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The Mothership Is Coming

December 10, 2010

When we were house hunting a few years ago, we were stuck on getting a finished basement.  We didn’t need one (there are only four of us!) but it was on our list of “must haves” for seemingly no logical reason.  We even passed up a beautiful house with a lovely in-ground pool in favor for this one since it has a mostly finished basement with a bathroom, bright bedroom and family room.  We had no idea why this was important to us… until months later when my step father suddenly died and left my sweet Ma  a widow once again.

They were in the process of purchasing a snow bird home down south in exchange for their seasonal cottage, but the cottage never sold and the deal on the home down south fell through with Ross’ death and so my Ma was left with what felt like nowhere to go during the winter months just weeks after his death and so we invited her to come stay with us for the winter and this year marks her third year in her winter retreat in our basement.

If you knew me and my Ma, you’d know that we aren’t exactly cut from the same cloth.  She irons clothes, I put them in the dryer to get the wrinkles out.  She uses those ‘lil bathroom dixie cups, I just turn my head and get a quick drink from the faucet.  She folds underwear into perfect bundles, I thrown them into the drawer in a heap.  She believes that baked goods should always include chopped nuts, I reserve nuts for peanut butter only.  She has a morning routine and enjoys having a plan for each day, I get myself put together on the fly and tend to just take the day as it comes.  This list could go on and on.

But through all these differences, I love my Ma dearly.  I love that she comes to stay with us for the winter.  I love that my house will be cleaner for a few months and that our laundry couch will go back to being just a regular couch again.  I love watching her bake with the kids and be reminded of her love of doing such.  I love making faces at Joel across the table as she inevitably comes up with some sort of funky casserole that is a “miss” (even the best cook has a “miss” now and then).  I love that she generously offers to babysit our kids so that we can have some free dates nights.  And I love waking up in the morning knowing that if she is having a bad day, I can wrap my arms around her neck and find a way to make her laugh.

I have no doubt that Hot Tamale Holly (she has many nicknames here) will find herself a new beau and that one of these winters, she’ll skip her trip to the midwest for a romantic Christmas adventure on the beach.  But for now, I relish these winter months with my Ma.  My kids love having Grandma here to play with and spoil them and Joel loves the order that she brings to our otherwise pile filled house.  And each winter, as I fill the bathroom cup holder and straighten up her bedroom in our basement, I am reminded of God’s amazing love for us.  That even before the pain has found us, He is making provisions to care for our tender hearts in the aftermath.  Our basement is proof of that.

–Ingrid

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