Hope bloomed as Momma pulled the minivan into the shopping center parking lot where Bemiss and Ashley intersect. For days I had been jawing about the carnival each time we'd drive by it, "ooOO look at the gravitron!". I could only look to her for answers, "Why are we here? Shouldn't I be in class?" She grinned as she answered with an unforgettable nugget, "People with perfect attendance lead boring lives."
Maybe she thought I needed a break from a stressful transition into a new school. So, after dropping off the rest of the Megow clan at Open Bible elementary, she played hookey with me and brought me to the fair. I remember feeling proud to be by her side as we wandered through the attractions together. She even consented to riding on the Speeding Bullet, a rather extreme carnival ride which slung us around and upside down in a little metal capsule. I burst with joy as we rocked back and forth in widening arcs. Momma screamed so loud while we were suspended upside-down at the apex of the swing! It was a perfect mother and son date. I cherish the gesture she made that day. -Thad
Momma, there’s a lot I would like to thank you for: Endless driving to soccer practice/games, always cooking fresh from scratch dinners, buying raspberry sorbet just for you and I to share, attending every football game just to watch me march in the halftime show, etc. However instead of spending this little write-up talking about all the sacrifices you made as a parent (which were and are literally uncountable), I want to talk about one main thing I’ve learned from you as my mom that has helped define me as a man and now father to my own kids. It’s my favorite part about you… you are 100% authentic and unapologically yourself.
I remember as a small kid going other places and hearing people talk about “Denise”. That conversation normally ended up with the person doing an impression of some aspect of you (your booming laugh, your slightly tilted head serious face, dancing at church, etc.). I remembered always wondering why people would do impressions of you when I was younger. As an adult, I think it’s because you were just so unique and different from the norm of society that people can’t really explain Denise. They have to experience Denise. You embody a type of zeal for life that few can even comprehend. Hahahaha. I love that.
Now as a parent, I try to pass that onto my own kids. I’m learning that I can’t just say “be yourself” or “embrace what makes you unique”. I have to actually learn about myself and embrace it. They aren’t going to accept their uniqueness, if I’m not doing it myself. However, it’s not really that hard for me to do, because I grew up with a mom that was always going against the grain. My entire childhood was shaped by a mother who still to this day, is the only person I can’t describe with words. By your actions and life, you’ve taught us to love Jesus, people, family, and passions with wild abandon.
The Dr. Seuss quote that always comes to mind when I think of you was a little saying you had taped to your bathroom mirror years ago:
Thank you for being you. I’m so thankful and blessed to have you as my mom. I love you. -Seth
My Mama is a very unique person. Her laugh is contagious and anyone who had hear it knows this. If us kids could not find her for whatever reason, we would listen for her laugh. She can be loud:)
I remember going shopping for my senior prom dress. Mama and I drove down to Jacksonville for the day. In the car ride there we were just talking about what we wanted to accomplish that day and how long we could be gone since we had to be back by a certain time.
We went to the first store and we did not find anything. Then we went to another store. We found a few different dresses. I found one dress on the sale rack that I liked. So it was off to the dressing room we went. I tried on a few of the dresses and they did not look good.I tried on the dress from the sale rack. I loved it. I went to show her. She liked it too. She beamed. I got the side eye smile. If you get that then you know she is happy. It is hard to explain the side eye smile, it usually comes before the afore mentioned laugh. It is this look so full of love and joy. It can not done justice by mere words. We got fancy shoes to go with the dress. When we got back home, we showed off the prom dress and the fancy shoes. We were both very excited about them. I remember we stopped for lunch on the way back home. We talked about how exciting prom was and how exciting it was get dressed up. The ultimate accomplishment of that day was the we stayed under budget.
After my engagement, I knew I wanted her to be here to help me pick out my wedding dress. With the wonders of technology, we were able to Skype her in. I came out to show everyone THE dress . I heard the side eye smile. I know that sounds weird but I heard it:). Hopefully one day I will be able to give my children this special gift, the side eye smile.
There is no one like my Mama.
I realized that I am extremely blessed to call her my Mama.
Denise is a very kind and welcoming person, that made me feel at home when I first met her. I remember the confused look on her face when I asked if I needed to take my shoes off or leave them on as is the custom in Alaska when entering someone's home. She makes wonderful southern style food that I was able to have for the first time, even though it was a bit spicy for me, I couldn't get enough. (Especially the Mexican egg rolls that I can never get enough of even when I make them.) She is very helpful when I need recipes to cook for Claren to give her something to remind her of home, even though I make it exactly the same as the recipe Claren says it's not the same and I have to make some changes till she says it's right. I remember she had said she never had reindeer sausage before, so when she came to Alaska for our wedding I made her some scrambled eggs and reindeer sausage which she enjoyed, so I gave her a package of reindeer sausage to take home. I'm very happy to have gotten to know her and have her as a second mom, and look forward to keep getting to know her in the future. Happy Mother's Day. Love Ben.
When I think about mama I can think of plenty of good things to say, but what is most impressive is her spiritual side. She has been a great example of what prayer can do. I remember she was constantly in prayer groups or praying at home. I never really understood why until many years later. I still don’t understand completely, but through her diligence I know it’s a path that I know needs to be invested in. I’m glad I’ve had her in my life to show me when to be stubborn and when to be humble. -Graham
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