Happy Day

Dear Mom,

So I bet this is your first ever “blog” Mother’s Day card. I thought it fitting since you are one of the greatest supporters of my desire to write and share my heart and faith with others. So I realize it’s a bit public, but oh well, so is a billboard!

The last time I published something about you, I got quoted for the first time ever by another publication. That was a stroke to my ego, but more importantly it was a testimony to the kind of woman and mother you are–someone who makes people feel inspired or convicted or just plain grateful that someone like you exists.

Tonight Doug and I are sharing our home with a fellow classmate from Fuller. She needed to spend the night with someone involved in “incarnational ministry” and visit the ministry and ask questions. Earlier today I was anxious about the Hebrew test I will have Monday and my desparate need to study and prepare. Having a houseguest interrupted my ability to do that, but I am reminded of how you and Dad always had a bed or a couch or a floor somewhere for just about anyone who needed a place to stay–need I mention accordians?–and it was never about your convenience or ease. I hope that Mercy will grow up seeing her mom and dad do the same thing.

Tonight I was at Ralph’s trying to exchange the formula I purchased last night with my WIC coupons. I had accidentally picked out the wrong kind and the checkout lady noticed so she sent the bag boy back to the shelves to get the right kind. He bagged my things and I left, only to discover when I got home that he had again given us the incorrect kind. Tonight the store manager gave me a hard time. As soon as it was apparent that I was a WIC customer, his demeanor changed and he told me that they were out of the kind I needed and that he couldn’t help me. I told him that my baby can’t drink milk and this is a milk based formula and that he would give me a different kind–I would happily take a different brand if that was my only choice. He finally relented and gave me the larger size can in exchange for two of the four cans I brought to return. He told me repeatedly that they weren’t supposed to do this and that I needed to be more careful next time. Then he turned with a smile to the USC student waiting to order a keg of beer beside me. I was reminded of all the ways you would stand up and fight for me when I was young–getting me into the best programs at school; getting bus service for me when they told you they couldn’t help you. And it wasn’t just stuff for me or Anna, or now for David. Anywhere you encountered a system working against people, you would stand up and fight and you would not stop until right prevailed. I hope that Mercy will grow up seeing her mom bravely tackle obstacles and injustices, not just for her, but for many.

Tonight I sat in the green rocker holding my sweet Mercy asleep in my arms. I remembered all those nights that you would come and sit on my bed and rub my back or give me an arm scratch and listen to all the stories from my day, and you would often sit there patiently until I drifted off to sleep (often nodding off yourself). I realize that since marrying Doug, that precious ritual is gone (though it was alive and kicking up until that point) but I do my best to make up for it now with cuddles on the couch whenever I am home–though Mercy is stiff competition. Tonight as I gazed down at my sleeping baby, I almost suffocated with love for her. I hope that she will know many nights of ending her day with a mom beside her who will listen and talk and rub, and falling asleep knowing well how very much she is loved.

At our wedding, Pastor Mike said something about how Doug and I were made for each other. I feel the same way about you–that God gave me the mom God knew that I would need. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for making my life so very rich. And thank you for showing me what kind of mom I want Mercy to have. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.

Erika

mercy-and-mama.jpg

P.S. Talk to Debbie Wilkins–she has something for you!

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