So with it being Mother’s Day Weekend, I was thinking I should write a blog in honor of my mom to totally make her weekend. And then, the more I got to thinking on actually what I would write about, I started taking the topic a little more seriously. Because being a mom is such an IMPORTANT job, I wanted to be sure to portray the best and most accurate message I could to explain what my mom has meant in my life.
Let me just start by saying I am going to be honest and real. I feel so many people who have followed me are used to my Southern Jewlz glitter, my unicorn obsession and me posting more of the “rainbows and butterfly” types of pictures. But when I decided to blog, my purpose was to share and to be transparent. My journey is not like everybody else’s, and I also do not think my journey is any “better” than anybody else’s. So here it goes. A tribute to my mother, Lisa Anne Yezak, and why I am thankful for the way she raised me.
When I was a little girl, I was hands down a daddy’s girl and I was proud told to tell anybody that. My dad still to this day would call himself “Disneyland Dad” and I think mine and his relationship is where my “I can be anybody I want to be” attitude, my creativity, and my braveness and yearn for adventure came from. Dada was my first word and I would almost always choose my dad over my mom growing up. Now as much as I say this about my dad, he was still also the primary disciplinarian. He was the one who got the belt after me and could just look at me wrong or in a look of disappointment and I would cry and melt and wish I could take it all away.
But my relationship with my mom growing up was very different. I would try to be defiant to her and say “my daddy told me I could do this”, but then I would soon be grounded whenever she got him involved in the mix. He would take up for her and I couldn’t understand why. I soon learned that if it was just me and dad, my way could go if he agreed, but if my mom was involved – well then it was what her and my dad agreed upon together. And as a young child, I liked what was more fun and rewarding rather than what was character building and life lesson teaching. I caught myself sometimes becoming resentful of my mom because I couldn’t “get my way” once she was involved. Boy, did I have it all wrong.
This is my first Mother’s Day as a married woman and I must say, it has grounded me to have an all new respect for my parents in general, and especially my mom with this being Mother’s Day. Looking back, I am so PROUD of my dad for having my mom’s back throughout raising me. Because that was his wife, and I was just his daughter. That is a far bigger relationship that must stand on respect and trust as compared to me being a child-like daughter over my years of growing up. I had no idea until I got older to understand that not many children get to grow up in a home of a happy marriage. Again, I am not boasting, I just now realize how thankful I am for the things I used to not understand.
Now let me tell you why I am PROUD to call my mom my mother. First off, let me say loud and clear and in all caps MY MOM WAS NOT MY FRIEND. And you know what? I used to get so mad or resentful wanting her to be my friend or the “cool mom”. My mom and I fought A LOT growing up. I used to think my mom didn’t have my back or would believe anything anybody else ever said about me. She wouldn’t let me just do the things I wanted to do. I though so many other moms would better or cooler. Again, I had it all wrong…
I can remember in 3rd grade another girl in my class told a lie about me. She claimed that I said something to her at school that I DID NOT SAY. Of course the teacher soon caught wind and both of our mother’s got called. I will not disclose anymore about the story, because I do not want the other party to even know I am speaking of them because we are all far past it. But there is a good reason for this story, so hang with me. I remember the other girl’s mom immediately took her daughter’s side and blamed me for the same words and actions her daughter claimed to be true. But my mom was a different story. She didn’t have my back at first, she was hesitant to the entire situation. I told her what was said. I told her what the girl said I said. And I STILL got in trouble! I mean she should have believed ME because I was telling the truth! My mom then invited the girl and her mom over to our house to clear the air between the 4 of us. And I was SO MAD!!! I literally thought my mom believed them over me. And even though confrontation is not comfortable and I was not looking forward to our meeting – now looking back I am so PROUD of my mom for showing me with her actions how to handle confrontation (even though I still have room to improve in this area). The girl and her mom came over. And they both started in with the false story. But then the other girl’s mom started to to explain a situation that happened to their family that maybe would make the girl accuse me of something I didn’t say. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand until very recently why it was OK for this to even be allowed. But after the girl and her mom left, my mom FINALLY told me she knew I was telling the truth. Of course I was like “hello, I’ve been telling you this all along” but now I have an all new appreciation for the way my mother handled this. She let a hurting young girl who claimed to be a victim and her mother (a mother that had her daughter’s back from the start) into our home. But my mom wanted to analyze the situation for herself rather than “just taking my word” because I was her daughter. I even called my mom while writing this blog to go over how this 3rd grade story went down to make sure I had what I thought was “her side of the story” to be accurate. I told her the way I remember the story and she said, “Randa, I told you that ONE day we could be friends. But until that day came, it was my duty to be your MOTHER. And I ALWAYS had your back, but I didn’t always show it at first because I needed to make sure you were learning life’s lessons like you needed to.”
