Friday, July 17, 2009

My Mother Myself

This is my mom, Marion Bond West Acuff, and my step-father, Gene Acuff.

My friend Robin at blogged about my mother this week. She's doing a series on aging and wanted my mom's thoughts.

It got me thinking. As I read my mom's words, I started remembering. When I was a teenager, we didn't fight much but there were a few when I wanted to shave my legs. She thought I was too young. I was thirteen. As silly as it sounds, my mother didn't want me to shave past my knees. That was a pretty big fight. We fought about my bathing suit each year. When I started dating this certain guy, she only wanted me to ride to school with him a couple of times a week. Maybe that was smart because we were young and we married at 18 and 19. :-)

But I also thought about the good things. My mother's a writer. She introduced me to words. When I was in kindergarten, she had me memorize Edgar Allan Poe's poem, Annabelle Lee. Then she told my kindergarten teacher all about it and I had to quote it by memory in front of the whole class. I hated it--and maybe even hated my mother that day. But I can still quote the poem--most of it anyway. And I loved all my Language Arts classes--even loved writing term papers.

We were a family who never missed church. My father might have let us skip a Sunday or two. Not my mother. But even though there were times I wanted to flop around the house and not go, I learned about the Bible. It didn't mean much to me as a child, but as I read my Bible now, the words feel like the pages--soft and familiar. Like home.

I have my mother's red hair and brown eyes and freckles. It took me a while to like my hair (until I was 25 or so) but now I kind of like myself--my looks. I wish I'd gotten her long legs.

My favorite thing she did was take us to the library. Nerdy, I know, but I loved being able to check out a stack of books. She let us read anything we wanted to. She wasn't strict in that area. :-)

Does anybody have any thoughts to share about your mom? If you're a teenager, you might be in the middle of a fight with her--but things change. I can almost promise one day you'll appreciate her.



Donita K. Paul said...

I often read your mother's work in Guidepost and other places. There was one about the death of your dog that I was reading and hadn't looked at the author. When I got to the end and was in tears, I thought to myself, Marion West always does this to me. Sure enough, it was her story. Sometimes people just have a gift for writing of ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

Julie Garmon said...

She sure has the gift. Well said, Donita. She writes ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

Thank you.

Katie B. said...

Do you have any suggestion for a good bible study a small group of college (age 20 and 21) girls could do together? We want something like a workbook we can do individually and then get together and talk about it! Most things we have found seem too young.

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

Here's one: my grandmother, my mother's mom, was a wonderful Christian woman (I mis her SO much). My own mother ministers to college students as part of her church's outreach program to the local college, she's "mom" to so many girls at a dangerous point in their lives. Like her mom, she's become a wonderful Christian woman.

Will I be like that? I'm working on it. God willing... And I have a wonderful little girl. The sweetest words I can hear are "you sound JUST like your mom."

It's like a golden chain of love from God.

Julie Garmon said...

Hey Katie B,

Let me check into that. I know what you mean--so many of them are for younger girls. I'll get back to you....

Julie Garmon said...

What a beautiful legacy you follow, Hobbit. I can tell--you're going to be ministering to many. I love your comment. Sounds like your grandmother has gone to Heaven?

Julie Garmon said...

Hey, it's me, Julie again from girls god goodlife. I talked to my friend again. She said to tell you that "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers would make a great book study. In the back, there are questions. I've read it--so have my daughters. They're in their twenties. Also, my friend suggested "Lady in Waiting."

JJ in OK said...

Yours - and your mother's - writings in the Guideposts devotions are some of my very favorites. So down-to-earth. So comforting. Speaking of moms.... The summer of '69 (That's a song title, isn't it? lol), my sister was 16 and had her driver's permit. She and I wanted to do the local teen thing: "drag Main". But of course, she had to have a licensed driver in the car with her. I was not yet 15. So mom would go with us. She'd sit in the middle between us and when we'd see "cute boys" (they were all cute to us!) she'd duck down very quickly so we could wave at them and they wouldn't see our mother in the car with us. It seemed like we did that a lot - at least until Linda got her regular driver's license. Mom was a super smart lady. She was giving my sister needed practice at driving, and she was spending time with her teenage daughters. And we laughed a lot. And 40+ years later, I still remember it and laugh about it. I miss her - she was 43 years old when I was born, I was 43 years old when she went to be with Jesus. I will see her again one day.

Julie Garmon said...

Love it, love it, JJ! Thanks for sharing. I was talking to Mother at the time and read her your precious words. I know you miss her--I can only imagine. xoxo