I'll tell you what makes my mom unique.
-She has chosen to live for 2 years in Russia/Eastern Europe serving people.
-She went on an LDS Mission when she was 27 to Northern California and made relationships that have lasted lifetimes.
-She went back to school when her kids were grown to finish her Bachelor's AND Master's Degree (only 3% of women her age have done that). She is now a Mental Health Counselor -- and one of the most popular, best, well-liked, and highly referred to in SLC.
-She was one of very few registered Democrats in Madison, County Idaho--proudly sporting her "Newt Free Zone" bumper sticker.
-She is an EXCEPTIONAL cook. Oh, man. I miss her food.
-She hates having her photo taken (Happy Mother's Day!)
-She taught herself how to be a woodworker and has made countless shelves, a sofa table for her home, and a beautiful 4-poster cherry queen sized bed...amongst other things.
-She taught herself how to make stained glass windows and made one for our home in Idaho--I miss it. It's beautiful!
-Did I mention she can do woodworking and stained glass?
-She was married at age 31 and had her last child just before turning 41 (4 children total) She had easy pregnancies and deliveries with big babies. But I was her best--you can ask her.
-She is smart as a whip and the most clever, sarcastic, funny woman who knows how to be friends with and love anyone.
-She can get very distracted behind the wheel.
-She held me up while my daughter died. She not only buried her grand-daughter, she grieves the loss of her grand-daughter while also grieving for her daughter.
-She grew up quite poor in Dayton, Ohio with a mixed family and has built her own unique life while making good, strong, and often difficult choices.
-Her mother converted to Mormonism when my mom was younger (a very unique and special story) and my mom is currently the only member in her family. (Her mother passed away after my mission).
-Speaking of my grandmother, Leona Gayle Crouse--it is her presence, (Grandma Gayle's) which I have felt more often, more strongly, more clearly than any other since Lucy passed away. She had a difficult life and for some reason I have felt her near my side in some of my darkest hours. My mother gets her strength and faith from HER mother.
-My mom is so quotable. She's given our family so much comedic material to work with and it will never get old.
-She used to slap my guy friends' buttocks in high school...as if just making a great play on the basketball court.
-She loves rocks/geology.
-She snorts when she laughs. We laugh until we cry and most people in the room (excluding my sister of course) have no idea what we are laughing at. (Sorry, dad).
-She was a substitute teacher in my younger years (Is an EXCELLENT teacher), she loves fine food, she is wise, cultured, well-traveled, well-spoken, well-read, a great writer, and is easily distracted by the internet.
I love her.
For me, the most unique thing about her is that she is MY mother. For those of you always leaving comments on this blog about "how strong I am" and what grace I have shown living my life since Lucy's death (Oh, how I wish this were more true and how grateful I am you say such kind, uplifting things)--I hope you realize that any bit of this that I DO posses, comes from having Nancy Simmons Bice as my mother.
Compassion. Strength. Empathy.
That is my mother. You'd really like her.
For those of you who know her in real-life, can I get an Amen?
P.S. I think I might be in labor. Not sure.