I Saw You

To my Mom

I don’t remember when you visited me in the neonatal ICU every day, sometimes twice a day, for the first 18 days of my life

MomJessandMeI don’t remember how you washed every part of the house, including curtains, when I was an infant to keep my pneumonia-prone lungs free of illness

I don’t remember the doctor visits and hospital visits and sleepless nights as you fought to keep me healthy for my first three months of life.

But I saw you wake me with a smile and the song, “Oh, Grumpy face, Oh, Grumpy face,” for years, not letting up until a giggle surfaced.

I saw you bake me cakes, throw me parties, wash and fold my clothes, for years, many times without a thankbirthdayparties you.

I saw you walk with me on an old winding timber road, singing the whole way, songs I later sang to my daughter as I rocked her to sleep.

I saw you walk with me along the wooded path of Skagit Valley Community College in the wee hours of the morning, and we’d talk and talk and talk. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember you, the walk, and the smell of the crisp morning air tinged with pine.

I saw you, when times were tight, shop for bargains and work, without thanks, to stretch our meals.

I saw you, when my baby girl was but two weeks old and I came for a visit. I wondered if I’d ever sleep again or make it through yet another day on little sleep, and you sent me straight to bed, rocking my princess to sleep then tucking her by my side.

I saw you, and I thank you.

To my mom-in-law

I wasn’t there when you held my husband and soothed his cries.

I wasn’t there when you stood at the stove, Steve crying in the background for a bottle that wouldn’t heat up quick enough for him.

I wasn’t there when you made his favorite meals, meals he still talks about to this day, often asking, “Did you ever get that recipe from my mom?” Meals, I suspect, are his favorites not because of the flavor or ingredients, but because of the cherished memories they represent.

I wasn’t there when you went to Steve’s baseball and football games, sitting in the bleachers, supporting him and cheering him on. But I was there, when looking at old photographs, Steve beamed and pointed to a beapicture of you and said, “Doesn’t she look like a movie star?” Because he cherished you, and because he cherished you and felt cherished by you, he learned to cherish me.

And I thank you.

But each day I watch my husband encourage our daughter, support her, and cheer her on, I thank you.

And each day my husband pitches in around the house, listens patiently as Ash or I share our heart, as he diligently and without complaining goes to work to support his family, I thank you.

I wasn’t there when you patiently, daily, sacrificially poured into my husband, but I thank you.

And to both of my special moms, this video is for you.

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  1. Because we were loved…we are able to love. This applies to God and our mothers. We must never break the chain. Because He loves us, we must love each other. Love, it is always about love! Thanks for sharing your beautiful words Jennifer.

  2. Jennifer, what a beautiful remembrance of your mom & m-i-l. It is so important to hold onto any happy memories. One I like to remember about my mother is her love of reading: I can see her–and often–with a book in her hand, devouring it faster than a box of candy 🙂

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