Thursday, May 11, 2006

6 1/2 years

For some reason today, I wanted to post on my mom. Mainly on the fact that it has been almost 6 1/2 years since she passed away. I can't believe it has been that long. It has been one crazy ride and I am grateful for the presence of God through all of it.

Here's a picture of my mom in the late 60's about a year or so before she married my father. She was in Izmir, Turkey with the USO (service organization that supports soliders in the field). Previously she had been in Vietnam with the USO serving for a couple years or so. She was one of the first civilian women in the country when the war started and she flew all over the place in the open sided Hueys. Other jobs included a TWA flight attendant, model, radio hostess.

After she and my dad got married, they spent 15 years in Europe traveling and living. They opened up a leather boutique in southern Spain called Gasp Boutique. They would cross the straits of Gibralter to Morocco and buy leather and beads. My dad would make belts, sandals, bags and my mom would convince the tourists to come in and buy them. It was in Spain that they both became Christians.

They also lived in Germany and worked with a group of the Jesus people there. Then they moved to Greece and ran student ski trips by bus to Austria. Dad also had a boat chartering business. I was born while they were there and we lived another seven years. Moving back to the U.S. was very difficult. Mom went back to school and eventually received her B.A. in Ancient Languages (or something like that).

She studied Ancient Greek and would do personal bible studies with the original texts. I was pretty impressed. Then we moved to VA Beach for both my parents to get their Master's. My dad got his MBA and Mom got hers in Education focusing on TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). After we moved to Florida, she taught at the local community college and really enjoyed her students. She was great at reaching out to them and inviting them to be part of our family.

Her favorite holiday was St. Patrick's Day and we would have an all green meal. All of the holidays were a big deal for her and she would try and make them special.

This next picture is one of my favorite. It was taken on her birthday in 1999 about 2 1/2 months before she died. Here's to you my little brown nut head! Love you.


Hyla said...

Lisa, this is a beautiful post!! Beautiful! What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Your parents seem to be fascinating people! What amazing lives they've lived. I've got to meet this father of yours!

Lisa said...

Thanks Hyla Bee! I just realized that Mother's Day is on Sunday, so perhaps this accounts for some of my reminiscing :) My parents were/are pretty cool - although not perfect and we did have some pretty good arguments :)

My dad is one of my favorite people to hang out with. He's coming on Sunday night but flying out again on Monday night so not sure if you'll get to meet him this time around. Hopefully soon though he and his wife will come up to visit for a weekend.

kelly said...

I can't believe it's been that long already! Lisa it's a lovely entry. Barbara was one of my dearest and best friends. I met you three nearly as soon as I became a Christian more than 25 years ago, Your mother and I never had a dull moment. She was so much fun! She was full of Joy de vivre, and we laughed all the time. My favourite memory of her is the time your father and Jeoff were playing a "squash" game at the Politia Tennis Club- a few blocks away from the house of the President of Greece where the snobby Greeks used to frequent. I don't know why there was a group of somber important looking Greek men up in the gallery watching the game. Your mother, Arlene and myself were at my flat sipping lemonade when all of a sudden Barbara with that mischievious flood of crazy ideas decided that we were going to pay the guys a visit. So we all raided my closet, and make up drawer, and proceeded to get ready. I was dressed in an off-white dressed with red polka dots and a red belt, one red high heeled strappy sandal, and one tennis shoe. Bright red lipstick, a mole painted above my lip. Arlene and Barbara dressed in equally half tarty, and half ridiculous clothes. With a tennis racquet each, and under you mother's leadership the three of us barged into the squash courts hitting the balls against all the walls. Ken and Jeoff looked at us bewildered, and looked very embarrased. The Greek male audience watching the game, were laughing so hard, some of them could hardly stand up.