I'm halfway through my Thirty Days of Thankful, and I have made this list in no order of importance. Had that been the case, this picture would have appeared MUCH sooner...like in the first 3 days. Because the woman in that picture is WAY up there as being someone I am truly thankful for.
From the first day I met this lady a little over 8 years ago, I have felt a connection to her. During Hubby's teen years, she was a mother figure to him. As I have become very close to some of Peanut's friends, and have unofficially adopted some of them...she did the same for Hubby. And to this day, even though he loves his mom, he thinks of P-Momma as another mom to him.
Hubby lived with her for a couple of years during his late teens, as he was best friends with P-Momma's son. She took him in when he needed somewhere to stay. She helped him get on his feet. She was there for him.
And ever since I met her, she has done the same for me. Taken me in, figuratively, helped me get on my feet many times, and has always been there for me.
It's so hard to really put in to words how much P-Momma means to me. In her eyes, I'm her daughter. Period. My kids are her grandchildren. There's no need for explanation of her claiming us as her family, she just does.
I can't even begin to share all the times that P-Momma has been there for me. Anytime I needed a shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent to, a person to celebrate with...she's been there. I can call her up pretty much anytime and go over to see her. If she is busy, she always makes a point of making other arrangements for us to get together, because it's important to her that I know she's never too busy for me.. she just needs a little time to adjust her schedule so that she can make it work.
My kids absolutely adore her. They ask pretty much all the time if we can go over to see her. Jelly has a very strong connection to her "Grammy" and doesn't like there to be too much of a time lapse in between visits. It's the one place Jelly will gladly stay, regardless of whether or not P-Momma's granddaughter is there to keep Jelly company. Jelly is perfectly content just spending time with P-Momma.
P-Momma's granddaughter is basically my niece. She has grown up with my kids, and they all get along as if they were truly family. Which they are. Blood doesn't need to be shared in this situation. Our bond is strong enough.
Every minute that I get to spend with P-Momma is meaningful. We can, and do, talk for hours. Well, I talk...most of the time. She will sit and listen as I vent, share, gab on and on about anything and everything that's been going on in my life. I often wonder what runs through P-Momma's head after I leave....wonder whether or not she's exhausted just from listening to me talk so much. HA!
But, for quite a while, I haven't really had anyone else to talk to. Not really. Sometimes I just want let out feelings of stress and excitement that aren't completely taken care of or can't be shared on my blog. I know that in those moments, I can call on P-Momma and she will take care of helping with those feelings. Either banishing the bad, or encouraging and being supportive of the good.
For the past few years, one of the kids (and mine) most favorite Christmas traditions has been spending Christmas Eve with P-Momma. She prepares a Christmas Eve dinner, and we go over for presents and food and laughter and fun. In fact, the kids have been completely content with pushing out our other Christmas Eve tradition of baking cookies for Santa and watching a Christmas movie before bed if it means getting to spend a little more time with P-Momma. They aren't all excited about going home and getting ready for Christmas morning, they are perfectly fine staying at P-Momma's to whatever hour we decide to head home. We can spend 8 hours with her, yet the minute I say it's time to go home...they whine about "just getting there".
She means the world to me and the kids. She really is my "mom away from mom". There isn't anything I wouldn't do for her. I know that there really isn't anything she wouldn't do for me...or she'd at least do everything in her power to do what she could. She probably has no idea how much of the impact or role that she has played in my life since first meeting her.
The countless times she's opened up her home for us. The important events that she's always attended. The times I really needed someone to talk to, someone in my corner. The kindness and love she's always shown my children. The kindness and love she's always shown me. The advice she's given. The willingness to drop everything she's doing to help us out for some reason. And I could go on and on and on.
Today I am truly thankful for a woman that, for no rhyme or reason, took me in as her daughter. Has always treated me as a daughter. Has always been like a mother to me.
Thankful is really an understatement. I was truly blessed on the first day I got to meet this amazingly wonderful woman. And each and every day I am beyond thankful for her being a part of my life.