A letter to my Momma
Happy Mother’s Day to Momma Menke!!
This Mother’s Day feels so different than any other I have experienced before, I know I haven’t gotten to hold my sweet girl yet, and I haven’t had so many of the parental responsibilities, but, Logan and I have celebrated. I have been showered with love and sweet cards and thoughtful gifts. Mother’s Day means something even more special than it did to me before. I understand at the smallest level how much my momma loves me. So, Momma Tor Tor even though it is impossible to ever put into words how special my life has been because of you, I am going to attempt to try. I hope that I can live up to half of the mother you have been to all of us. These are the pieces of you that I want to give to Clarke:
1. Thank you for making church fun. It was never a place we dreaded and it was never an option. We got up every Sunday (and Wednesday and Sunday night) and looked forward to going and seeing our friends and being a part of the community of people there. No matter where we have gone throughout our life, you and dad made it a priority to serve. So many of my favorite memories come from being at church and I’m so thankful that I still look so forward to being a part of a church family and getting to love on people because I know that God loves me. Giving me that gift trumps all of the others.
2. Thank you for being so easy to talk to. This is so simple, yet so profound. Before I even had any problems of my own I saw you giving your time and advice to your high school youth group. I have always seen a special connection between you and the so many people who have asked your advice over the years. You have loved so many people through so many mistakes and it is something that I constantly strive to do. I want my sweet girl to be able to talk to me and know that she will be heard.
3. Thank you for having high expectations of us. You always told us that “to those who have been given much, much is expected”, and I think we just accepted that at a young age. We just knew that we didn’t have an excuse. I held myself to high standards both morally and even in school because I knew that my life was good and I didn’t have an excuse. You didn’t even have to tell us to get stuff done; we just knew that it was what was expected of us.
4. Thank you making me believe that I was a superhero. I’m not even joking when I say that. Thank you for telling me every single day of my life what I was worth and that I don’t have to settle. For making me believe that I could change the world. I cannot remember a conversation that we have ever had where you didn’t reassure me that I was capable of anything. It’s one thing I cannot wait to give my children.
5. Thank you for giving us the most innocent, creative and loving childhood. For having 16 Christmas trees, opening our pool in April so we could swim until our lips were blue, for letting us be dirty and play outside and never complaining. For having scavenger hunts after school, for always having cake mix cookies of chocolate chunk brownies made, for devoting whole summers to making scrapbooks, for surprising us with clothes and jewelry from the clearance rack, for letting us race down the driveway against the van, and for the endless crafting.
6. Thank you for making sure I had forever best friends. You made sure every single day that we knew our siblings would be our best friends forever. I never understood people who didn’t get along with their siblings. They are the people you have your whole life. I give all of the credit to you. I don’t know who I would be without them, and you sacrificed your entire life to give them to me. I could not imagine our family being built any other way.
7. Thanks for being my biggest advocate. You have been so relentless when it has come to my health and making sure I was okay. Thank you for loving me and making sure my quality of life was so good. It was a long road and Doctors are great, but moms are the ones who know their kids. So, thank you for not giving up on me.
8. Thank you for teaching me that money isn’t what makes life fun. It’s funny looking back on growing up and everyone thought we had so much money. In reality we just loved the clearance rack and Goodwill. I laugh at myself now because I can’t buy full price things, I don’t know if I have my entire life. From rocking 25.00 evening gowns at Miss Kentucky to buying my interview suit off Ebay. Life has always just been really fun, and I can honestly say that I never wanted anything. I always felt like I had more than I deserved.
9. Thanks for teaching us how to communicate. I look back at lessons I have learned from you and this is one of my favorites as an adult, because I realize so many people don’t teach their children this valuable tool. It would make me mad when I was a teenager and you would call me out for interrupting people, or for talking to loud, or whatever else you would say, but I am so thankful for it now. You wanted us to understand that it mattered no matter how old we were. Now, I’m so hyper aware of it, I get on my own nerves! Haha
10. Thanks for being safe. I know this sounds goofy, but I am so thankful that you taught me to think about the consequences of my actions. To think about what could happen if I acted a certain way or made a certain decisions. I definitely don’t have the dare devil gene, and I skipped the wild phase in my life completely because you just taught me that there are consequences and I wanted to avoid those!
11. Thank you ALWAYS being there. Whether it be to move us into new house (and decorate it perfectly), or talk on the phone, or to bring me my lunch in Morehead, or check on my dogs when I was gone from the house too long. I know that you will be there for me in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. Not even for a second. You spend your days solving problems and being the best mom to all of your (adult) children.
12. Thank you for giving every single one of us some sort of creative gift. We all express our creativity so differently, but I love that we all have it and cherish that gift so much. So much of who we are is because of that creativity and our ability to think differently and enjoy art and color and the beautiful things on this awesome planet.
13. Thank you for making our house a place everyone wanted to be. For adopting countless extras into the Menke fam, and for making everyone feel welcomed and loved. I can’t wait to have that kind of house. I want everyone to want to be a part of the Astrike fam and for everyone to feel welcomed and loved. The more the people in the house, the happier the house.
14. Finally, thank you for being the most selfless person I have ever met. Almost too much at times. But thank you for teaching me what it looks like to be a parent. For teaching me all of the things I need to know and then sending me off with my sweet husband and having faith in my abilities to be successful and happy even when I’m far away from everything I know.
I am already so dang excited for you are dad to be Nan and Pop and for my sweet babies to be loved by you. I can’t wait for there to be sleepovers and fun crafts and all of the happy things that I got to experience growing up. Every day was special and that’s how I want to raise my kids. With happiness and joy and love. With a purpose and for them to understand how important they are, that they can change the world just by loving people and investing in those around them. For the first 26 years of my life I got to celebrate you, and next year we will get to celebrate together. I cannot wait for you to be my mom in this new way and to be able to ask your advice on new and scary topics.
Mom, you are my superhero. You deserve to be celebrated every day. These words don’t even touch on the impact you have had on my life and the life of so many people. I cannot wait to be a mom because I cannot wait to make my kids feel the way you have made me feel my whole life.
I love you so dang much, Momma.
Blaine & Clarke
Also, can I would like to mention how absolutely blessed I am to have such a loving and Godly mother in law. She has welcomed me into her wonderful family with open arms and I love them all so much. I love you, Lynn. I look forward to many more memories!
P.S. Thank you to all of the other awesome mommas I have in my life that set such awesome examples. Especially the ones who have loved on me along the way. These are just a few of those!