Mother’s Day

When my moms passed away, my mom, Collene Spencer in 2015 and my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg in 2018, Mother’s Day was forever changed for me. I no longer had a mom on this earth. It was a lonely feeling, because they were both so very special. I couldn’t have asked for better moms in my life. They were somewhat different from each other, but they both had very special qualities, and each had special gifts. Both of my moms were excellent cooks, but they made different specialties. My sister, Cheryl Masterson found some cute questionnaires of memories to put together with her grandchildren, and one of the questions concerned the favorite food their mother made. That got me thinking about my moms, and the foods they made. Probably my favorite of my mom’s meals, was Tuna Casserole. I know that may sound odd, but it was amazing, and for some odd reason, I can’t make it taste like hers did, recipe or not. I don’t know what she did, but my guess is that it was made with love. My mother-in-law made an unusual dish, that I would never have guessed that I would love, but when my husband begged me to eat it with an open mind (we were dating at the time), I thought my goose was cooked. Her dish was Squash and Pancakes. Now you can wrinkle your nose all you want, but it is amazing, and I love it. The memories you have are a sweet thing when your loved one is in Heaven and you can’t see them anymore.

My idea of Mother’s Day had to turn toward, of course, being mom to my girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce, but also to them being mothers, Corrie to Chris (fiancée Karen) and Josh (girlfriend Athena), and Amy to Shai and Caalab (girlfriend Chloe), all of whom I consider my own. Mother’s Day also turned to Chris’ fiancée, Karen, who is mom to Cambree and Caysen, my precious great grandbabies. Half of my family lives in Washington, and half in Wyoming. That has made our holidays different too. Nevertheless, we love each and every one of them, and they love us. I am a very blessed mom. I also thought of the moms in my family, my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock; my sisters-in-law, Debbie Cook and Jennifer Parmely, as well as my late sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg. I thought of their daughters and granddaughters with children, and realized that while my moms are in Heaven now, the tradition continues. I cant name or picture them all, but they are all great moms. Moms will always be with us, either in life or in our hearts. Mother’s Days will change as time marches on, but we will always have those moms. Nothing can take that from us. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms. Have a blessed day!!

Mother’s Day has changed for me over the years, as it does for everyone as the years of their lives go by. I was very blessed to have two wonderful women on this earth to call “Mom,” one from my birth, and the other from my marriage. They both live in Heaven now, and I miss them both very much. Now, I find Mother’s Day a hard one to sometimes. While I am a mom, and my girls are moms, I don’t have a mom here on Earth to celebrate with. It leaves me feeling a bit empty, I guess. My moms were so special to me, and I loved them so much, and I know they are having a wonderful time in Heaven, but they aren’t here…and that makes all the difference.

My moms were both women of honor. They loved me and the rest of the family unconditionally. They taught us so many things over the years. They made us laugh, and cry a few times too. They were our disciplinarians, our nurses, teachers, chefs, and even our playmates. They were there when our lives seemed to be crashing down around us, and they were there when we were soaring above the clouds. The were our cheerleaders in ever adventure we chose to take…always telling us that we could make it. They picked us up when we fell, and made us realize that we could try again. They expected the best from us and gave us their best in return. They were the best moms ever, and I am better for having been their child. Thankfully they never asked for payment for what they did, because they are worth more than I could ever repay.

My girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce are both amazing moms too, and they have given us four beautiful grandchildren. The family continues to grow as we add fiancées, girlfriends, and boyfriends, as well as great grandchildren. And the blessing of all these new ones are great and wonderful. I love watching as my kids and grandkids go forward into their adult lives, living out their dreams. I realize just how awesome God has been in my life to give me such wonderful blessings. He has given me far more than I could ask or think of, just because He loves me. This Mother’s Day might be a little bit more lonely that others have, but the fact has not gone unnoticed to me that I am one blessed mom, grandma, daughter, and daughter-in-law.

