March 24, 2006
Introduction to my Mother
I’m frantically running around here like a chicken with my head cut off. My brother, Casey, his fiancé, Maria, and my stepdad, Roy are arriving at the DFW airport in just a few hours. I’ve got carpet cleaning people here (I waited four hours for them to show up last night!) and I’m still working on the games. Oh, wait, let me back up. I’m hosting Casey and Maria’s bridal shower at my house tomorrow and I’m in charge of the games and decorations. And I still have to get to Linens N Things to buy their gifts, a card table, and a chocolate fountain. (God is soooo good. Minutes ago I found a 20% off everything coupon I received in the mail and it was accidentally misfiled. Is that awesome or what?)
I’ll take lots of pictures and tell you all about the shower next week. In the meantime, since I’ve put off writing the journal entry to the last minute I hope you don’t mind if I simply share something I wrote a couple of days ago. It is the introduction of my mother for the “Busy Grandma’s Guide to Prayer” book.
I received the following email from my mother, Genny Coleman, just this morning. I better give you a bit of back story before you read it or you’ll be completely lost.
Casey, my mother’s youngest son, is getting married soon so she is in the throes of planning a bridal shower for Maria, his fiancé. My mom joined a gym last week and the trainer told her that, although she didn’t look a day older than fifty-two, because of all the stress she works under, she is actually ten years older on the inside. Cody is my brother and “Nanny” is my beloved grandmother. Hopefully, this information will fill in the many blanks left in the email. (By the way, this is actually cut-and-pasted from my Inbox. My mother obviously didn’t have time for trivial things like “Dear Lisa,” or “Love, Mom.” Maybe because it was time-stamped at 4:32 AM.)
I was in a Christian book store yesterday in McKinney. They would like to do a book signing for your next book. Yes, I morphed into Nanny.
Here is my advice to you re: teenage years - Just when you think you can’t stand them another minute, grab some of your scrapbooks, jump in the car and drive around the block and park. Look through those years and realize how short it is. I think it will have the same affect as looking at a two-year-old asleep.
I hope this shower knocks it out of the ballpark. I want to make Casey proud.
I’m not taking any new clients until this summer and maybe not until September.
I can’t wait to spend see Cody on Sunday. He’s so handsome.
I want to write a book about how to be 62, look 52 on the outside, appear 72 on the inside, feel 42, act 32 and make a million-or-2 overnight in real estate.
I love Maria.”
As you probably noticed, my mother lives life in shorthand. Her conversations are pithy and to the point. Her business dealings are swift and fierce. Her words are terse and fraught. Her wisdom is concise and potent. Which makes her a perfect candidate to help me write The Busy Grandma’s Guide to Prayer.
Today’s Grandma is not your mother’s mother! She is like you - Busy and Tired and Wise and Worried and Loving and Dependant on God. There is one major difference between me and my mother – age. And with those years, a lifetime of experiences I’ve yet to live. The same is true of you. Along with those twinkling crinkles around your eyes, threads of graytness in your hair, and more-to-love fluffiness around your middle, you’ve also gained invaluable, irreplaceable, incomparable wisdom. What a gift – to your children and your grandchildren.
Many years ago I listened to an audiotape of a speaker stating his belief that the command to, Honor your father and your mother, was without an expiration date. I completely agree with him – now. I can’t say I was fully on board until I had children of my own and grew up a little.
I’ve heard my own children cry out in frustration, “When I grow up, I’m not going to have to…” or as recently as this morning, “After I turn eighteen, I’m going to…” The blank in the fill-in-the-ellipses is basically, I’m going to do things my way, not my parent’s way.
I remember thinking those same thoughts, but not anymore. For one reason, I view God’s words on the stone tablets to be as much a promise as a command. The rest of the verse in Exodus reads, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Emphasis mine) It is a privilege to honor my mother and when I do my life is blessed.
God has given you, as a grandma, wisdom that I do not know, experiences that I have not faced, and a depth and breadth that can only come with time and maturity. These days, when my mother tells me to take my Calcium, I rush to the drugstore because she is trying to teach me from her experience so that I don’t have to learn the hard way, through my experience.
I didn’t always listen to her as a teenager – why-in-the-world do I need to wash my face every single night?! I didn’t even always listen to her as a young adult – a Retirement account? I want a house with a pool! I don’t know who’s gotten smarter – me or her. I’m pretty sure I’ve just gotten smarter enough to realize she’s smarter. Now that I’m old enough to know better, I know she knows better.
I gladly submit to her wisdom. I’m thankful for her experience. Her age is a gift to me. As her only daughter, I will rise to call her blessed so fast that it will make my head spin. I will also call her friend. At this very moment I am at her house writing, she just offered to make me a cup of hot chocolate, and fifteen minutes ago the fresh flowers I ordered for her, “just because,” were delivered to her door. We are crazy about each other. (Emphasis on the word “crazy.”)
With this book, we enter a new season of our relationship – as partners. I can’t express how thrilled I was when she agreed to co-author this book with me. I’ve always known my mother was a fabulous writer and we’ve even talked about writing a screenplay together. We just assumed it would be after my children were grown and her millions were made.
What a gift this experience has been to me. What a gift her experience will be to you. By “Day One” of this guided prayer journal I believe you will feel just like I do about my mother. You will consider her a friend and a partner. I just know that her prayers for her spectacular grandchildren will express your heart for your equally extraordinary grandchildren.
So, it is with great pride and honor that I introduce you to my remarkable mother, Genny Coleman.
Posted by weblion at 10:35 PM