Saturday, April 12, 2014

True Heroes A to Z: K with Love

Quickly, I'm guest posting over at Annalisa Crawfords place to help celebrate her reaching the big 40! Pop in and stretch your creative muscles with us.

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

Thus far I've shared with you so many of my world-known heroes, but I think the most inspiring ones rarely hear praise.


asper, Patricia Christena Lowe Hicken. (Does she have enough names?) This is "Mom." She's survived raising 8 kids, one of them special needs, living far away from family while doing that (or having very little family support through the process), and losing a husband to cancer.

Mom was always cleaning. Always. (With 8 kids, is that any wonder?) She spent an entire day every week doing nothing but laundry. Despite trying to get us kids to help with chores, she ended up doing most of it herself, and I know there were many, many years she felt so completely burned out, she didn't know how she put one foot in front of the other. But she did.

Dad was a doctor, and rarely home. He worked 12 hour days when I was young, and then often delivered babies in the middle of the night. Essentially, he left everything to Mom. I've often wondered how she survived. Some of us were not easy kids, especially my special need brother (Randy) and her youngest (looking at you, Jeff). I participated in so many extracurricular activities that I'm amazed she made it to even HALF my performances. But she did.

She looked forward to the day when her kids would be grown and she'd be able to do things with her husband, but right at the cusp of that transition, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Of all the difficulties she'd endured for so long, I didn't know how she'd survive it. But she did.

Now, remarried to a widower who also lost his spouse to cancer, they've just returned from a church service mission--the first of many. It's little wonder. Mom has never known how to stop serving.

The thing I've learned from her is that we are much tougher than we think we are. We have the strength to endure and even enjoy greater trials than our little minds can comprehend. Because of Mom, I know I can deal with grubby fingerprints on the walls, or raising my children far away from family support, or even home schooling while having a career. More than that, I've realized the joy of my children will grow long beyond the demolition stage of their youth. Because hers does.

To mothers everywhere, I salute you. To my mom, I adore you. Thank you for your everything.


Did you see my announcement on Monday
(Apologies to those of you who've seen it six times now.)
The
release date has been announced! MOONLESS is on sale now for $1.99! (But only for a couple more weeks.) Do you fear the Moonless night?

Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Alexia must choose safety and an arranged marriage, or true love and being hunted by the Soulless every moonless night.


Do you have a good relationship with your mother? Have you had more than one mother figure in your life? What is the greatest lesson you learned from your mother?

91 comments:

  1. Admittedly, my mother wasn't always the greatest, so I clung to my friends' mothers and found family with them. I have more "moms" than I can say--and I love and appreciate each and every one of them!

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    1. That's awesome. I didn't have any surrogate mothers, but I think that would have been awesome.

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  2. Yay! I was waiting for your mom to make her feature on your blog, Crystal! Your mom is an amazing woman. *Hugs* for her. :) And since you read my post earlier this week about my mom, I can say that I have a wonderful relationship with my mom. :D

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  3. Your mum is, indeed, a very special person, having coped in all those situations, Crystal. All I can say is that I'm a survivor of many family issues, but I still love my mum, even so. Lesson learned: to think before I speak!

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    1. Sometimes the people in our lives teach us how NOT to act, eh?

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  4. This post brought tears, and memories. Though I am one of 3, much of your description of your Mother reminds me of mine. I remember her doing dishes in the bathtub when there was a plumbing issue, washing clothes by hand when the washer didn't work and there wasn't money for the repair, stretching food like she was magic. Oh how I miss her. Tomorrow is her angle day. Only signed up 1 blog this year for a-z, been ages since I've written anything on Oozing Out My Ears. Time is precious and it seems I have less of it this year...Traveling Suitcase A-Z

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    1. Time is indeed precious. Your knitting post had me giggling. (Who doesn't love a knitting squirrel?

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  5. I see so many women who are now in their 60s and 70s who survived and endured so much. They're relaxing and enjoying life. They had SO many kids back then...I don't know how they did it! I don't know about your mom, but both my mom and mother-in-law rarely cook now...they spent their lives doing that and dinner is often whatever will go easily into the Crock-Pot. Come to think of it, I'm that way and I didn't spend years cooking!