Not everyone can say that they were blessed to have two amazing women be their moms, but I can. My mom and my mother-in-law were both so instrumental in my life, and because of them, I am the woman I am today. My mother, Collene Spencer raised five daughters, Cheryl Masterson, me, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock, in that order. Sometimes I must say, I’m amazed we didn’t driver her crazy. It wasn’t fighting as much as it was the noisy laughter that went along with playing…loudly. And the little girl giggles. Many people have wished and even told their children to quiet down, because the laughter was getting too loud, and our parents did too, but as often as not, the laughter was encouraged…and even instigated by our parents. They loved having a house filled with joy and laughter, and well…ours certainly was. I recall the many forts we built, the messes we made playing house…all over the living room, the tree house in the back yard, that wasn’t as much tree house and it was just tree, but we liked to climb up there anyway. The things five girls can come up with are sometimes wild, but Mom was a patient person.

After I was married, my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg also became Mom. She was a different kind of person than my mom was, but her qualities were no less endearing. Living in the country, and having a garden, made canning a common project, and I had never really done any of that, although my mom knew how. I remember the big canning sessions and the in-laws’ house. We worked and talked and especially, we laughed. Everyone had a great time, and we came home with provisions for the family. My mother-in-law, try as she might, never could quite win me over to the idea of knitting, crocheting, and sewing as an everyday way of life, not to mention the marathon Wednesday grocery shopping event, and maybe that was a disappointment to her, but if it was, she never said so and never made me feel like she was disappointed in me. She always made me feel like I was not just her daughter-in-law, but really her daughter. I was always amazed at the wonderful things she made, and thankful that my family always benefitted from her beautiful crafts.

I have always felt blessed to have the moms I did, and now, with them both in Heaven, I find myself missing them very much. It seems impossible that they could have been gone from us for so long now, Every day I miss them and wish that I could visit Heaven for an afternoon to see them and my two dads, as well as all the other loved ones who have gone on ahead. Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven to my two moms, I love and miss you both very much. And happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there.

In church today, our pastor talked about how moms can become invisible to their children. Of course, he was talking about how we can take them for granted, but there is another way that our mom can become invisible…at least to us here. When your mom goes to Heaven and you can no longer see her, or talk to her. While she is no longer with us here on earth, that doesn’t mean her love for us ends. Love will endure forever. She was the one who carried us in her womb for nine months, and then brought us into this world. She nurtured us through life, and helped us to become independent people, who can take charge of our own lives.

I’m sure there were many times when we took her for granted, and didn’t give her the respect she deserved, but she always forgave us for our thoughtlessness. In her wisdom, she knew that we really didn’t mean it. Still, our words must have hurt…our actions must have stung. Nevertheless, Mom forgave and didn’t hold it against us. I’m sure some of them us were much more of a challenge than others, and I place myself in that category, because I think I had the ability to be a trial sometimes…and I think I might be putting that somewhat mildly. Still, that doesn’t mean that I did not care about my mom, but rather that her daughter was stubborn. Mom always forgave me anyway, and for that I consider myself blessed. Our moms taught us what it meant to be parents…the need to forgive our kids for the stupid things we did. We learned parenting from our parents after all, and much of the nurturing qualities come from our mothers. Where would our kids be without our mothers to show us how to be mothers. We learned it from her.

Still, over those years, we have all taken our moms for granted. We didn’t really see them. They were a fixture in our lives. They performed a function, but we were seldom grateful. Then, when they are suddenly gone, we finally get it. We realize that they quietly took care of all the needs of our lives. They took a back seat so that we could shine. They cooked and cleaned, and received no thanks from us. We sassed them and disrespected them, and even though we may have said we were sorry, we could not take those things back. They were forever out there. Then, for some of us, the day came when they left this earth and we learned what it was like without that wonderful person that we had taken so much for granted…viewed as invisible…whether we realized it or not. For us, invisible took on a whole new meaning where our mother was concerned. I was blessed in this life to have a wonderful mom and mother-in-law, and both of them are invisible to me now. They are in Heaven, but they will never be forgotten. Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven to my two moms. I love and miss you both.

Every year since 1907 (or 1914, if you go by the day that Congress designated the day) children have celebrated a day of remembering all the wonderful things their mom has done for them. Being a mom is often a thankless job. It involves long hours, filled with worries, headaches, weariness, and work…and it’s an all volunteer job. Of course, if we had to pay our mother for all the things she did for us, we would all be broke, and the moms would have all the money in the world…or a good chunk of it. The job of Mom, is a highly skilled job, encompassing many different careers. Moms are nurses, teachers, chefs, nannies, coaches, maids, chauffeurs, financial advisors, tutors, counselors, advisor, judge, and jury, just to name a few. Most of her training is on the job training, because motherhood is a career that starts the instant your first child arrives, and lasts for the rest of your life. There are no days off, no passing the torch, and no retirement. And the funny thing is that no mother ever wants to retire, in fact, they wish their babies would stay little forever.

