her I wanted her blessing on our relationship, she started crying. I don’t know if it was because she hated the boy I liked, or because I was growing up. (I’m hoping for the latter.) She gave me invaluable advice, encouragement, help and support.

My mom was there with me.

Three years later when the wedding bells chimed and I walked down the aisle with that first boyfriend, she cried again. This time I know it was because she was happy for me. I’ll never forget all her time that she devoted to me before the wedding. She made centerpieces, decorations, invitations. Countless hours she devoted to cutting out silver stars so I could hang them from the ceiling at my wedding reception. She was so beautiful that day.

During the whole ordeal, she was there with me.

Compassion, love, patience, gentleness, mercy, commitment and faithfulness were a few of the lessons my mom taught me. She didn’t need a nanny or a teacher or a pastor or a friend to teach me those invaluable lesson, though she’d say otherwise. She taught them to me by living her life. The beauty of this is where she came from. She didn’t come from a wonderful happy family home. She has experienced more in the first sixteen years of her life, than most will experience of their entire lives. She had every right to allow bitterness, un-forgiveness and anger destroy her life and destroy the lives of her children, but she didn’t. She allowed God’s work in her life to change her, heal her and because of her openness to God she stands proudly of a mother of three wonderful girls and an incredible husband. This year marks 27 years of marriage together. Because of her ability to look forward and not dwell on the past I can proudly say that my mom was with me-always and forever.

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