The Amazing Woman Who Raised Me

When we were little my Mom sang a lot around the house. She loved the Carpenters and sang so many of their songs. One in particular stands out which is “Close to You.”  I loved the way she sang “Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near… Just like me they long to be close to you.”  There were family gatherings where she would receive many requests to sing a Patsy Cline song “Crazy” and “Where the Boys Are”  by Connie Francis.  She really belted it out at times and hammed it up with my cousin who always asked her to sing.  She really sounded great and I was always proud and loved listening to her. Her alto voice was so smooth and she really enjoyed singing whether it be with her best friend and sister or my brother and I.

On family trips we always sang a lot. Listening to soundtracks on tape and harmonizing together. Mom taught Chad and I how to harmonize and the two of them made fun of me plenty of times when I was way off!  My Dad cannot carry a tune so most of the time he sat back and listened to the three of us.  He does his best singing in the shower as most of my friends found out when they were visiting the house.  He was always so proud of us when we sang in church.

Music always played a huge part in our family. Big family gatherings were also some of the best times.  We had Christmas get togethers with family at several different houses in Collierville and Mom worked so hard to pull this off. She had a little help from us but really did enjoy having her family over and all the good times we had.  Mom, Peggy and Aunt Jan usually ended up singing all the family favorites like Going to the Chapel, Let’s Jump The Broomstick , Country Roads and Yesterday among many others.  With the Harper side of the family comes plenty of quick wit.  Mom and I were always behind and were always the last ones to get the joke.  They would all laugh and carry on while Mom and I looked around.  Finally Mom would get it and laugh out loud:) This was something that was endearing about her though and I just loved sitting with them and listening to all the family stories.

Mom is not one to just laugh at anything and it does take a lot to get her going.  But when something happens *usually involving my brother or my Dad* and it hits her at just the right time she laughs so hard that she can’t talk and has tears streaming down her bright red face.  Usually it was when my Dad was ordering at drive thru windows or when Chad was doing something silly on vacation. Another incident involved listening to a guy who spoke very robotic at Kennedy Space Center with my brother and Dad on vacation.  Mom and Chad could not stop laughing out loud. I was not there but can only imagine.

One day Mom had office duty when she was selling Real Estate. She was in a hurry and left so fast she realized she was only wearing her slip after she got in her Camry to drive off.  She worked so hard and showed so many houses and took so many phone calls to help provide for our family.  Mom is really good at what she does and no one else I know can crunch the numbers like her or answer questions like her.  She was wonderful to call on when we were buying our house and helped us so much.  It is definitely a gift and people just like her and trust her from the moment they meet her.  She is honest and straight forward with people and can explain things in a way that most anyone can understand.

The teen years were pretty rough at times.  I know my mom prayed a lot during those years for me. My choice in friends was not always the best and I made plenty of poor decisions. We always went to church no matter what and mom was always there whenever I needed something or just needed to talk or cry.  I do remember one day she was dropping me off at the high school.  I was embarrassed to be riding to school with my mom and wanted to be dropped off before we got to school.  She was so mad and said for me to get out right there on the main road which ensued much drama.  Oh the joys:) Mom had a fiesty side too at times.

When we were teens Mom made sure that Chad and I went to church camp every year as well as Convention at the Opryland Hotel. I remember her writing out those checks faithfully every year.  We always had fun and looked forward to going but one year it stuck.  I gave my life completely over to Christ and there was no going back.  Thank God for a Mom that sent me away from my comfort zone and negative circle of influence so that God could speak to me and change me completely from the inside out.

When it was time to go off to college I was ready to go off to Springfield, Missouri.  I had already applied to Evangel College as my youth group visited there for College Days.  The summer of 1990 I went to youth camp and knew I was called to go to Southeastern.  When I came home and told my Mom she had such a peace about me going even though it was 13-14 hours away from home.  My Mom said later that she didn’t have a peace about me going to Evangel even though it was 6 or 7 hours away.  She prayed and let God work in my life and let me go even though it was very painful at the time.

My Mom is the kind of mom that your friends like to hang out with. She was just really cool and fun and easy to talk to.  We did a lot of shopping and going out to lunch when I was growing up. Mom would drive me to Tempo Fashions and the Hickory Ridge Mall in Memphis and spend hours with me as I looked through all the clothes racks.  After that she sat in the dressing room helping me find just the right outfits.  We stayed up late many nights watching our favorite shows like Mel’s Diner, Mama’s Family and lots of movies.

Mom always has time to talk to me, encourage me and is so positive.  When I came home from college for the summer we walked and talked a lot and lost weight together.  I always could talk about this guy or that guy or anything that was on my mind.  She was there to listen and listened well.  She gave and still gives the best feedback ever when needed. I am a blessed daughter!  She loves Shane and the kids so much and would do anything to help us out. She still is the best listener I know along with my husband and the most real person. She really doesn’t change who she is no matter who the person or whatever the situation.

My Mom has had a rough start to this year but she knows there is still a work for her to do.  Of course she wants to relax and enjoy life and travel but her heart is always about helping others whether it be single moms, working the homeless ministry or finding those around her to minister to.  She is a blessing to everyone who comes into contact with her and the Lord is leading her into some very exciting things to advance and further his Kingdom.

My Mom grew up in a small country town in Kennett, Missouri. She was Miss Holcomb High and was just beautiful.  She is not out to impress anyone or to change for anyone to accept her.  She knows who she is and has quite the backbone.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and loves His Word. Her name~ Kay or Katherine~means Pure.  From everything I know about my Mom that one word encompasses who she is. Elsa Katherine~ You are a gem and I Love You! Thank you Mom for ALWAYS being there for me! I hope you have a Fabulous Mother’s Day!

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2 Responses to The Amazing Woman Who Raised Me

  1. Kathryn says:

    I love getting to know you this way. God has truly blessed you with strong women of faith. He is so Awesome. Your mama must be so proud of you. Thank you for sharing. Love, K

  2. akjohnson7 says:

    Thanks Kathryn:) I’m so glad we met when we did! We really need to get together again soon. Take Care!

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