While she is my mother, and a mighty fine one at that, in many ways Vick is a lifetime friend to me. Vicki raised Jim and I for several years as a single mother. We had some hard times in this journey, but we worked through it with humor. She showed me that laughter is an important part of life. Even now when I get upset over something trivial, I may stop and laugh at myself. She is a main influence on me being so darned funny nowadays!

Vicki didn't always let me have everything. Sometimes she couldn't afford it, but mostly she knew that having everything wasn't a key to contentment. She taught me the value of priorities, of wanting something and saving for it. She believed I should learn to be independent. As I grew up, Vicki encouraged me to ask my own questions at the store or restaurant. She knew when it was time for me to take on responsibilities.

As a child, I had alopecia, leaving me with little-to-no hair on my head, until about sixth grade. It was difficult sometimes because we moved a lot, so I always had to reintroduce myself. I wanted to cover it up. I felt ashamed for being teased by others, but Vicki taught me not to hide it and to be proud of who I was. I will never forget that.

In kindergarten, Vicki made these peanut butter pumpkins for Halloween. She dressed up in a farmer's outfit and came into class to pass them out. But the A.M. class had eaten the pumpkins by mistake, and I was so upset. She and Miss Bowling asked me to pass out some M&M cookies, and that made me feel better.

Vicki is a fan among my friends. I kid her that she steals my friends from me! Vicki finds it easy to relate with other people and she carries conversations without effort. She has an energy and a smile that is welcoming.

Vicki and I used to wrestle. She'd pin me down and tickle me or otherwise 'torture' me in some motherly way. And don't think she hasn't stopped doing this just because I am an adult. Vicki is relentless! She also used to listen to music in the living room on headphones and sing off key. Really off key! She later claimed it was on purpose, but Gemini (Jim and I) have another theory...

At Christmas, Vicki started a tradition of hiding presents around the house and writing clues for our scavenger hunt. She started this when I was in fourth grade and the tradition continues. While she may not realize it, I get some of my creativity from her. She has an organizational sense, a desire to shakes things up and be inventive, that define her creative nature.

It is no surprise I got my independent spirit and extraverted tendencies from Vicki. And maybe a little stubbornness too, but I won't tell her that. As Lola would say, we can both be bull-headed and contrary. I say to Lola, it takes one to know one! And though we may quarrel at times or have a clash of wills, I will never forget the lessons Vicki taught me, the love that she expressed, or the belief she has in me to be a wonderful person. Takes one to know one.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful story and what a beautiful relationship you have with your mother. I hope that one day my child will find me blog-worthy (in a good way, of course!)

Allie D. said...

Well Chris, as you know, I absolutely adore your mother. From day one, she (and Greg) welcomed me into your family with open arms and made me feel like one of the clan almost immediately. She and Greg were also were a huge source of emotional support for me whenever I moved away and I think it made the transition much easier in those early weeks when I wasn't even sure if you and I were going to be able to weather that storm. She is someone I would easily say feels like a second mother to me, which by default makes you feel more like a brother.

Oh- and playing Sorry with you and her was perhaps one of the most laugh-inducing couple hours I'd ever had. lol

Army said...

I hope so too, anonymous! Of course, in the future, blogs may be old and busted, but I'm sure you will be telephased-worthy... or something equally futuristic and touching.

Allie, I can't remember the specifics of the Sorry match, but I'm sure it was a good time. We play that games for KEEPS! I'm glad Vick and Greg helped you so much back then. And well, what can I say about the few fallouts between two strong-willed people. We fight hard and we reconcile hard, LOL

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

A very warm, honest, heartfelt tribute. My Mom is nearly 90 years old, and we've simply gotten closer in recent years. I don't know where I'd begin to describe her. But you've provided a helpful model.

Vicki said...

To my son Chris~
When you and your brother, Jim, were very young, I remember telling you that when you were born, there was no 'manual' that came with you, so raising you both was a learning experience for me. I told you I'd make mistakes, but that I would do my best, and that you should always know that no matter what, I would always love you. Parenting is not always easy, as most parents will tell you. Over the years, I have learned so much from YOU! No words can express how very blessed I feel that God entrusted me with the lives of two wonderful sons. In looking back, I wondered how well I did over those years, in teaching and guiding you along lifes' path. I see how you've grown into the wonderful, responsible, respectful person that you are today. Chris, you make me proud! When I read what you wrote, I cried. You have always had a way with words, and yours touched my soul. Thank you! Love ALWAYS, Mom (Vicki)