Thinking about my sister, Cheryl Masterson’s life as a single mom of five kids, I decided to ask the kids to give me one unique memory of their life with their mom. Her oldest, Chantel Balcerzak told me that finding one memory was not easy, because her mind keeps jumping to everything else, because her mom is really just, well her mom. Nevertheless, one thing that keeps coming to her mind, is chatting in her mom’s car. It may seem a strange place for a mother-daughter talk, but Chantel usually walks her mom to her car after church, then, while they talk, her mom drives Chantel around to her car. Of course, that isn’t the end of it. They always end up talking for a bit…or sometimes hours in front of the church. They chant mostly just about their week, life, faith, and family, but as Chantel says, what else is there, right? They usually lose track of the time and sometimes don’t realize it until Chantel’s husband, Dave calls to see, as Chantel says, “where the heck I am!!” Chantel says that her mom is one of my best friends!!
Cheryl’s second child, Toni says “It would be pretty hard to offer one unique memory exclusive to just my mom and me. Especially since it was never just her and me.” That makes sense in large families. There are always siblings, and Cheryl usually spent time with all of her children together. Toni is amazed that her mom ever pulled off raising five kids on her own, much less doing it so well! Toni comments that “She was practically a pro at it by the time Jenny came along and she wasn’t even out of her 20’s yet!! WOW!! She sacrificed most of her young life to raise us right. And stayed the course; standing on Gods promise (Proverbs 22:6) that if she raised us up in the way we should go, we would not depart from it when we were grown. She never wavered when it came to our spiritual growth. She never allowed us to miss church. She never missed a chance to give us the scripture we needed to hear when problems arose. She made sure we all knew the Lord and she made sure we knew that he was the ONLY way!!” Toni says, “She wasn’t always able to give us the things we wanted, but she was able to give us three of the greatest gifts she could…Love, Hope, and above all, Faith in God. Those three gifts have delivered me through every good, bad, happy, sad, glad, and mad time in my life and are still the foundation that I securely stand on continually delivering me through each and every second of my life now and in the future. I am so grateful to have her as a mother!! I praise God for the miracle of her being!!”
Cheryl’s son, Rob told me that being the only boy in the house with five women in it was probably more unique for me, than for my mom. To make matters even more complicated, Cheryl came from a family of our parents and four sisters. Boys were all but unheard of in our family, when Rob came along. That being said, Cheryl always found a way, as Rob says, “to make things seem as if I wasn’t missing much by not having a dad around. She always managed to sense when I needed a man’s advice. Now, most of the time she would have grandpa (Al Spencer) take me somewhere to talk or just to hang out with him, but I think mostly she just knew something was up. She would ask me to watch a movie with her or take me to get a couple of Jalapeno and cheese hot dogs. We would sit and talk about something or sometimes nothing in particular at all. She still does this kind of stuff to this day. She was and still is both mom and dad and doing great at it.”
Her daughter, Liz told me that one of the things she loves most about her mom is that she knows how to comfort her kids. It’s not that her kids have sad lives, but we all know that into each life, a little rain must fall. Liz says, “She happily cooks for all of us whenever we ask, and she knows all of our favorite things to eat. She is always there to pray with us or for us about anything, and she always makes time to talk with us. She also lets us know when we need to be spending more time with her!! It is not hard for anyone who knows my mom to see that her children are everything to her. And hopefully she knows she is everything to us.” I believe she knows just how much her children love her. They are very loyal, quick to help her out, and always show her their love for her. They are a great blessing to her.
Cheryl probably sees her youngest daughter, Jenny the most, but that is only because they work together. All of her children try their best to make time for her and see her often. Jenny tells me that, “My favorite thing about my mom is her loving, touch, her caring eyes, and her welcoming smile. My favorite memory of her was one year when we were in South Dakota. It rained the whole week and me, my mom, and Liz sat up in a ceramic shop, that was at our campground and painted ceramics. We also read books and just enjoyed the rain and deep conversation. Lots of life lessons were learned that week. She’s a great mom and a great friend!!” Jenny also reminded me that Cheryl as been at her job now for 20 years this year. That is a milestone for sure, and I’m not sure that their company could get along without Cheryl. I guess that whenever she retires, they will have to find out how to get along without her but for now, she is a fixture there. Today is Cheryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Cheryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
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