Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day part III

Have you ever heard one of those stories where a mother cow raises a pig? That is a good example of my next tribute. Rhonda.
I met Rhonda while dating her daugher. I never was one to fear girlfriend's parents and perhaps I was too dumb not to fear this one, but I knew to respect her quickly. Upon first meeting her and her husband, I could see he was the fun loving daughter's daddy and she was the one who would quickly put me in my place if I did not treat her daughter correctly.
The daughter went off to college and Rhonda took it upon herself to make sure that I did not become a slacker in my church going. She had great boys who were still at home in high school that I got along with very well, so she invited me to come over on Sundays, again, probably to make sure I behaved myself.
She didn't become a mother to me right away. It wasn't until my mission and I started to look forward to her letters like a missionary does his own mother's. Before that and looking back, I can see how she influenced the path of my life early on.
I was done with high school and not feeling like I could afford college I decided to join the Air Force. I took the ASVAB and I let Rhonda know and she talked me out of it, and convinced me that a mission was the right thing to do.
Now if you have not had the privlege of meeting this wonderful women let me just say, she has her own way of convincing people to do things. A lot of times you might walk away thinking it was your own idea, she is that good. Other times, she makes it clear, very clear that your idea is wrong.
Well not to long later, Rhonda would be the one to put me on the plane to the MTC, a day that solified my Mormonism, but before that she went to the temple with me to baptise my father. She walked me through my church infancy and put me on the straight and narrow. She bought me all my suits for my mission and basically everything else.
She is also one of the keys to my conversion. After the tragic lose of her husband by someone elses hands, I showed her my anger and let her know that I hope the person responsible had to pay. She told me that she was not worried, she had a testimony of God and knew he would take care of the appropriate judgement.
After my mission, she kept me straight again, helping me see the light in a strange relationship that I was blind too.
She always walks a fine line. She never really asserts herself into my life as so much as she allows me to use her for a source of wisdom. I am sure there are many times she really wanted to let me know how she feels, but she held back.
Let me give you an example of the moxy this lady has. Although she would probably prefer I don't share this memory with you, but if you know any of the rest of the family you will all know exactly what I am talking about. We were going through the drive through of In-N-Out one day and the person's voice who was taking the order kept cutting out. I don't know what made her do it but she talked back the same way, covering her mouth a few times when she gave her order. I hardly go through a drive through without at least smiling about that day.
I have a testimony that God knows what we can handle. I don't think that there was ever a doubt that Rhonda could handle the loss of her husband and still be able to raise 6+1 children.
I know that her daughter posted a blog about her, but I have chosen not to read it yet because she like her mother is witty and smart and I would feel like I couldn't post this, but my wife best sums it up when she commented in that blog, "I am grateful to her for putting the finishing touches on the raising of my husband."
Every now and then you get asked to name a hero, for me it is easy, it's Rhonda. You are a solid foundation from which so many of us where able to learn and grow, I thank you for taking in the man child and making sure he became a man and more importantly a son of God.
Happy Mother's Day.


Allison said...

Thanks Mike for such a beautiful post about mom.

Thanks Mom, for being such a positive influence, strength and support to me and the rest of your 6+1 children.

I love you.

Michal said...

thanks for seeing what we do in our mom. i loved that how wifey put it, that mom put the finishing touches on you. she surely can't take the credit for everything good about you (as you've manifested through all of these tributes to mothers,) but i know that she was able to exert an influence over you at a very important time in your life.

i'm so grateful for her and her continuing influence in my life. she is my hero, as well.

Denise said...

What a beautiful tribute.

gma dibb said...

I, too, am grateful for her wonderful influence on your life. I admire her for the positive way she has lived and loved her family.

Evan said...

Thanks Mike for all that, I have a hard time putting into words how much mom has affected everyone she knows.

Diane said...

Mike, you have written some very beautiful tributes to some wonderful women in your life who have made you into a wonderful Man. You are also a wonderful writer. I enjoy your blog immensely.