Friday, May 8, 2015

My Mother, My Hero

Dear John,
I was thinking yesterday while I was mowing, and for some reason remembered when I was little and Mama and I got locked out of the house twice. Instead of crying, or calling Daddy to come home and let us in, or finding a locksmith, my mother went into the utility room, shinnied up the pipes, crawled through the un-floored attic in the dark, let down the attic step and swung them in and out until the steps flopped down, climbed down them, and let me in. After it happened the second time, she found a place to hide a spare key.
I didn't fall far from the tree, did I? Since I grew up with her, I didn't see anything exceptional about these events. But we're talking about the 1950s here. I can still see her, in a dress, shinnying up the pipes. I'm not the first independent, strong-minded, smart-mouthed woman in my family.
And so I have turned into my mother. And, considering how young her mother was when she was widowed, I've probably turned into my grandmother Keistler, too. I've had good role models. And I always had your encouragement, too, to try whatever new things I wanted to and learn whatever I was interested in. I remember that Saturday about eighteen years ago when you went to church for an all-day workshop on children's ministries and I stayed home and changed out the porch posts and hung the railing. We each did what we were good at. And you had no ego problem with me being the more mechanically inclined of the two of us. You even bought me power tools for Christmas and birthdays!
Show this letter to Mama for me, and thank her for being my role model and my hero. The older I get, the more I turn into her. And that's a good thing. Give her a big hug and tell her how much I love her. And I love you so much for putting up with two generations of unordinary women!
Your unordinary wife,

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