Kelly and I enjoyed celebrating a day early with my mom. Yesterday we headed out to lunch with her closer to her stomping grounds in Historic Waxahachie. And there wasn't a sippy cup, diaper bag or kid's menu anywhere in sight.
Although I know my mom would have loved to see the grandgirls, the place where we were dining doesn't exactly encourage the presence of children. How do they do that, you ask? Well, for starters, they do not have high chairs. Not even one in the entire joint. I found that out the fun way a few years back when my buddy Rachelle and I made the trek there with Lily in tow. Only to discover that I would have to go back to the car and haul in her stroller that had a tray where she could eat from. I made sure she only threw a few food items on the floor and kept her screams to a low roar, because I am dignified like that. Melissa---I've run into you there before (w/kids, I think), did you have a different experience?
Lunching sans children also meant there was plenty of time for conversation. Uninterrupted conversation. Which apparently didn't matter because we barely breathed as we consumed our identical lunches and sipped away at our Orange Spice Iced Teas. What menu item would be so good that all three of us would order it? The apricot chicken salad of course. It is what made The Dove's Nest famous. Famous to us at least. Did I mention the apricots are sherried? Delish. We made sure to leave room for the blackberry bread pudding too. I guess you could say there were a few hiccups in the daily diet.
If you are ever near Waxahachie, or even within 200 miles of it...you'd be silly not to visit The Dove's Nest, it is just that good. Be prepared to wait though. We got there at 10:50 and weren't the first in line. That is no problem though because you can roam their huge antique shop while you wait. Another place you'll be waiting there is for the ladies room. So, when the Orange Spice Iced Tea begins to hit, make your way to the restroom right away. There is only one potty and with a bunch of tea drinkin' women around...that is a problem. You could always slide into the men's room...not that I have ever done that. Nope, remember...I'm dignified. It's the first door on the left. Shh...
So, before this appears to be a review for The Dove's Nest or I need to rename this post, let's get back to my mom.
You know what meant more to her than the fine meal, gifts and perusing of antiques?
The fact that we went to the nursing home and visited with my stepdad.
I'm pretty sure that if you had asked my mom what this past year would have held for her, she wouldn't have imagined Charlie's stroke and the condition it has left him in. It was sobering just being there with him in the nursing home setting for that short half hour. What is so deceiving is that he looks really good. Though very emotional, he definitely recognized us and was eager to "chat". Within minutes we realized that he utters a few sounds, the same sounds, over and over and over again. You can sense his frustration because it is obvious that he is trying to tell you something, but he can't get his point across with his very limited speech. It is painful to watch. Writing really isn't an option at this point, but maybe in the future.
Previous posts regarding my stepdad's recent stroke situation:
Back to my mom.
I'm not going to focus on you being a year older, as I'm sure you feel like you've aged 10 just in the past few months.
Just know that we love you so much and pray for you daily as you bear this load, many unknowns, and decisions regarding the future.
I tell you often that I love you, but don't often mention some of the specific things about you that make me a better woman by being around you. Here goes the short list:
You are brilliant. Even dad would agree...any smarts we got...we got from you.
You are beautiful. How many times a day do you moisturize? I'm doing good to get some lotion on my face once a week.
You are not scared of hard work. You tend to run circles around me in any situation.
You are a great cook. Especially of the comfort food variety...and your homemade Old Fashioned Donuts.
You are good at biting your tongue. Can I just absorb that quality from you? Please? And fast?
You are a green thumb. Whether its veggies, flowers, shrubs, trees or grass...whatever question I have...you have the answer.
You are the best nurse on call. Ever. Bet you wish I didn't have your cell phone number.
You are a handy woman. There isn't a home project...big or small...that you don't have some idea about and better yet, won't jump in and help with.
You are talented and crafty...and you love spoiling your grandkids with your handiwork.
You are musical. I could sit and listen to you play piano and sing for hours on end. You don't even know how many memories still dance in my head of me sitting next to you on that wooden bench while you played.
You are forgiving. Ahem...I need that forgiveness for each time I moved the kitchen timer ahead to end my piano practice a little sooner.
You are a walking encyclopedia. You never cease to amaze me at the topics you know and things that you remember. Sometimes even in German or Spanish.
You are proper. Our family's Emily Post for sure.
You are a woman of prayer. And God honors your prayers. I've always known, even as a little girl, that you prayed...fervently...for me.
You are a disciple. A disciple of the One True God.
That One True God has, is, and will continue to carry you through this difficult time.
Here is a little song for you on a birthday that might not have felt very happy.
"Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me---Lyrics follow the video.
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am yours regardless of
the clouds that may loom above
because you are much greater than my pain
you who made a way for me
suffering your destiny
so tell me whats a little rain
We love you, Mom. Hang in there, we're here for you every step of the way...in every decision the Lord leads you to.
And for anyone else who stayed with me until the end of this post...thanks for letting me pour out to my mom for a bit.