Marty is a mother. It’s more than a little enlightening to see the young woman who became your wife make the transition from girl friend to wife to mother. We all evolve, daughters become wives, and wives become mothers.
Marty made the transition, not seamlessly, not gracefully, not perfectly. She wasn’t the perfect mother; she wasn’t “earth mother”. Marty smoked, she cussed, she slept late, she was over bearing, she was loud, and at times I’m sure she was a bit embarrassing for our two children.
But Marty loved fiercely and Matt and Erin grew up knowing that fierce love. They grew up knowing Marty was always and forever in their corner and on their side and they could come to her for anything.
She raised our children to know anything was possible. As they watched Marty work for her doctorate they saw you could do life differently, even a little non-traditionally. They saw how important education was and they saw how you could choose a goal and achieve it. They saw how you could make major life changes and succeed.
Our children knew Marty was behind them and would always be there to help with ideas or advise. She was there to help them be who they were and succeed.
She helped Matt make a remote control paper-mâché shark and had the scratches and scars from the chicken wire they used for the skeleton of the shark to prove it.
She helped Erin make her first (and maybe only) career video by giving her direction and running the camera and getting her access to doctors’ offices and equipment for the video.
Marty wiped their faces, doled out medicine and made sure they were at the right doctor’s offices when the kids were sick. She once held an infant Erin close during an exam for chronic urinary tract infections. When they came out she couldn’t figure out why Erin had blood on her head….it was from Marty’s lip, Marty had bit through her own lip while holding her infant daughter.
To this day I believe she saved Matt’s leg because she was persistent in ensuring he got first class care when he contracted a staph infection that moved to cellulitis. She then did wet dry packs in the open wound for weeks. I couldn’t do it.
Marty was at her best with the problems, whether it was school, love life, faith or a broken down car. She was one of the world’s great problems solvers. The kids came to her because she almost always offered solutions, solutions without judgment, well, maybe not too much judgment.
It wasn’t just our kids either. Our house had a variety of other kids running in and out because they felt welcome by the mother of the house. Marty was deeply involved in our church’s youth program and the young girls would go to her, the somewhat crass, loud woman with the warm heart. They would go to her for reassurance, they would go to her for acceptance, and they would go to her for love.
Marty always, always had love for her children and the children of others. She was and is mother to many because of that love, because of that sometimes frail, sometimes brittle, always enduring love of a mother.
The strokes, the brain injury have not changed that. She can’t do some of the things she once did, she can’t do many of the things she once did, she is not as expressive or demonstrative as she once was, but I know, I know Marty, I know her heart; I know she loves her kids with the same intensity and the same depth she always has.
It is, in spite of life getting in the way, a mother’s love and that is not changed by anything.