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thankful for my mama

Something strange has been happening to me the last several days.  It seems that everywhere around me I hear people talking about their moms.  Many of these people (most?) have been older than me, and their mothers are definitely older than my mom would have been.  And I find my self inadvertently thinking, "Why do you still get to have your mom?" 
I know that sounds childish and bitter. 
Honestly though, when I think it I am not feeling bitter.  In fact I am happy for these people that they can take their moms shopping, call them on the phone, and argue about Thanksgiving dinner with them.  However, the thought still pops in there for a second, until I am reminded of how selfish that is of me!  I know where my mom is-without a doubt- and as much as she loved us, she would not want to come back.  And I don't blame her one bit! 
That doesn't stop the self pity from settling in at times. 
This year in my life marks the year that I have been living away from my parents as long as I lived with them!  I left home at 18 and never lived there again.  (Yes, since I know you are doing the math in your head - I am 36!)  So there was this irrational part of me after she died that thought I would not miss her the way some of my other siblings would.  Not that I didn't love her or feel loved by her - neither of those things were ever in question.  But I guess I felt independent and self-reliant.  I am married to an amazing man and have 4 beautiful kids.  I have lived a life of adventures and crazy rides with God.  I love my life!  But God has shown me my self righteousness yet again in this time - because I miss my mom more than I ever imagined.
She was the glue in our family.  She was the one that made sure we all knew what was happening with the others and when people could get together.  She smoothed over disagreements and hurt feelings.  She planned and organized and changed her schedule and life to make ours work.  Oh, we had our fair share of fights - what mother and daughter don't?  But even with both of us being stubborn and pig-headed, we loved each other enough to work on it and work it out.
 It seems harder to make those extra efforts now.  I am going home for Thanksgiving - for the first time in a year - and I am so excited to see my sisters, my brother, and their families, and my Dad and Gram!  But there is still this part that wants to hold back because she is not going to be there. 
I find that I miss her when times like getting back from Africa happens and I just want someone to share in my excitement and look at all my pictures;  When I discover a super delicious recipe and want to tell someone who will be happy for me and want me to make it so she can taste it next time we are together;  When I get frustrated with home school and need someone to cheer me on and confirm our decision instead of making me feel inadequate. 
I miss my cheerleader.  I didn't realize until she was gone that she was really my biggest fan!  (Next to my husband, who is obviously in a totally different category!)  :) 
So today I am thankful for my mom.  I am thankful for the example that she was even when she (or I) did not realize it!  I am praying that my kids will know me to be their cheerleader, fan, prayer warrior, confidant, and friend. 

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