When I was in 4th grade, my mom had a major stroke that shook up our entire family. I still remember my 4th grade teacher told me and drove to me to my family as soon as the news came. The doctors told my dad and us kids that my mom may not ever be able to speak again and to not be scared of what we saw when we were allowed into ICU to see her. My mom was not able to speak, and we didn’t know if she would be able to again. I can still remember walking into the room to see her trying to smile at me, but only the left side of her lips would move. I was so scared. And I cannot even imagine what my poor dad must have felt. But he took us home that night and told us that mom would be ok. I can now proudly say that my mom has had a major stroke, open heart surgery, a steel mitral valve (you can hear her tick if you get close enough to her when it is quiet enough), a pace maker surgery and an updated pace maker surgery to replace the leads to her heart. Did I mention she is only 50!?!? I can imagine many of you reading are like “wow, I had no idea” and that is exactly just how my mom would want it. So many people told her she didn’t even need to think about trying to work again, but my mom told them to just sit back and watch. And since my mom’s stroke, she is SOOOO much more emotional. I remember us going to church after she got home from open heart surgery and she had a red heart shaped pillow to hold over her chest because her chest would hurt so badly when she would laugh or cry. And I’m telling you, she would cry through every church song. So much that sometimes I would get embarrassed. But my mom is an organist and a song leader and God actually blessed her with her singing voice before he gave her a talking voice back. Now almost being the age that my mom was when she had her stroke, SHAME ON ME for feeling any sort of embarrassment. God kept her alive and if she wanted to, or still wants to be emotional while singing at church, she deserves that opportunity! Because how lucky am I to have been raised by such a God-fearing woman who is respectful, righteous and thankful to our savior Jesus Christ.
My mom is one of the FIRE-iest little women you will ever meet. I can relate her to a younger version of granny off of the Beverly Hillbillies because she can still be mean! But my goodness she is tough! One year on Christmas Day she was complaining about her side hurting. Nobody knew she was sitting on an already ruptured appendix. So sometimes her toughness can still be a fault, and I now remind her of that. Notice her use of “the pointer finger” as evident by this picture with my little brother and I taken by Luke at Cat at mine and Grant’s wedding.
So past the 3rd and 4th grade mentions, let me again say my mom and I FOUGHT and we were not even friends through high school. Heck I can even say that the day I took my bridal portraits, I was too hard on my mom and should have just soaked up her presence because some girls never get to spend those moments with their mothers. So our relationship is a constant work in progress. But let me sum it up again to tell you why I’m so thankful for my mom being just the way she is. And as much as I would get so mad hearing her say “one day you will understand Randa” I can genuinely say that she was right. And I was defiant and wrong, A LOT!!!
So thank you mom for being you and for doing THESE things selflessly for ME:
My mom was NOT my friend. She was my MOM. And I am thankful. Because now I have gone on to build my OWN life because you taught me to work hard to achieve my own successes.
She would always tell me “Be gentle for everyone you meet is going through some sort of struggle”. Thank you mom for teaching to me have a gracious and understanding heart, even though I still sometimes struggle with this.
My mom did not let me spend money on luxuries growing up. Instead she took all of the money I was ever given for birthdays, Holidays or event from the sale of my livestock projects and started me a college savings fund. I remember telling my little brother Jacob to not tell mom if he ever received money because she “would take it”! Little did I know….
My mom’s prayers are a lot of the reasons that my life has been blessed the way it has been. My true love with Grant, my health, careers success, etc. My mom SELFLESSLY prays for everyone who asks her to. Ok be honest, I need to start saying the rosary like my mom does. Anybody in need or that has health issues that knows my mom calls her. She immediately gets them on every prayer list in the county, says the rosary FOR them and even goes to the hospital to visit those in need. Especially stroke victims.
My mom did not immediately have “my back” unless it came to my grades because those were “in black and white”. Thank you Mom for teaching me to prove my case rather than telling me I was innocent just because I was yours.
My mom wasn’t the “cool mom”, but she was the mom that made sure I learned life’s lessons the hard way to make sure that the experiences made me a better, stronger and more educated person. I’m not saying that the “cool moms” aren’t good moms, I’m just saying I have now learned to appreciate my mom’s ways rather than to just wish she would have been the “cool mom”.
My mom did not give me “life on a silver platter” but instead she made me work for everything I had. And because of my mom’s lessons, I give her ample credit for the career successes I have had. Because when you grow up and face the “real world” like mom would call it – well NOBODY is going to just GIVE you what you want. YOU are going to have to be work for it.
My mom taught me by leading by example what it means to worship our Lord and Savior. I can never repay HER or HIM for what they have given me.
As much as I love all of my friends and other special loved ones in my life, thank you MOM for always answering my call and being there for me, even when I may have made you felt “second rate” at times.
Even though I am not a mother, and I am not sure if that is in God’s calling for me just yet, thank you for showing me what a good mom looks like. I know you always told me “One day you will have children of your own and you’ll understand”. Even though I don’t have kids, I can say I see things much more clear and I am so thankful for you and your stubborn ways about teaching me life’s lessons.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Whatever your story or journey with your own mother may be, I hope that you find a way to look at it more positively than ever before! Because sometimes moms actually do know a little more than we give them credit for!