I can still hear my Dad say, “Oh, Fern”, as she began one of her stories.
He called her Fernie Annie. Her nickname is The Fernster. Elsie Fern Tutewiler Hunt – yes, that is her name. To me she is Mom and yet, she is more than any of those names.
Growing up I remember her as the family organizer, the child wrangler, the disciplinarian, and the choreographer of our life. She was a working Mom when most were home watching soap operas and creating meals from the Betty Crocker Cook Book. She worked hard and expected the same from others.
Thinking about the Fernster, I began to wonder who she was before me, before the years of motherhood and responsibility wrapped around her.
I looked at some pictures of her in younger days. I saw the impish smile of a child and imagined her laugh. I saw the hair of a young woman flow around her physical presence – self-assured, happy and carefree.
I realized that stepping back from the Mom I've always loved I could look deeper to see a whole person. Years before her title of Mom, there was a woman filled with spirit, determination and dreams, eager to experience this world.
The Fernster is almost 82 now and slowing down a bit. Her eyesight a little less focused, her hearing and memory a little muffled, yet her spirit and spunk remain intact.
Now I see the whole person wrapped with memories of a life lived, people loved and experiences had. And yet, the spark of that young woman still burns with spirit, determination and enthusiasm for life ahead.
The Fernster. Fernie Annie. Elsie Fern Tutewiler Hunt, yes to me she is Mom and yet, she is more than any of those names. I value her not only as Mom, but as a whole person she is.
I love her so -- the person she was before me and the person she is today with me.
Oh Fern, keep telling those stories.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Pennie's Life Lesson:
“Step back to see the ones you love as a whole person!”
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