Have you ever taken a photo and realized as instantly as the shutter itself that the picture would have great, long-lasting value? That it’d be the kind of photograph you’d want your children to find one day. Tucked in a box under a bed. A treasure in a chest.
There’s several that I can think of. Moments that were just pure gold. Larger than life. Off and on, I’d like to share a few of these with you. And while the pictures themselves may be worth a thousand words to me, I’ll try to lean the way of brevity for your sake. Enjoy.
Sometimes my wife and I will spout off some line to each other. A saying we grew up with. It’ll sound oddly familiar and we’ll sort of look at each other with curiosity and wonder. They’re nuggets we hold on to. Pieces that help us navigate thru the everyday with vision and enthusiasm and purpose.
One such phrase has an incredibly similar meaning at heart. But the two sentences, as you’ll be able to see for yourself, are quite different.
Amy’s family: “Any thing worth doing is worth doing right.”
My family: “Don’t do anything half-ass.”
See what I mean? Very similar ideas there. Just expressed in their own beautifully unique ways. Or something like that.
All that to say this. My Mom has never done a darn thing “half-assed.” If you know her at all, you know that she pours herself into whatever she does.
Home Maker. Soccer Mom. Surgical Technician.
But it’s the one I’m about to write that hits the closest to home for me. And I think it’s because it’s the one that hits the closest to home for her as well.
As good as she is at running a vacuum and ironing a shirt, as incredible as she was at driving a van full of screaming adolescent boys across the south, as patient and kind and caring as she was as a nurse, my mom will always be (other than being my mom), first and foremost, a great, great cook.
Food speaks to the soul. My soul was well fed growing up. And now, because her dream has come true, she’ll be feeding a lot more souls in the time to come.
As long as I can remember, my Mom’s dreamed of running a restaurant. If you’ve ever eaten with us, you understand. Each of my best friends had a different favorite. They’d try to coordinate spending the night with me on those evenings just to get her Steak, Caesar Salad or Chicken Fettucine Alfredo. While the kitchen can be a daunting, thankless job for many women, for my mom it was and still is a labor of love. My mom’s loved on a lot of folks over the years. My mom’s been serving up that kind of love as long as I’ve known her. In the kitchen. Thru food. Come on people. Grow up. Sorry…maybe that was just me. Anyway…
This past Friday, my Mom opened up her own restaurant. Over the past year, my parents have been in the process of purchasing and refurbishing a marina and restaurant in Northwest Arkansas. It’s been tiring. Stressful. Hard. And slow. But it’s also been filled with hope. Possibility. Anticipation. Joy.
The night before her opening, the place was opened up to friends and family for a tasting. As we sat down at The Bluffs Restaurant and enjoyed our incredible dinner, I kept looking up to see my Mom in action. Checking on tables. Taking orders. Working the kitchen in the back. Smiling at her creation. She had done it.
I had to steal her away for a second to grab a quick photo outside. With my son in her arms, we stood right outside her own place and grabbed a quick portrait. A perfect portrait. One I hope to cherish for a long time. One I hope my son finds years from now. In a box under a bed. A treasure in a chest.
A place in his heart because it was such a big place in her heart.