My own mom, Collene Spencer was a most amazing woman. She raised five daughters, teaching us to cook, clean, take care of a home, and how to be moms. She taught us that we could do anything we set our minds to. As our lives progressed and we took on our adulthood, she became our cheerleader…even if what we were doing was a hobby, she always had faith that we could do it. I remember when I started writing, she wanted to have me read the stories to her. She missed so many of them, because I didn’t see her that day, so I finally made sure she got them on her Kindle. She read every single one. She was my biggest fan, and I miss having her tell me how much she loved this story or that one. And I miss calling Mom to ask her about a detail from her childhood. Her information enriched my stories, because she knew all the little details of the events. Many times, while I’m working on a story, I think, “I need to ask Mom about that”…then, I realized once again…that I can’t. It would be nice to have a phone to Heaven, because I have questions for my mom…and my dad too. And I miss them, and just saying hello again would be wonderful.

When I got married, I assumed that I had learned everything I needed to know, but that was not so. My mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg had been raised on a farm, and had a very different take on life and caring for a family. So, once again, I had things to learn. Having a vegetable garden meant that rather than buying vegetables at the store, you got them out of the cupboard, and that was because you had picked them from the garden, and canned them. It wasn’t that my mom didn’t know how to do that, but we didn’t have a garden, so we didn’t can. My mother-in-law sewed, knitted, and crocheted, and while I knew how to crochet, I hadn’t been exactly willing to learn much about sewing from my mom. I learned how to do these things, but unlike my mother-in-law, they would not become a big part of my life. Some things just simply are, what they are. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the things I learned from my mother-in-law, who also taught me that you never really know it all. My mom is in Heaven now, but we still have my mother-in-law for a while longer. Happy Mother’s Day to my Moms!! I love you both very much.

MomBob's momWhen I was a girl growing up, Mother’s Day always had a special meaning. We didn’t plan other activities for that day, because it belonged to Mom alone. It was a day that we spent honoring that special woman who gave us life, nurtured us from birth to adulthood, and guided us through all the crazy emotions that went along with being girls, especially in those horrible teenaged years. She made life fun, taught us to do chores and to be responsible people, and she filled our lives with singing and sunshine. With all that she did for us, it seemed only fitting that there should be a day dedicated to her alone, and we tried very hard to make it awesome for her. It was her day to be the Queen of the castle.

Time changes all things, and in time, my sisters and I grew up, married, and had children of our own. Mother’s day had to change along with the changing times. The way we felt about our mom, Collene Byer Spencer, had not changed, but now we had a mother-in-law too, mine was Joann Knox Schulenberg, and we, ourselves were mothers. Now, Mother’s Day had to be divided between the, now two moms that we had, and our own family. Mother’s Day had taken on a completely new look. It was almost like having three versions of the day.

In the early years of my daughters’ lives, the girls simply went with us to the two celebrations, and our own celebration happened usually in the early morning before church. Time, however, stepped in again, and before I knew it, my girls were married with children of their own. Mother’s Day morphed again. As a family, we went to breakfast before church, and the rest of the day was again divided between the two moms. We had to turn our girls loose to have their day with their families too, and for me, that was probably the hardest part of those Mother’s Day years, but the hardest was yet to come, and I just didn’t know it yet.

These days, my Morphing Mother’s Day had taken its biggest change to date. My mom lives in Heaven now, so I can only have Mother’s Day with her in my heart. That is very hard for me, because I really miss her so much. Mother’s Day for my mom this year will be a matter of keeping on the sunny side, because that is what she always told us to do. It is the only gift I can give her now. Our family will go to breakfast, which is our tradition, but we will be missing my daughter, Amy, her husband, Travis, and their son, Caalab, who live in Ferndale, Washington now. We will also be missing Chris, our daughter, Corrie and her husband, Kevin’s son, who lives in Sheridan. We will only have two grandchildren, Shai and Josh, one daughter, Corrie, and one son-in-law, Kevin. It will be a bit harder for all of us, because we will each be missing someone. Later in the day, Bob and I will go My FamilyCaryn, Corrie, & Amy at Beartooth Pass abt 1980visit his mother in the nursing home. There isn’t anything that we can give her, except our visit. On Sunday nights, the nursing home holds an ice cream social, and we always take her, so that will be her Mother’s Day treat. We are thankful that we still have her with us, because having no mom on Mother’s Day would be the final morph stage, and would bring with it the next wave of sadness…when all of our parents live in Heaven, but I’ll think about that another day. To all the moms out there, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, in whatever tradition you have for the day.