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    1. I'm going to hire a cook in my old age, because I've never enjoyed it, but I do like home cooked meals. That, or I'll just have my hubby cook full time. =)

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  6. So inspirational, she sounds like an astounding woman. My mum's done a lot for me and my brother and sister over the years, and she's still the first person I turn to.

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    1. Me too. Isn't it great to have a reliable mother?

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  7. Now that's what you call a Mum. Made of super strong stuff.

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  8. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman.

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  9. Wow, what a great woman! And you are right. We are much stronger than we think. We can endure and survive much more than we know. AND, we can do it with grace and joy! You are blessed to have such a woman and human being in your life.

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  10. Yay to your mom. Strong woman. I wonder if she's opted to have someone else clean her house these days. She's earned her rest.

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  11. Your mother is an incredibly strong, resilient woman. I enjoyed getting to know more about her. So cool that she and your step-dad were able to serve a mission together!

    Like your mom, my mom cleaned a TON as well. She would send all the kids outside to play in the fenced backyard so she could clean. From her I learned the value of hard work. She's like the energizer bunny-she never quits!

    Also, I thought of you the other day when I ate the most AMAZING cheese. It was wild blueberry vanilla goat cheese. YUM!!

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    1. Sending the kids out while cleaning is probably the best idea, but I was always of the opinion the kids should help. It's a bit of a headache, but the hope is that it will eventually pay off. Eventually.

      You thought of me while eating cheese? That's epic.

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  12. Wonderful post about your mother. It's so true that we are so much stronger than we think. :) She sounds like she's endured quite a lot.

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  13. And I thought my mom had her hands full with four kids, lol. :) Another wonderful family tribute!

    The Immarcescible Word

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    1. She did have her hands full. Four is more than one person can wrangle alone.

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  14. Beautifully written, Crystal. Here's to your mom having an easier part of her life. She's earned it.

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  15. That's a lot of laundry! Your mom must be superwoman!

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  16. Oh, my gosh, Crystal. This was such a beautiful and inspiring post. My skin is running with prickles of admiration for your Mom.

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  17. Your mom sounds very inspiring. I give her lots of credit for raising 8 kids. I can only imagine the laundry in my nightmares! :)
    ~Jess

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  18. Love this post. Tears again! You are so blessed to have such a wonderful mom. The greatest lesson from my fab mom, clean the house later (it will always be messy;-) and go play with your kids.

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    1. I love that. Moms like that are amazing.

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  19. Lots of heroes in your family. ^_^ I love this tribute to your mother. One thing my mom taught was not to be ashamed, of anything. She did this by embarrassing us often. :)

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    1. LOL. I love it. Parents should be entitled to embarrass their kids.

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  20. You have your mother's beauty.

    Love,
    Janie

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  21. All my friends called my mother 'Mom' too. She's amazingly patient kind and took in over 18 foster kids over the years (as well as adopting three of them.)

    Your mother sounds like an extremely special person. How lucky you are!

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    1. That's super awesome. 18 foster kids? Now there's an angel for you.

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  22. Hey Crystal,

    Your mum is special. Note that if I spell "mom" I get a red line under the spelling. Oh, you don't see the red line....

    Your beloved mother has inspired you, been there for you. This glowing tribute has a warm ambience that dances in your thoughtful words.

    The bond we share with our mothers can be most profound. I know how I felt when my mother, so far away in Vancouver, just spent three weeks in hospital. Thankfully, she's on the mend.

    Have cheesy like Sunday morning rest of your weekend.

    Gary :)

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    1. Oh my. I'm glad she's on the mend. It was difficult enough being close to home while my dad dealt with health complications, but to be across the ocean, that would be truly difficult.

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  23. What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

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  24. What a beautiful post. It really sounds like you've been blessed with an amazing family - and are able to recognize and appreciate that, which is a gift, too.

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    1. It took me a few years after leaving home to really see it. I think that's the key: distance provides perspective.

