BY LEANN DILBECK –
When you’re a writer, writing is not a chore but an outlet… in good and bad times… a form of therapy to express yourself, so why is writing a tribute to my precious mother so completely overwhelming for me? Every attempt through the years has landed in the waste basket, not reflective of the tremendous influence she has been not only on my life but my entire family, not reflective of the magnificent woman, mother, wife, sister, and friend that she is, not reflective of the battles and struggles that she has… time after time… overcome. Her greatest strength is that she knows no limits… knows no borders.
She came from a very humble childhood that like so many of her generation, had its own struggles. It was at a very young age, the teen years… which are traditionally self-absorbed, that my mother’s intrinsic nature to always put others before herself, began to emerge when she quit school to go to work to help support her family because she was determined that her younger brother would finish… and he did. But in keeping with my mother’s true character to NEVER leave a task unfinished, she returned to school in her 30’s and earned her GED… all at the same time as teaching, by example, to my brother and I, the importance and appreciation for education, chasing your dreams, and to never let your circumstances define who you are – you, and only you, define who you are.
She’s a very ‘take charge’ personality that jumps in, without reservation, when she sees something… anything… that needs to be done. She loves much the same way… giving her entire heart to people and causes.
She taught me at a very young age to trust that quiet still voice in my heart, that I now know as the Holy Spirit, and the value of standing firm on your heart’s convictions… even if it means going against the crowd.
She taught me the value of hard work and determination because anything worth having doesn’t come easy. By example, she taught me that a woman is the heart of a home… to take great pride in being a mother and a wife above all else… ALL else.
She taught me that marriage is about commitment and family… that being a mother is one of the sacrificial blessings that reaps the greatest fulfillment… that to have a true friend means to be a true friend, with no borders, no conditions or timetables.
She taught me faith when she stared cancer in the face and said it is not you who will call me home but my Father. She values life and invests in all things living… not just people, but animals, plants, flowers… she loves life… but most importantly, the Giver of life, and it is because of Whose she is that she reflects such strength, courage, and love.
She’s my cheerleader, my confidant, my girlfriend, my rock, my expert on all things “life,” she’s my Momma!