Mom aBob's momSometimes special days like Mother’s Day are harder than others. That is exactly how I feel about this, my first Mother’s Day without my mom, Collene Spencer, who went to Heaven on February 22, 2015. And to top it off, it is the first since my daughter, Amy Royce moved to Washington, on May 5, 2015. I am thankful that we still have my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg with us, as well as my oldest daughter, Corrie Petersen, because they have both been a comfort to me during this difficult past couple of months. Unfortunately, this is the way life is. Nothing stays the same, and we are left with the emotions that never fail to present themselves at the most inopportune moments, and are so hard to keep in check.

Nevertheless, emotions or not, we will rejoice is all that Mother’s Day is. I give thanks for the moms in my life, in Heaven and on Earth, because they gave life to me and to my husband, Bob Schulenberg. I also give thanks to God for the two beautiful blessings He gave me, in my daughters, Corrie and Amy. And of course, I give thanks for the four wonderful grandchildren my daughters have been blessed with. They are the greatest gift a mother of grown children can ever receive.

Life takes our journeys on many different twists and turns, and some of them are less than enjoyable, but the love of our mothers and families will always be with us. I know that my mother is happy in Heaven, and that there are no tears of loneliness there. It is as if she just left us only moments ago…for her anyway. For us, it is quite different. Her presence is missed every day. As for my mother-in-law, we rejoice that she is still here with us and that we can continue to enjoy time with her. She is the last of our living parents now, and we do not look forward to the day when she will also go. While my daughter, Amy is 1200 miles away, the internet, telephone, and texting make that distance seem a little shorter. And I, of course, give thanks for my daughter, Corrie, who while she is missing her sister too, has been a great comfort to me.

But, today is not about focusing on sadness, and I hope you will all forgive my little Pity Party. Today is about celebrating the wonder that is a mother. Without the selfless act of giving birth to us their children, none of us Amy nowCorriewould exist. They cared for us when we were sick and put up with us in our horrible years…and yes, we all had those, whether your mother says you did or not. They cheered us on as we set out to broaden our horizons, and helped us with the difficult learning steps along the way. They are a gift to each of us from God above, who only gives us the very best. Now you know why your mother is such a wonderful person. She was God’s gift sent just for you to love you always. Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there, and to my own in Heaven, the one I still have here, and to my daughters too.

MomI saw a post on Facebook the other day that got me thinking about my two moms. The saying went like this: “Always love your mother, because you’ll never get another.” I started thinking about how often we take our mothers for granted. As children, we depend on our mothers for everything.  No matter what the need is, we expect them to be able to meet that need. We think that there is no end to their capabilities.  While it’s great for us to think that our mom can do anything,  it is somewhat  unrealistic, and eventually we start to realize that she is just human, and maybe even annoying at times. Of course, it’s probably just that we have hit those annoying adolescent and teenage years…you know, that time in our lives when we are certain that our mother just doesn’t know anything…well, actually it’s our parents who don’t know anything, but in this case, we are discussing Mom, so she doesn’t know anything. We will feel that way for the next few years, and then suddenly, about the time we hit our twenties, she becomes so much smarter…especially when we become parents, and need her advise on how to treat a sick baby, or some such thing.

Being a mother really is a thankless job, and one that takes a very special person. A mother has to be selfless in so many ways, because it takes so much of her life to do the job she does. She might want to be at the spa, at home reading a good book, or out on the town with the love of her life, but instead, she is out there in the audience watching as your music recital, ball game, or class play are taking place. And who was it that got you to all the necessary practices…you got it, your mom. She set aside all the things she might have been doing, so you could achieve your dreams, or even just see if you really wanted to be a professional ball player, singer, or actor. And when you decided that you liked track, cheerleading, or the debate team, she switched gears, taking it all in stride, knowing that next year, this dream too would morph into something totally different, and she would be cheering you on in that new venture too. It’s a funny thing how your hopes and dreams changed so much through the years, but your mom’s devotion. loyalty, and interest stayed with you, no matter what. It was the one constant in your life.

