This story was posted as the Friday Story on MyDailyInsights in honor of our mothers 80th birthday.
MY FRIDAY STORY
THE “M” FACTOR
By Lisa Johnson, Julie Dickison, Melea Fisher and Natalie Krause
Our Mother turns 80 tomorrow November 14th and we four daughters have gathered to celebrate with her (but, shhh … it’s a surprise … she is still in transit and doesn’t know we’ve traveled from across the country)!
Meanwhile, we are lounging on our first day together, still in our PJs and naturally we started to reminisce … like most everyone, we think our Mother is pretty indescribable! She has what we like to call, ‘the M Factor’…
Mother started life on a 14,000 acre ranch in Montana. Her work ethic was formed and has been more than replicated in all of her girls! The “M” factor: Complete the job and don’t be a half done Polly!
Mother has an intense fear of water, developed as a young girl after her brother tragically drowned. She has worked hard to conquer her fear, and wasn’t going to accept it in any of her daughters. Our parents required each of us (there was no discussion) to complete lifeguard certification. The “M” factor: Don’t pass on to your children your own fears.
When Mother became a Christian as a teenager she found her real passion in life and we are forever thankful for the love of Christ she has shared with us. Inscribed in our parents’ wedding bands is their personal motto “Each for the other, both for Christ”. The “M” factor: Our marriages must be caught up in a purpose larger than itself.
As we grew into adults, we discovered that our Mother had been a ‘cougar’ and ‘feminist’ without even realizing it! She married in 1955 at the age of 26 (considered old at the time) to a 21 year old! Mother, a nurse, was the primary provider for the family of three once Lisa arrived on the scene, working nights while Daddy finished college. The “M” Factor: There is no such thing as ‘woman’s work’ or ‘man’s work’.
When our Daddy started his own business, Mother happily became a stay at home Mom. As each of us grew up, she determined to teach us what she considered were three essential life skills: how to make a quilt, how to cut up a whole chicken, and how to can fresh produce. The “M” Factor: While we may laugh at these skills now, we have since discovered that what we really gained was the ability to be creative, frugal, and self-sufficient.
Mother was often at the forefront of what would much later be an accepted trend. Before it was popular, we ate unprocessed foods, made our own bread, used environmentally friendly laundry detergents, and took whole food supplements! The “M” Factor: Don’t be afraid to question the ‘norm’, to lead even if no one is following.
Our greatest joy has been to be present while our parents have achieved some of their dreams. Mother always wanted to live in Australia, and the opportunity presented itself when she was 55 years old! They didn’t hesitate to take the risk. The “M” Factor: Dreams come true only as you work towards them.
Retirement for Mother has yet to happen. She still runs a business with our Daddy, providing endless nutritional advice. At the age of 70, she took a class to conquer the Internet and Power Point. At age 79 she was introduced to Facebook and keeps in touch with her grandchildren and is considering whether she should start a blog! The “M” Factor: Learning never stops.
We admire our Mother for everything she has taught us. For all that makes her who she is … the “M” factor: our model, our mentor, and best of all, our Mother.
Happy 80th Birthday Mother, we love you,
Your Darling Daughters,
Lisa, Julie, Melea and Natalie
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Lisa Johnson is the wife of Vic Johnson, mother to Joseph, chosen mom to Tyler & wife Savanah, Victoria & husband Drew, and Carter. MamaLisa to Dylan, Tommy, Hannah, Mason, Austin and soon to arrive Nathan. Julie Dickison is the wife of Ron Dickison, mother to Natalie and husband Shaun, Jessica, Philip, Michael and Hope. Melea Fisher is the wife of Andrew Fisher, mother to Laura, Emma and James. Natalie Krause is Auntie Extraordinaire to all nine of her nieces and nephews.