Chips are not vegetables and other important life lessons

I FIND it hard to believe that my hero turned 80 years old this week. My hero is this lady who grew up in Holland the third of eight girls. She lived through the war, through hardships, studied to be a nurse and worked in a hospital for sick children and was devastated by the suffering she witnessed there.

To give herself a break she joined a girlfriend on an adventure to Canada where she met a man 10 years her senior who was a Dutch immigrant himself. They married, had seven kids of their own and lived on a dairy farm in Sumas Prairie. She managed to raise those crazy kids practically single-handedly…and when I say crazy I’m not fooling around.

These kids were adventurous and lived on the edge, jumping off rooftops, swinging in haylofts, riding cows, swimming across rivers or walking across that same river when the water was frozen. There were pellet guns and knives and lots of stitches and a few broken bones but by the grace of God those seven kids are still here today. This hero of mine, she made mistakes, faced many hardships but persevered. And today she is filled with joy and wisdom, a generous and giving heart and an unbelievable amount of energy. Dare I say more energy than me and I’m practically half her age?!?

She has taught me so much: that when you fall you can get back up and hold your head high, that each human being is treasured, that attitude is everything and if you focus on the good in life the bad will pale in comparison, that we shouldn’t waste time worrying about things that are out of our control, that forgiveness is necessary because not forgiving is damaging to everyone, that helping others blesses the receiver but also the giver, that whole grain bread is better than white bread and that chips are not a vegetable.

She has showed me that a strong faith results in a deep joy. My hero has become a valued advisor, a confidant, an encourager and a friend. My hero is my Mom. This past Sunday we enjoyed a luncheon in our back yard with family and friends as we celebrated my Mom Jane’s 80th birthday. Happy Birthday beautiful lady!!!!! When I grow up I want to be just like you!