This is my mom. Nelly Andrea Vriend. The best looking forty something (i forget how old she is) woman I know. She is my best friend. I can't imagine what my life would look like without her in it.
Growing up I wasn't always the most appreciative and loving daughter. I tended to shower my affection on my dear father because that seemed to get me what I wanted. My mother was too smart for me and I didn't like it. But, as I grew older my mother seemed to have this radar built into her that she always knew when something was bothering me. And she still does to this day. She calls it "this thing that we have". This amazing connection when she always knew when i was about to get in trouble or when I was feeling down. A little inconvenient for a rebellious teenager but a blessing in the end. I know that it's always been the Holy Spirit working in her heart to warn her when I need her. I thank God for that.
My mom is a ferocious little woman who, if need be, will put you in your place. She is the second eldest of nine children and is therefore a very focused and responsible woman. She was born a VanSeters and if any of you have been fortunate enough to meet one you will understand the gentics that make up my mother much better. Especially if you happened to meet them in a setting where two or more are gathered. A little frightening if you know not what to expect. I'm sure you've heard them before. Some summer evening an echo of loud, voracious voices bellowing in the night coming in through your open window. Thunderous laughter shaking the ground? Yes? That was them. Telling everyday ordinary stories only exaggerated to the point where it's no longer believable. Sorry mom you know it's true. It's like every one of them wants, no needs to be heard and will interrupt, speak louder, stand up, do whatever it takes to be very sure that they are the one being heard. I would be that way too if I'd had eight other siblings. But, love fiercely they do. Give generously they have. Tenderness is at the core of them and faithfulness and love rule over them. And so is the way of my mother.
Yes, she exaggerates ALOT. More than any living thing has ever exaggerated in the whole entire universe. Or in the history of the entire universe has no living creature ever exaggerated more than my mother. (kidding) And she tells bad jokes when she nervous and talks too much when she's uncomfortable but I love her more than anything. For she has never witheld her love from me and my brothers and sister. Even when it would hurt her dearly to do so.
As I have become a mother I am now just beginning to understand how much she has given up to be there for us and to love us unconditionally. I understand now how much it would have hurt her when I told her as a little girl that I hated her. And also how much joy it brought her when I wrapped my arms around her and told her that I loved her.
And. I. do. love. her.
Thank you mom for you many years of love and devotion to me and your family. You will be richly blessed for you faithfulness. And you know that we tease you because we love you so much right?