Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

A Tribute to My Wonderful Mother

My mother...nothing I could say could adequately convey the love/annoyance relationship that we have. It's the same relationship that every mother and daughter go through. I never have had a love/hate relationship with her. But she has annoyed me plenty, just like I have gotten under her skin too. My mom is #10 out of 12 kids. 6 boys and 6 girls were born into this Dutch family. My maternal grandparents immigrated from the Netherlands when they were children and found each other in the small Dutch farming community in Minnesota. Out of all my aunts and uncles on my mom's side, one aunt didn't get married ever. She was the "eccentric" and "odd" aunt in the family. Every family has one of those be they aunt or uncle. Everyone else had 2 or more children. Well, everyone except my mom that is. My mom found out that out of a very fertile family, she was the one who could not have children. She had surgeries, etc. and nothing worked. So she and my dad decided to adopt. She at first wanted two little boys. But then changed her mind and prayed to God for a little brown haired, brown eyed girl.

At the time, she was working for a local OB/GYN. One day he comes to her and says, "I have someone I want you to meet." So he took her to the hospital and she saw...me. He had delivered me from an un-wed, young woman who had decided to go through with having me and giving me up for adoption rather than the preferred method of her parents. Abortion. She was 3 months pregnant with me when Roe V. Wade was passed. She was given the choice to
a) have an abortion and be welcomed back to the family
b) have me and give me up for adoption but not set foot inside their house until it was done
or
c) have me and keep me and no longer be their daughter.

She chose b. I'm sure that was such a difficult decision for her to make. I'm glad that she made it though. B/C here I am today. Blessed beyond measure with my own little girl.

My mom told me that as soon as she saw me she knew that I was the one that she had prayed about. She and my dad took me home at 8 days old. My mom has been defender, protector, comforter, prankster, influence, friend. Among many other things. My mom and I have an unusually close bond. You see, my dad had problems. Mental problems. He was diagnosed with severe clinical depression and severe OCD. Of course, back in those days, they did cocktails of meds, etc. They never worked for long. But that didn't change the fact that my childhood was not always normal. Rarely normal, in fact. My dad had his "good days" and "good weeks", but I can remember never inviting any school friends over in elementary b/c I didn't want to have to explain why dad was off in his study crying and raging. My dad's rages were verbal in nature toward my mom. He was never physical with her, just very very loud. And, honestly, he couldn't help it. Nothing the dr's were giving him helped him for any length of time. It was how his mind was built. I only had one slumber party and dad stayed in his study the whole time, slept in there too. There were only three friends in elementary school who knew what my father was like. As we grew older, only one of them actually stayed my friend. One betrayed me in Jr. High and told me at her slumber party - the last birthday party of hers I ever went to, that I was only there b/c her mother made her invite me. I didn't want anything to do with her after that. One went to a different school and we lost touch.

Jr. High kids can be so cruel. I had entered a REALLY awkward stage and went from one of the class cuties to thick glasses, short hair and overweight for my age. Not severely overweight, but enough to be made into the class joke. I went to a really small private school. The teachers never did anything to stop it. It was the kids in the high school there that were the nice ones. The ones who made me feel wanted and accepted. And I loved them for that. I never got it from the kids my own age group. 6th-8th grade is when your self esteem really starts to develop and when you start carving out who you want to be. I wrote my first story in 7th grade. It was a horror story. It was really good. Wrote another story, it was a romance. Darn teacher read it out loud to the class b/c she thought it was really good. She only ended up embarrassing me really badly. I was the one who was picked on, made the butt of all the jokes, had the mean, unkind words thrown at me. Then in the summer before 9th grade, something happened. I decided to go to a different school. I started growing up instead of growing out. I got contacts. My hair started growing out too. In short, I really blossomed. In just two short months. I went to a Summer Wednesday night kids thing that all churches do (my former school was associated with a church). I saw several of my former classmates there and not a single one of them recognized me. People I had gone to school with, most for more than 5 years. In two short months I had gone from ugly ducking to swan. They all wanted to get to know me and were STUNNED, literally jaws dropping, when they figured out who I was. At that point, I just laughed them off and went on my merry way.

Scars like that, never really heal. They get thicker with time and fade, but never really fade away.

Why do I tell you this stuff? B/C it was my mom who wiped my tears on literally a daily basis when she would pick me up from school between middle of my 6th grade year through the end of 8th grade. My mom who told me that things would change. My mom who borrowed her boss's hot red Mercedes to pick me up from school one day just to give me something to smile about as I walked past the people who were so cruel to me. It was my mom who took me out of bed in the middle of the night when my dad's rages got fierce and would take me for a drive for sometimes a couple of hours at a time so that I could sleep uninterrupted in the car. She always seemed to know when my dad's rages had passed on and would bring me back home. It was my mom who taught me perseverance and unconditional love. Right from wrong and unwavering support, even though a lot of the decisions I made in high school and after disappointed her. It was my mom who held me and wisely said nothing when my first truly deep relationship fell apart and my heart was shattered at the age of 21. It was my mom who has given me cards out of the blue just to let me know she's thinking about me, or that she loves me, or that things will get better, or that she's proud of me, etc. It was my mom who has stood beside me through the thick and thin of life and the difficulties in my marriage. She has been my rock. My guide. I would be lost without her.

She survived a fierce battle with breast cancer and has been in remission for 3 years now. I am blessed to have her in my life. She is my answer to prayer, just as I was her answer to prayer so many years ago.

She was my first blessing and continues to be so. Thank you mom for giving me life. Even though I wasn't grown in your body, I was grown in your heart. You chose me out of every one else. My life has been better for it ever since. I love you!

4 comments:

Susie said...

God bless Nic's mom and Emily's mom:) (And your bio-mom, too.) Do you know how to find that "online gifts test" that you did at your church? We've been talking about finding something like that to use in a group at my church, too.

Nic said...

Hey little Miss Susie Sunshine! The test we took was part of the 40 days of purpose that our church did and was part of our church website member area. Though to tell you the truth, there was no growth in the church after we took it and the same cam be said for most other churches that I know of who took it. However, there is a really, really good online spiritual gifts test that can be found at http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi. They have an option for individual, which is free and group analysis, which I'm sure is a fee based one b/c it allows the tests to be stored and saved online, etc for the leader to have access to. You might want to do the individual one and have the group members print out the results and bring them in to discuss. Just a suggestion. My top three, consistantly are Encouragement/Exhortation, Helps/Serving and Mercy regardless of what test I take.

I really enjoy your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed starting to get to know you too. :)

Nic said...

GRRRR, can be said not cam be said.

Dwayne said...

You do have a pretty great mom Nicole. I do believe that she was the only Wolterstorff child in that family to have some mischevious bent to her. Did she ever tell you the about the time we were at Bob and Nell's for one of their kids weddings and Sid & I went out to party downtown? Your mother thought it would be hillarious to sew each of my Sunday go-to-church pant legs shut. Sid & I got home about 5:00 am, decided we could not go to church in the shape we were in, packed our stuff and hit the road back to Minnesota. The following Sunday, yep you guessed it, I just about fell on my face when attempting to put those pants on!

love dwayne