I don’t know if everyone has this or if I was just extra lucky, but I was raised by many wonderful women. Today I ‘d like to pay a tribute to them. First of all, Happy Mother’s Day!
Ellen (my real mom)-you have been kind and compassionate since the day I was born and you always remind me I was the one who made you and my dad a family. When my dad had heart surgery you demonstrated true love and support by joining dad, Janice and us three girls to Stanford University Hospital. I will never forget that you gave my dad a hug as he went into surgery, even though you weren’t still married. I could tell you each had a lot of respect for each other and for that brief moment I understood about unconditional agape type love. That act of love and support for me (and I hope for my sisters too) demonstrated true love for you children who were so scared our dad had to have heart surgery. Had something of happened to our dad you would have been there.
Another time you demonstrated real love for me and my sisters (and the rest of your family once removed) was the days leading up to my grandma’s death. We are fastly approaching the anniversary of her death and my memories of that day are filled with you being there for the whole family. Educating us about the process of death and that going back to see grandma may be hard to look at but it would be okay. You were so strong on that day and I only hope I can follow in your footsteps.
Then, when I told you I was unable to give you grandchildren based on an awful doctor’s appointment, you didn’t let that keep you down. Instead you told me weren’t going to give up that easily and we would fight for a true diagnosis so I could get better. And we did. And I am getting better!
The past three years you have shown me more kindness and compassion I never knew existed on earth. You took me to walk around my favorite boutiques in the middle of town as my “once daily activity” or take me on coffee dates if I was up for it. One the rare days when I was extra feisty we would laugh together at the funny things I’ve done or said with my Lyme brain. But on the more frequent hard days you would come over between your patient appointments and check on me. You would remove your shoes and leave slippers in my room because the noise of shoes on the hardwood floor hurt my ears.
When I had a horrible allergic reaction while out of town, you slept in bed with me to make sure I was still breathing.
I know family traditions mean a lot for you and on your birthday and Mother’s Day and Christmas when I was unable to do everything with the family you reassured me everything was going to be okay. You never guilt tripped me and helped me watch my bodies limits so I could nap and join back in later…..you celebrated the time I was able to be a part of everything and helped me to celebrate the little things too. Mom, thank you for being so wonderful. I love you.
Janice (my step-mom)-I had a hard time with you when you and my dad first were together, but I would always come around for just a little while on Saturday and Sunday mornings because you made an awesome breakfast and food was the way to my heart at that time. We have had a lot of bumps in our relationship, but when you fought to get me into specialists it meant a lot to me. You had my back and was able to get a consultation with the doctor who FINALLY DIAGNOSED ME!
When Justin and I moved in with you, during the beginning of my Lyme treatment, you were so kind, sleeping with your phone by your pillow incase I had an emergency while Justin was out of town at work or school. The night my body went crazy and we experienced my first really scary Lyme treatment, you were with me. (I can’t believe I never wrote a blog about it!) When my body was having traveling muscle spasms and my head was tweaked all the way to one side and my jaw was attempting to go the other directions I was BEYOND SCARED! You were there with me. You grabbed my shoulders and yelled above my crying, “THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY. YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY.” I needed to hear that….over and over and over and over again. The episode went on for a long time. I ended up sitting in the bathroom as the night progressed trying to soothe myself in the shower. You called the emergency line for my doctor and stayed with me the whole time. I now know that night scared the crap out of you too, but in the moment you were strong and confident and kept on reminding me it was only temporary.
Thank you for opening up your house for me and Justin and all my medical supplies that took over your house (even my infrared sauna to this day). Thank you for waking me up countless times and making sure I ate something and swallowed my pills before going back to sleep. Over the last three years our friendship has grown a lot and, though I never wanted to move back in with my parents after I was married, I recognize it was absolutely necessary to beating Lyme. I can’t thank you enough for trying all sorts of strange food concoctions, cleaning up my room when I was unable, encouraging me to get out of the house for a little bit each day. Thank you for taking a day away from lounging under the sun while we were in Mexico to visit the doctor with me to get my port and dressing change. We had no idea what a crazy hassle we had gotten ourselves into. Fortuneately, the clinic was clean enough to eat off the floor, but it was quite interesting instructing the doctor, who was now completely sterile and clueless as to what I needed him to do. Together in our broken Spanish we were able to get it accomplished! Then following the “procedure” we tried to figure out where we could mail off my parasites to be identified. Not everyone would sacrifice their vacation day for that kind of adventure. I love you and thank you for being a friend and a mom.
Aunt Robin – You have taken the roll of being the glue that binds our family together and I am forever grateful for that. You are an amazing woman who is kind and generous beyond all measures. I am so appreciative for the support you and Dave have provided me an Justin this past year. My treatment is showing success and I believe it is in a big part because of you. I hope to age as beautifully as you and Grandma. You are timeless, just like her. Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do and all you will do for our family. Thank you for keeping us together. The Rice’s are strong because of Grandma and now because of you.
Granny (RIP) and Grandma – I am so blessed to be welcomed with open arms into your family. Granny thank you for teaching me that storing yogurt in the fridge upside down makes it last longer (please don’t take her word for it, I’m afraid you will get very sick….let’s just say I never ate dairy at Granny’s house)! Grandma, I love you sense of humor! Like last year at Halloween when you used fake fur and put it on your hand during a Majen class and freaked students out all day without saying a word. You are quietly hilarious, which I’m beginning to think is the best type!
My Mother-In-Law, Katie – Words cannot express my gratitude for your support these past 10?!? years. I love that you saved all the scary family stories until after I was married. I am so afraid of what you will do when you get older. Drop your pants in the driveway, say profanities to the clerk at the grocery store for absolutely no reason……and there is so many more examples that I fear are in my future. Buy we are family and Justin and I will be available to shower you with love and support just as you have done for us. I’m proud to call you my mother-in-law. You have defied every statistic about teenage pregnancy and young marriage. You and Mike work incredibly hard and have taught all of your kids an excellent work ethic. I am so grateful to have you in my life.
Step-Grandma Keeney- Grandma I have no words to say how much I love you. I thank you for your encouraging Bible verses and consistent prayer. Thank you for loving me and praying for me always. I appreciate you always.
Grandma Patty (RIP) – I love you this much! Thank you for teaching me about generosity,patience and how important it is to have fun and enjoy life. When I am allowed to eat dairy again I will be having a grilled Muenster cheese sandwich with tomato soup…and I’ll make one for you too. I love you Grandma. I miss you a lot today.
It takes a village and I am so grateful for the amazing women who have raised me. (PS, if I forgot you I’m really sorry…..really feel like I forgot someone.)