My Mom

Several years ago my neighbor and I had an awkward conversation.  I was asked to do a job at church that she had  just had. When thinking about who would replace her she said to me, “I didn’t want it to be you.  Anybody but you.”  (OK??  I wasn’t sure what to make of that…)  And then she told me that her husband made her feel better by telling her, “Tiffany has all that family support that is why she can do so much.  She has her mom.”  I think my neighbor was trying to tell me “you will do a great job but only because your mom is great and she helps you look great.”   I am not sure what my neighbor’s motive was, but I kind of took her comments as an insult.

I agreed that my mom was great, but I wasn’t a loser either.  Sure I might borrow my mom’s tablecloths and she might babysit my kids now and then, but my mom didn’t get me out of bed each morning.  She didn’t make my meals and clean my house.  She didn’t teach my church lessons or come up with all my ideas.  She didn’t wake up at night with my kids and then pull off letter of the week.  She didn’t organize my pantry and paint walls in my house.  She didn’t plan my birthday parties or go into my kids classrooms.  I could be given some credit for what I do.

Until two days ago… when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

And I realized in a moment that my neighbor was right all along.  I am nothing without my mom, or rather I am only who I am because of my mom.  I can only do what I do now because I have had my mom.

A mom who is supportive and giving and kind and unselfish and helpful and creative and organized and resourceful and full of energy.

I can’t undervalue a happy childhood, loving parents, and a good example in making me who I am today.  I can’t underestimate lessons taught, creativity cultivated and work ethic modeled.   I can’t discount genes inherited and talents fostered.  So while my mom might not get be out of bed each morning, she is truly a part of who I am today.

I am not worried about my mom dying yet.  We don’ t have enough information and I won’t get worked up until I know more.  But I am worried how life will change.  I will have to learn to stand on my own two feet.  (It’s about time that I learn how to make gravy.)  And I am worried that I can’t call my mom to consult or complain or brag.  (Moms are the only ones that you can brag to unapologetically.)

It will be a time of role reversal where she will need to call me to consult or complain or brag.  And I will need to be the one who is supportive and giving and kind and unselfish and helpful.  I hope I can be as good to my mom as she has been to me.

20 thoughts on “My Mom”

  1. Elle was telling me about your mom yesterday. I am so sorry to hear this news, but I know that your mom is strong and will fight this! Can’t wait to go out tonight and finally celebrate your b-day! Looks like you could really use a break!

  2. I know for a fact that your mom is amazing, a wonderful example, and she has taught all of her children well!

    I have faith she will beat this “cancer thing”, especially with the support of all of those who love her. It’s a tough thing to go through, but I also know there are special blessings instore for everyone that has to go through such difficult times. My husband’s mother and sister both had breast cancer.

    Your mother is in my prayers, as well as your family. Love you Stenson Family!

  3. I don’t know what is going on with your mom but AMEN to all that you wrote. Our mother’s are our greatest influences. I have to remind myself that all the time as I parent. Call me if you need to vent. You are one amazing lady!

  4. Your mom is amazing! But so are all or her children!! You are all great people. Please give your Mom a big hug from me and let her know she is in my prayers. Tell her I love her. Thanks so much.
    Love, Diane Rex

  5. I am so sorry Tiff. I have been where you are. it is hard to see someone who has always provided so much strength and support feel vulnerable and week. you are such am amazing person, andi know that you will be such a strength and support to your sweet mom. my mom has always been my rock, and I learned through her cancer how much I needed her in my life, but I also learned I was alot stronger than I thought. this is going to be a challenge for your sweet family, but your mom is amazing, and a fighter. we love you and you are our prayers.

  6. I thought I left a comment earlier, but I don’t see it on here now. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom. I know the emotions you are going through. When I found out my Mom had thyroid Cancer a month or so ago, my heart sunk and I was crushed. I went through so many different emotions. I know that Breast Cancer can be much more serious then Thyroid but I know your Mom can beat this. Keep me posted of her diagnosis and progress.

  7. Tif, she will need you. I have never felt so vulnerable in my life. I leaned on the strength of others, because i felt like I had almost none of my own. I know your mom is not going into this up. We will provide all the joy we can for her. love you.

  8. Tiff, I am so sorry about your mom. I actually remember having the same thoughts when my mom was diagnosed. It was very strange to me to have to take care of my mom, especially because we have moms that have always taken such amazing care of us. She is lucky to have you guys to be there for her.

  9. SO sorry to hear about your Mom. I laughed out loud at your comment about making gravy…at 37 it’s about time I learned too!! Hope you continue to feel peace.

  10. My heart breaks to hear about your sweet mom. She is strong and a fighter. I love your mom and I love you Tiff. We are who we are because of the influence and examples of our great moms. You are also a great mom and I know you will be a big support and help to your mom in this time of need. Sending my love and support to you, your mom, and your wonderful family.

  11. The greatness of a mom will be judged by the strength of her grandchildren. So far – so good. I see in your kids the same ideals you were given. Good job Tif.

  12. I just love your mom and know that she is strong and that YOU are strong. And that you and all of your siblings will help your mom through this trial. What a lovely post about your amazing mom!

  13. As I sat watching Tyler sing tonight I had tears in my eyes much of the time. You are all AMAZING, starting with your mom and dad! I often wonder how in the world anyone raises 10 amazing kids!!! Love you all and thinking of you!!!

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