Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days {Day 5} My Grandmother's Example

When I was growing up my grandparents lived with us.  I've written before that my mom was diagnosed with MS when I was about 8.  By the time I was almost 10 she needed live-in care.  My 2 sisters and I were young and in need of care ourselves, so we found a new house that could accommodate my Dad's parents moving in with us.  It was a tough time having my mom be so sick and having things change so drastically in our family.  But, a definite blessing in the midst of that was having our Mom-mom and Pop-pop live with us.
My Mom-mom was such a hard worker.  She was up before any of us.  Ready to take care of my mom and each one of us girls as we each rose for the day.  She was always there with a meal on the table, clean clothes in the closet, a tidy home, a lap to rest your head on and she kept the place from catching fire from the curling iron I left on every. single. day!  No automatic shut-off back in the 80s.  I can't tell you how many times I would remember on the way to school that the curling iron was on. Then as soon as I entered the Elkton Highschool lobby I'd make a bee-line to the pay phone (no cells then either, unless of course you were Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice).
I'd call Mom-mom and frantically ask her to shut it off...yet again.  Of course she was always 10 steps ahead of me and was probably heading to my bedroom each morning just as I left the house.  She knew.  She always knew.  She was just always there, always covering little mistakes or silly forgetfulness without ever once holding it over my head, never once making me feel like I'd missed the mark.  She was full of grace.

Mom-mom always had so many sayings or "old-fashioned" terms for things.  Now, mind you, I grew up with the lady so I never thought there was anything odd about calling sheets, pillow cases and blankets "the bedclothes" until I was married and my husband thought I was talking about the clothes you wear to bed.  Duh!

Or calling the little list of items you go to the grocery store for, "The Order".  Now, that was only what the list was called if you just needed a few things.  Her main routine was to go every 2 weeks when my Dad got paid to get "The Big Order".  Man, did we love "The Big Order" days!  We'd wait at the door like predators ready to pounce on that food as soon as she pulled in the drive.  We'd fly out the door to "help" bring the groceries in, just trying to beat each other to the "good bags" and always ended up ripping open the chips, cookies and "Little Debbies" before they were even out of the brown grocery bags.  Mom-mom, grateful for our help with the bags, but always wise to our tactics, would shoo us out to "go relax" while she finished putting it all away.  

Then there was the spigot (faucet).  Her housecoat (a robe).  My dungarees (jeans) I knew that one was old fashioned!  And, this one might be my favorite, if you ate dinner anytime after 5pm, which was the time our food was on the table every single night, then you were "eating with the elites".  And that's elites pronounced Mom-mom's way, eee-lights.  Our neighbors, the Lloynds's, were always "eating with the elites", as we could see from our house and Mom-mom would point out each night after our dinner had long been cleaned up.  Funny, I "eat with the elites" every night now, but we are in no way elite, just late in getting dinner to the table!

Then, another saying I started hearing from Mom-mom a lot when I was older was "no rest for the weary".  I lived at home after college for a few years and worked in retail management.  My hours were long and I'd get home late and then turn around and have to be back the very next morning, early.  Mom-mom was so concerned about my long hours, I would often hear her saying "no rest for the weary" as she shared her concern about how I was working.  At the time I didn't think much of it.  That's just Mom-mom.

But you know what?  My Mom-mom is now in heaven, but I've heard that saying again recently.  This time it was coming out of my own mouth as I have been running around trying to tend to my very full plate.  I said it a few times before I realized..."no rest for the weary"...uh-oh!  That's not good.

I thought of Mom-mom.  She worked hard and took care of a family of 7 everyday.  But. she had a routine. She did her work during the day, she was flexible but kept to a schedule as best she could, but at night she "punched the clock".  She relaxed and enjoyed her shows and she went to bed at a decent hour in order to get enough sleep for the next day.  She didn't use the night time hours to keep working, she relaxed and winded down.  She enjoyed herself and rested.

So, I'm pausing, remembering my dear Mom-mom with a big smile and a few giggles mixed with a few tears.
I believe God used her to bring peace and normalcy to a family situation that was anything but.
She worked and then she rested. 
She took really good, loving care of her family and then she rested.
She was balanced.
And she exuded joy and love through it all.  

That's what I want.

Today as I Seek Peace in the Midst of the Mess, I choose to balance work with rest and give myself the gift of downtime at night after all the "work".  Then, go to sleep at a decent hour so I can wake up ready to love and care for my family like Mom-mom was ready for me.

Is there someone from your childhood whose example speaks to you today?

Have you missed a day in reading 31 Days of Seeking Peace in the Midst of the Mess ?  
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Maureen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've heard from a few people that they weren't able to leave a comment. I am working on the issue. Hopefully I'll get this going asap! Not so tech savvy, but I'm learning. Please bear with me. ;)

Maureen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think it works now.

Colleen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am loving your blogs!!!!!! Mom-mom's are the best! (two things I remember wanting to be when I was little: a nun and a grandmother. That is the impression both made on my heart!!!! I bet your Mom-mom learned how to rest through experience. You will find your perfect rest soon!!!!!!!)

SparkN4Him said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi, I loved this blog ... this is something I look forward to every day actually. I remember you speaking of your Mom-mom. :) I can relate with those old-fashioned terms and your writing yesterday encouraged me to remember my own Nana's sayings (like 'darning' socks ... who does that nowadays? Or, 'wringing' your clothes out in one of those washng machines with rollers that squeezes the excess water out before you line dry them Or the frig being the 'icebox':). I actually slipped a few days ago and called the frig the icebox. I'm not sure where that came from but it brought a smile to my face and a nice memory to mind - peace & joy - in the midst of .... xoxo

Maureen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I totally forgot about "icebox"! Mom-mom used to call it that all the time. Good one.
I'm so glad you look forward to the posts. :)

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