Saturday, December 17, 2016

#LIGHTtheWORLD Day 17 - Caring for your Mother

I technically, only have one mother, but in my heart I have two.  The first is my mother, Verda Mae Christensen, who I wrote about separately in my blog.  We started out our marriage by living in her basement apartment for $150 a month, and that included utilities.  I was just finishing the last of my education at the University of Utah and Cathy was working full time.  It was Mom's way of helping us get over the finish line.  Less than a year later, we moved next door and rented from her for two years, then purchased the home on contract and lived next door for the remainder of her life.  Nearly 14 years in total we were neighbors, but the story in that effort was my wife Cathy.  There are circumstance where you don't get along with in-laws and living close never would work.  However Cathy and my mom got along well and respected each other's strengths and Cathy often helped her when I wasn't around.  We invited her to dinner about once a week and our kids were often over visiting with Grandma.  The selfless acts of service by Cathy to my own mother were endless and we never look back upon those days with any regret.

Mom Nielsen joined us on our trip to Nauvoo, IL and
even went horseback riding with us there.  

My other mother, is really my mother-in-law, Lois Nielsen.  While we don't live as close as we did to my mother, we've tried to reach out where we can to help her.  I have a long way to go until I match the service Cathy rendered to my mom, but I am working on it.  "Mom" as I call her, is the only grandparent we have left here on this earth and is such an benefit in our lives.  Our visits with her never end without my girls feeling her love and I have a hard time visiting without repairing or doing some maintenance on her home.  We were fortunate a few months ago to install a donated chair lift from my sister and brother-in-law Nancy and Warren Bittner.  This has allowed her to get up and down her stairs and keep her quilting and other activities going.  After more than a decade, she finally let us update her cell phone from an old flip phone to a smart phone.  Our Sarah is her teacher, and it's been fun to have her gain access to things shared by family members.  Recently, we along with some of Cathy's siblings updated her front porch railing and another son helped her replace her wood stove.  Having "Mom" still in our life makes it much more worthwhile and beautiful.

No greater example of how we treat our mothers comes from anyone other than the Savior himself.  In his last moments of his earthly life, he expressed his desire to have his mother watched over.  It is a reminder to us, as we look over one another's mothers in how we can show respect and love them as if they were our own.

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