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A Tribute to Lolly and Kathy
THE GREATESTMOTHERS I KNOW
W ith Mother’s Day upon us, I want to share a few thoughts of my mother, Luella, or “Lolly” as everyone knows her, and my wife, Kathy. These are the two favorite women in my life. Both are remarkable individuals who inspire me. My words will fall short, but here goes! After a terribly difficult pregnancy, I arrived 4 years after my brother. One of my early childhood memories of my mother is somewhat traumatic. In our front yard in South Dakota stood a massive five-trunked cottonwood tree nearly 100 feet tall. The summer I was 4 years old, Dad built a treehouse in the lower reaches of the tree. As my brother, cousins, and I waited for him to put the finishing touches on the ladder so we could start playing in our new domain, Mom arrived on scene and preempted our fun. Up the ladder to the tree house and far beyond she climbed. To my 4-year-old fright and horror, Mom reached, levered, and pulled herself higher and higher. The higher she climbed, the louder I screamed. Scared the wits out of me she did! I was terrified! To my little mind, my mother was going to fall and die ! I’m sure I screamed some things at her that a few years later she screamed back at me! At about 80 feet up the tree, her urge for adventure seemed to be satisfied and down she came. Back on solid ground, she said to no one in particular, “There, I always wanted to do that,” and went back in the house. She never touched that tree again or climbed another tree since.
capable and experienced in making terrific messes. One afternoon, I came home and went into the bathroom. Smeared on the toilet seat was a mass of nasty brownness. I started to holler about the matter, demanding to know which of the youngsters was responsible. I stomped to the kitchen for an accounting and there was Kathy doubled over in laughter. She sure got me good! She had discovered some old refried beans in the back of the refrigerator and put them to good use! As Parkinson’s Disease works its inexorable devastation, these and so many other memories of my mother sustain me. With her gentle tenacity and laughter in the highs and lows of life, generous grace to everyone she meets, immense faith in God, and a vital life of prayer, Mom has gifted her family a precious legacy. My wife, Kathy, shares the qualities of my mother. Her investment in the lives of everyone she knows enriches each one. A favorite memory I have if her is of the boys on the couch snuggled close and draped over their mother as she read books on so many topics to them, enlarging their world and broadening their horizons. It was quality time and quantity time. Every day of the year is the right time to express gratitude to anyone who enriches your life. We will never regret saying “thank you” too many times.
I am tremendously blessed by the mothers in my life.
Fast forward about 35 years to when there were three partially potty trained little boys in our house, each very
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