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  25. "The thing I've learned from her is that we are much tougher than we think we are. We have the strength to endure and even enjoy greater trials than our little minds can comprehend."
    This is especially beautiful. :)

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  26. I loved this tribute to your mom, it was beautiful.

    I am very close with my mom and my daughter, and we were very close to my grandma - the four of us were inseparable. Before my great-grandma died it was my great-grandma, my grandma, my mom and me. Our family tree is traced back to the early 1700s through our maternal line - everyone kept having girls. When my mom had my brother, a BOY, it was like a miracle, which is why he's the favorite.

    But to get back to the point...my mom, my grandma and my daughter are my heroes, forever. :)

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    1. I love reading about your relationships, Michelle. They're so sweet, even when you're taunting one another. =)

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  27. Your mum sounds incredible, and it's true, it's insane how strong a person can be when they have to be!

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    1. Especially when adrenaline comes into play. ;)

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  28. Your mom is truly amazing.
    My 85-year old mom is the eldest of 14 kids. She has already bid farewell to half her siblings. Only 6 of them are still living.
    Her life embodies strength, endurance, patience, perseverance. She is a true heroine.

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    1. 14? That's epic. Now there's a pair of amazing parents, eh?

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  29. So many unsung heroes in our lives-- thank you for sharing yours with us.

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  30. Cheers to your mom!
    I think mothers everywhere deserve a an applause.

    Sania @ Fragile Words

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  31. Awwwwwww what a beautiful super duper mum!! And such a gorgeous name!! Yay! Take care
    x

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  32. My mother was hero, although I didn't notice at the time. Back then, most mothers didn't work outside the home. She took in washing and ironing, raised a huge garden and canned vegetables by the hundreds. She raised chickens and sold eggs. As soon as her youngest was in school, she got a full time job, and kept doing all the rest of it at the same time.

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    1. Amazing. It's pretty incredible what women who "stay at home" accomplish, eh?

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  33. A beautiful tribute that touched my heart.

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  34. She is a great inspiration! When I get married, I'll have two instant sons, naughty ones from my love's first relationship. But I love them and they love me (and hopefully will still when they grow up). So I hope I can be at least 1/8 as great as your mom!

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    1. I'm wishing you the best! It can be a challenge to cultivate love and trust, but I'm sure you'll be an epic mom.

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  35. Such a wonderful woman. Salutations to her!

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  36. Wow. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. She sounds like quite the woman.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  37. My mom was a Dr.s wife with three kids, I can't imagine how your mom handled it with eight. Very moving post. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Doctor's wives never see their husbands, right? It's crazy.

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  38. Crystal, a wonderful tribute to the heroes in your life. How lovely! At times life seems to lurch from one crisis to another, but we get the strength to keep moving on. I must finish Moonless before Souless comes out!

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    1. It really does feel like we move from crisis to crisis, doesn't it? I guess that's why we have to slow down and take breaks, to stay sane.

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  39. That's so beautiful! It's wonderful that your mother did so much for you, and it's more wonderful that you realize it and are grateful.

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    1. I know! It only took until I was about 25 to wake up to reality. Becoming a mom helped. =)

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  40. Beautiful dedication to your mother. She sounds like a woman of such strength and character. I do wonder how some mothers do it.

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  41. Hi Crystal, what a lovely tribute to your mother. She sounds like a woman of strength and fortitude. I like the title of your books: Moonless, Souless.

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    1. Thanks! More to come, and in the same vein.

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  42. What a wonderful post! Your mom did it right. "Her children rise up and call her blessed."

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  43. What a great legacy you get to follow. Your mother and father paved the way for you kids and it shows they did a great job! Its a loving post to your mother.

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    1. I gave her a Mother's Day gift early. ;)

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  44. She is a fantastic example of strength. I can't imagine doing what she did--burned out seems correct. Your mother's an amazing woman.

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  45. Your mom sounds like an awesome woman, wow, 8 kids and doing everything for them all by herself. That is true strength.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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  46. What an amazing tribute to your mom! Loved this post!

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Hit me with your cheese!