Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mom, How Can I Ever Thank You Enough?

My mom, Julie Case, smiling at Ben and holding Catalina
(I love this picture because my mom is often smiling
the most when she is with her grandkids!)
Today, October 13th, is my mother's 61st birthday.  She posted on Facebook (which honestly amazes me because she isn't particularly computer-savvy) that she thought she was turning 62 today so she is elated that she got a year back.  That almost sums up my mom perfectly.

I met my mother at a very young age.  I was very impressionable and she took advantage of that, but in a very good way.  She, like most of us, remembers almost exclusively ONLY the "bad" things she did when raising me (none of which I will share now because even though they are funny, this is a tribute to my mom and not a "roast" on Comedy Central ... but my typical humor will still be sprinkled throughout, which is just one more thing you can thank (or blame) my mom for).

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother letting me just be "me" which is about as close to a miracle as I will ever witness.  I was horrible!  Those of you that have known me mostly just as an adult will find this unbelievable but I used to be VERY hyperactive and unable to focus on anything.  I remember my mom telling me stories of my childhood ... one in particular stands out ... I came bounding into her room and pounced on her in the bed and shouted "it's fwee-o-clyock mommie ... let's play" ... this was 3:00 AM!  And despite this kind of rambunctious energy she loved me and supported me.

Oh sure there are funny stories what my parents had to do to get me to calm down, but the truth of it is ... a lesser mother would have taken me for a ride and driven the car off a cliff.  Or beaten me senseless to try and get me to settle down.  Or just shunned me.  Or quarantined me to my room.  Or sent me to a boarding school.  You get the picture ... my amazing mom did NONE of those things.  She just loved me.  She showed patience much more than she would ever believe or care to accept as the truth.

Another memory is of her beautiful garden in our Orem, UT home.  She planted all kinds of good things like raspberries and peas.  I think she probably thought they never grew well but the truth is that I ate every pea and raspberry I could find that was even close to the ripened color.  It's a miracle anyone else ever got any, but year after year she would plant and weed and fertilize and on and on.  I remember "helping" her sometimes, but really I just ate the ripe stuff and ran away.

I remember my mom worked another job outside the home most of my youth (something she would tell you she regrets, but in reality I learned much from that example about doing what needs to be done to make ends meet and sacrificing of your own time to benefit others).  She was (and still is) an amazing typist.  She worked as a transcriptionist for many, many years in all kinds of situations: small offices, hospitals, ER, radiology departments, at home via virtual networks, etc.  I can remember days when I was sick and stayed home and I could hear her typing reports for doctor's feverishly in our home office.  The sound of her typing was comforting and would often lull me to sleep (which you might imagine was a difficult task given my ADHD).  I remember reading a book together (I don't recall the title but I know she will know it) and then her typing the report for me almost faster than I could dictate what I wanted to say.  Those who know me will know that my typing skills are atrocious (I use what I refer to as the 4-finger method, although one of those fingers is my thumb and understands it's place as the spacebar king ... the other fingers seem to fight each other for those middle keyboard letters) ... I digress ... I can type fast enough to keep up with the average joes so no one knows the difference and I give credit to my mother because it was the sound of her typing that taught me what it ought to sound like.  I just mirrored that sound and will never type "normal" again.

My mom supported me through the awkward teenage years.  She would get excited with me after first dates and be there to console me and tell me I'm a "real catch" after difficult break-ups.  She came out to cross country and track meets (could there BE a more boring sport to watch high school kids compete in?!)  She drove me all over the place and when I was close enough in age to drive she always made sure I had a car to get where I needed.

She taught me my love for music and my ability to harmonize with any song.  I still sing songs the way she does and I think it may bother her that I'm stealing her harmony line.  She is a gifted pianist but would never let anyone believe that about her.  She taught me how to clean and I mean CLEAN!  We had what I felt like was ALOT of chores, but the truth is, it kept us "busy and out of trouble" to use my dad's favorite phrase.  It taught me the value of hard work and of taking care of your stuff (a.k.a. not being a hoarder).

My mother was a huge reason I felt confident in serving a two-year mission in LA (even though she bawled like I was going to die there when I first opened up my call).  She did so many things to help me prepare that I didn't even recognize until months later.  She sent me letters every week and packages nearly as often, with homemade cookies and candy and filled with love and spiritual power.  She has been there for every important event in my life and the lives of my children.  Always the graceful host she coordinated graduation and birthday parties, my missionary farewell and homecoming.  She supported the planning of our wedding reception and remains ready, willing, and very able to assist in anything I ever need help with.

Mom, I could write forever on the amazing gifts you have given me and the things you have done for me.  But if I did that then you'd never get to read this because it would never get published.  I love you.  You are much more of an inspiration than you know.  You're not perfect, but you try so hard and that gives me the strength I need to try myself when life gets tough.  If I can be half the parent you were, then I know my kids will turn out great.

I hope your birthday was a blast and I look forward to celebrating many, many more with you in the years to come.  Thanks so much for being my mom!


  1. What a great post about our mother!! Loved your remembrances about Mom!! Thanks for mentioning so many things that I forgot to mention in my post! We really are blessed to have Mom as our Mom!

  2. Just wanted you to know, how many wonderful memories I have of your mom and what dear friends and sisters we were growing up sharing our room and closet and clothes and life. I miss your family and sis...I am enjoying reading the life you Colorado Cases have. Give my sister Bug a hug!
    Aunt Margo