As your mother gets older, her position in your life changes, as she steps back to let you soar, but you always know that she will be there to help you with anything you need her for. She becomes your go to person, when the kids need to be picked up and you are at work, or you want to go out for the evening with your husband, and need a babysitter. Who do you call? Well, we know, it’s not Ghostbusters, but it often is your mom. Without really meaning to, you tend to take for granted that she will always be there to help you when you need her, and yet, before you know it, you suddenly realize that she is getting older. You begin to see her as a little more fragile, less able to be that go to person, and suddenly it’s more like you are becoming the Bob's momnew go to person. It’s about this time that you begin to realize that while you have always appreciated all she has done for you over the years, you probably didn’t show her just how much you appreciated her often enough. You realize just how short life is, and it does make you want to let her know just how much you appreciate her, just how proud you are of her, and just how much you love her, before it is too late. To my mom and my mother-in-law, I want to say that you have been the two most important women in my life for so many years. I wouldn’t be where I am, were it not for you. You have and always will be the greatest mother and mother-in-law on earth, and I love you both very much. Happy Mother’s Day!!

MomTo be given a mom who is wonderful and sweet is a great blessing indeed, but to be blessed with two of them is twice as nice. Of course, I don’t have two moms exactly, but I have a mom and mother-in-law, and both of them are wonderful and very sweet. They are different in their ways, and really always have been, they are nevertheless the same in many ways. My mom always lived in town, my mother-in-law was a country girl most of her life, and each one probably wouldn’t have changed that for anything. I suppose that the way you are raised has a lot to do with it, since each of them continued to live the same way they were raised for at least most of their lives.

In many ways, their two very different lifestyles have enriched my life twice as much. I had canned vegetables or made jelly, but never had any real part in growing the vegetables or fruits. My mother-in-law really knew no other way. While growing a garden and canning are not things a still do in today’s busy lifestyle, it is nevertheless something I could do if I needed to. And while my mom didn’t grow vegetables, she had and still has some of the most beautiful flower gardens around.

Living in the country made participation in sports more difficult, due mainly to the distances that must be traveled, when a bus could have brought the kids home without the extra Mom Schulenberggas needed for the trip. Living in town made it easy to participate in sports. It isn’t that sports is always important, but there are other activities that I would have missed and I know my kids would have missed.

My life is probably very little like the lives of either my mom or my mother-in-law, mostly because of the changing times we live in, but I think that the influences of these two wonderful women have made my life twice as nice, and with the passing last Sunday of my father-in-law, and my dad going on 6 years ago now, they are more precious to me than ever. Happy Mothers Day to my two moms. I hope your day is as beautiful as you are.

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the woman who nurtured you from birth to adulthood, and I have been so blessed by the woman God gave me to be my mom. She is sweet and kind, and always tries to keep the sunshine in our lives. Every day for as long as I can remember, she would remind us of the same things as we left her house. She would always tell us to “Keep on the sunny side.” and “Jesus takes care of you.” It was a beautiful send off to our day, and showed us the love she felt for each of us.

I don’t suppose it was easy to raise 5 daughters, with all of their moods. I know there was more than one drama queen among us, so it was quite a job. And I know that we probably drove her half crazy more than once. I can’t say our house was a quiet place, but it was always interesting. Between the giggling and the arguing, quiet was…well, non-existent. In fact, as a mother and grandmother myself, I wonder how she ever kept her sanity…much less raise 5 good, Christian daughters…but, she and my dad did just that.

When I got married, I gained a mother-in-law and father-in-law. Many people don’t like their in-laws, but I can say that God blessed me with wonderful in-laws. My mother-in-law became like a second mom to me. She had lived a very different kind of life that my mom had, being raised on ranches and out in the country. She canned most of their vegetables, and did a lot of home baking, things my mom didn’t always have time for with her job. So I was able to learn some new skills.

Being a city girl, I’m sure that I was something new for my mother-in-law, but she was always good to me, and she became my second mom. Now, 37 years later, I take care of her, due to her Alzheimer’s Disease, and I hope that she knows how much I love her. As time goes by, I know she will remember me less and less, but I hope that somehow she will always know that she was loved, by all of her family. I pray that both of my moms know how much they are loved. Happy Mother’s Day to you both.

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