Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our Mothers

Stan and I have wonderful mothers. I thought for today (Mother's Day) I'd write a little about what we've learned from them. It would take forever to write all the wonderful things they are to us, so this isn't everything. Just a taste, a smidgen, a whiff, a dash, to remember, and to say, "Thanks!"


Here is my beautiful mother, Dorothy May Thompson Chadwick (that's me in the blue dress).  She was a ton of fun to have as a mom. My parents first baby, my sister Heather, died when she was eight months old and my parents made a conscious decision to be careful to not be too overprotective of me and my younger siblings. It must have worked because I remember a childhood filled with adventure. She let me run around naked as a toddler in the park, wander through the woods by our house in New Hampshire, ride the NYC subway to high school on my own, and visit Israel when I was a senior in high school.


My mom always believed in me. She pointed out good qualities that I didn't realize I had and made me feel talented, smart, interesting and beautiful, even in my awkwardest phases (some of which I haven't outgrown yet!). She made me the most beautiful clothes - prom dresses, swimsuits, wool skirts, PE clothes, school clothes, church clothes and an adorable mauve pantsuit (it was the 70's) that I loved. She patiently tried to teach me to sew, which I didn't appreciate until I had kids of my own to sew for. I still call and ask her for cooking, sewing and life advice.
 Something that I always appreciated as a kid, that I am grateful for even more in retrospect, was how quickly my mother was to forgive. One time I burned my favorite polyester (70's!) dress while I was ironing it to get ready for a piano recital. My mom responded with sympathy and reassurance even though I probably ruined the iron in addition to the dress. That pantsuit I mentioned above - the first day I wore it to school I felt so chic until I fell and ripped the knee out. She didn't get mad, just kissed it better. One time, I thought she was my brother, following me out to the garage and surprising me. I got so mad at "him" that I whirled around and clobbered her right on the chest. After she caught her breath, she laughed it off. I always felt safe, encouraged and loved at home, which made it easier to face the world.

She is my heroine, a wonderful friend and the person I want to share my thoughts with. When the bishop asked me to be Relief Society president, I called home to cry on her shoulder because I knew she would understand how overwhelmed I felt. I relish telling her about my kids because she gives her grandchildren the same acceptance, encouragement and love. She is the best!

Here is Stan's beautiful mother, Melva Cox Spencer. I'll turn it over to Stan to write some memories. 

When I think of my mother, two things come to mind: love of family, and dedication to the Lord.

She came from pioneer ancestors, and she could have walked across the plains herself, with faith in every footstep. She loves the Church and she loves her Savior. And she taught--and still teaches by example--her children to put the Lord first in life, to keep the Sabbath, to pray, to read the scriptures daily, to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every important decision.

She seems to have always had a sensitivity to spiritual things. She would tell us stories of angels and devils, and of the immense love of God for us. She is a descendent of Joseph Millet and seems to have inherited some of his ability to see what most of us do not.

She has always dedicated her life to her family. When we were all piled into the station wagon--two parents and 8 kids--on vacation or just around town., people would see us all and comment on what a lot of kids we were. Mother would say, "Yes, and we sure love them." 

To her siblings, nieces, and nephews, she has always been the friend and counselor they could always call. Now she extends that love and concern to her grandchildren and great grandchildren as well.

Thanks, Mother. You're beautiful, and the best mother for me!