Monday, December 24, 2007

Tis Better To Give

I'm so excited about our gift to my mom this year. I know my mom doesn't read this blog (she's afraid of computers), so I feel okay with sharing it with you a little early.

This is my mom's nursing rocker. It's seen a lot of wear, as you can imagine. Mom loaned it to me when I had Boo, and we've been meaning to give it back to her for years. JB couldn't bring himself to not follow the boyscout camping rule of "leave things better than you found it", so he decided to refinish it (it had scratches and dings all over the wood).

I wish we had taken a before/after picture. It turned out beautifully, though!

With the help of our handy wood-working neighbor, Dell, we got tips on how to strip the wood and which color would be most like the original. JB stained and varnished the wood, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Our hometeachers came over and I was telling them about the chair, and I mentioned that I was hoping to give her something else a little more meaningful along with the chair. Brother Vance suggested doing a "baby book" with little notes from each child to mom. BRILLIANT! I sent out the idea and finally heard from the last of the eight siblings on Saturday night. WHEW. Cath provided me with prints of each of us as a baby to accompany the little note from each, and my Aunt Janet gave me an idea of how to spot clean the wool needlepoint on the seat cushion.

Here's my note:

Mom has a great deal of empathy. I always feel she can truly relate to and feel what I’m going through – both the good and the bad. I like the New Testament story when Mary and Martha’s brother (Lazarus) died. They went to tell Jesus, and he wept (I’m sure with them) that he was gone and that Jesus wasn’t able to be there. I remember when I was in middle school, I auditioned for the school play. I came home confident in my try-out, and anxiously awaited the postings, sure of a speaking and singing role (there were several). When the results were posted on the board at school, I not only didn’t get a speaking role, I was cast in the chorus – I wouldn’t even be able to be on stage. I was devastated, but I managed to hold in all of my emotion until I got home. Mom was always home for us, and she was the first person I wanted to see. She asked me what part I got, and I came to pieces – sobbing, finally able to release all of my hurt and sadness. I managed to blurt out that I hadn’t gotten a role in the play. Mom actually started crying, too and let me just cry while she hugged me. It meant so much to me, and I still get teary with appreciation thinking about it. She could have just told me to shake it off, try again next year, etc. But mom cares so much and her heart is so big, she hurts when I hurt and rejoices when I rejoice. I hope I can be that kind of mother to my own children.

12/27 - We have yet to deliver this chair to my mom. Weather has prevented the trip to their house, and we discovered that the chair doesn't even fit in our trunk! Blast. Thought that counts?


Sarah said...

Oh Amy that is an amazing gift! It makes me excited just to think of your mom's reaction! When you eventually drive it up North she will LOVE it and turn it into the perfect G'ma chair.

It was a great idea to have all the sibblings write a memory for the book. And, your story of her crying with you certainly made it easy to remember how kind and SINCERE my Aunt Martha is. Especially when times get rough:

I will always remember being out at your house in Virginia for a summer visit when I got a phone call about my G'ma passing away. Your mom's love and comfort was indescribable. I am sure that the airline desk could have cared less about getting on a plane to Arizona for the funeral...but thanks to your Mom's persuassion and her resurring me that something will work out as it should...I got on the needed flight with plenty of hugs beforehand!

Sarah said...

p.s. the needle work makes me ache for Logan Thanksgivings...and for sitting carefully on Gpa's front room couch. It is beautiful.