Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Woman I am Fighting So Hard For

Below is an article I wrote about my mother for Mother's Day, 2007.  For those of you who are being so supportive of me and our family through these times, I thought it might help if you had a better picture of this unique woman.

The Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas

A couple of years ago, I was catching up with some friends from high school. Since my mother was an extremely active volunteer during my high school years, she knew (and was known by) all my friends. They called her “Mrs. T” and many people had a lot of affection for her. I wrote this about her: "My mother is just the same as she was while we were in high school. Her mind is extremely sharp; her energy level is amazing, she continues to offer so much help to so many as she generously gives away her time and talents. I have much, much admiration for her."

Now, I promptly forgot that I wrote this and never mentioned it to my mother. But I posted it on an online bulletin board where others of my class were posting messages. One of my classmates saw it, sent it to her mother, who then saw my mother in their joint Sunday school class and gave her a copy of it.

When Mother’s Day came around that day, I went by to see her and take her some flowers. She said that she had already received the best Mother’s Day present possible from me. I looked at her with puzzlement. I am not the most observant of daughters, and knew I had not done anything previously. But she told me that she had seen what I had written and it had touched her deeply.

I realized then how little I had voiced my appreciation for her. Our relationship has been challenging over the years—something common to many mother/daughter ties. I both needed her and didn’t want to need her. I would have never made it through the early years with my own children had she not been willing and able to help in the ways she did. When I hit an extremely rough time in my life about 12 years ago, she was there to support me through that. 

Over and over again, I’ve argued with her, just sure that I knew better than she did about how she should live her life. Twenty years ago, my parents sold their large but in poor repair house in Old East Dallas and built a new house in Richardson, near my own home at that time. They insisted on putting in an upstairs living space. I told them they were crazy. By then, neither my mother nor my dad could climb stairs comfortably, and the ground level was more than adequate for their needs. But Mother insisted. And how right she was. That space came to be known as “Hotel Thomas” and every single family member has spent days, weeks and even months there for various reasons. We used to joke about her having to take reservations for the space.


She’s never learned to use a computer well, and the Internet and email is still a mystery to her. But she can write an article and type it with word-perfect accuracy, head to the library to research investments, dictate to her stockbroker with amazing insight exactly what he should buy and sell, and add a long column of numbers in her head, figure the sales tax, and be precisely on the money. She’s a pretty bad cook, but still manages three meals a day for herself and for my very frail dad, takes care of him, plays bridge with her friends, reads three newspapers a day, and clips and sends articles to the various grandchildren (not understanding that a hyperlink in an email could do the same things MUCH FASTER).

So for this Mother’s Day celebration, coming Sunday, May 13, I say to my mother, Mrs. T, “Thank you. You’ve been a treasure and inspiration to me. I could have never done it without you. May God bless you richly.” I hope you will join me in offering the same to those who have mothered you. Where would we be without them?

See you Sunday,


The Rev. Dr. Christy Thomas, Pastor, Krum UMC


Vicki Attaway said...

Dear Christy,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your mother with your readers, with me. I especially appreciate the pictures. They put a beautiful face on the person I have come to care about throughout this life-changing and soul-challenging process which you have so graciously shared with us all.

I feel about my mother the way you feel about yours. Mama, as I call her,would in turn be absolutely mortified to know her children might go through a circumstance similar to yours. I don't know if it's right to pray this, but I often pray that God would keep me healthy and mentally strong so that I might wind up being the one to take care of her rather than her me.

Of course, I want health to abound all around, and for things to happen in their timely way and with as much peace as possible. But I know that anyone can have a stroke and become permanently disabled at any time. It happens, of course more to old people, but all of us are subject to calamity. I pray for you and the stress you're under. For your health, I bet your mother would want you to use her money to lighten your load, since the situation can't be reversed anyway. She will never be able to use it again. Get the help you need. Take care of yourself as well as her. From reading about her in your post, it sounds like she would do anything for you. Let her help you and do so without a guilty conscience.

Keep showing up, one day at a time. Strength and wisdom be with you, my friend. VICKI

Vicki again said...

I've always said that my mother has a graciousness gene. And smart. If I were only half as smart as she is, and half as gracious as she is, I could be the whole person I have always aspired to be.

Your mother, Christy, sounds like someone as special as mine, and in that I am happy for you. I'm happy that she was such an integral part of your growing up years, that you have so many good memories. Even that your friends got to know her and be around her. That's something that not all kids have the privilege of---their friends liking their Mom and being influenced by her.

My mother was like that, too. We are blessed children.