Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted in September of 2009. In honor of my Mom’s 90th birthday, which we are celebrating today, I would like to share this once more for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of knowing Jean McClintick Horst. She is the most amazing mother anybody could ever hope for and she deserves more credit than even I can give her in these few words. Happy Birthday Mom!
My Mom is one of a kind. She was born in 1923 in rural Minnesota. They didn’t have running water or electricity until the thirties but that just made her tougher. When she talks about walking a half mile to school in snow up to her waist, she’s not exaggerating. Growing up in the country builds character because you just have to make do every day. There are no frills. If you want a drink you have to pump water. If you want to eat you have to grow something or catch something. If you want to talk to somebody you have to hike over to wherever they are. The ironic part is that in spite of her childhood difficulties, she is one of the most positive people I know.
She never complains about the problems she encounters. She just gets up and does whatever it takes to fix them. This summer she took it upon herself to mix up a bag of Quikcrete and fix the stone steps in front of the cabin at the lake. She didn’t ask for help and she didn’t wait for any volunteers, she just did it. Keep in mind she is 86 years old. If you’re less than 50 and reading this you should be amazed. I don’t think she understands the words “can’t be done.”
With my family, it’s just a genetic predisposition to work hard. When you have 62 acres in Minnesota and a large extended family to take care of you have to do whatever it takes. My Grandmother was much the same only a lot more grumpy. She worked just as hard but when she got mad you made yourself scarce. When she got really mad she yelled at us in German, which none of us understood and made it easier to ignore her rant.
Somehow my Mom did not inherit her Mom’s temper which is lucky for me because I was not an easy child to raise. My list of transgressions is too long to recite here but the highlights include smoking cigarettes when I was 4, running away from school on the first day of 1st grade, having a traffic accident on my bike when I was 11 and vandalizing my 6th grade teacher’s car on April Fool’s Day. Each and every time she just gave me a big hug and told me she still loved me and then told me what my punishment was going to be. At the time, I had no idea how much heartache I was causing her and how much she worried about me. She just kept holding on to me for dear life and praying I would survive my own stupidity.
I’m sure she still prays for me and for everybody, she’s just that way. God gave her a huge helping of empathy and compassion and she shares those gifts with all who need them. In this day and age, her prayer list must be filled to the brim. She does everything she can to be helpful to others. She listens, she shares, she cooks, she knits, she cleans and she cares and she does it all with a giving heart and without expectation. Mothers are easily one of God’s greatest creations. I can think of nothing more valuable on earth than a Mother’s love. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these gems in your life, you are truly blessed and it wouldn’t kill you to pick up the phone and call her right now to tell her that. You can even tell her I said so.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.