Don’t Mess with Momma Bear

Usually the text posted to this website is related to some technology or recent hack, but today it will be a little different. My tenacious personality and drive was not discovered, but rather grown by my Mother. While Dad was off fighting wars and traveling the world, Mom was at home caring for my Brother and I. The reason I am so focused and determined is having watched my Mother teach me those traits. Here is a little more about her…

At the age of 18 she married my Father and left their hometown without any regard for the challenges ahead. Soon after that move to Oklahoma, there I was in the world with them. My Father was part of the prestigious 3rd Herd Combat Communications Unit and constantly in the field or disappearing in the night for missions. Alone in a new state and city she took care of the homefront. I think back to the time I was 18 years old and what it would take to do something like this and can’t fathom the challenges. There she was though, Momma Bear taking on the world.

Throughout my life I have seen that strength grow as she packed the house and moved to foreign countries by herself (tetris eat your heart out) and raise my Brother and I in the toughest of conditions. She played nurturing mother and loving wife while organizing church charity events and volunteering at our schools. Her strength and courage were so extensive that she helped those around her by counseling them in times of need and lending a shoulder to cry on. While her friends will attending college, she was a mother of two and a military wife.

The title of this post is based on haven seen my Mother lay down the law. As a child my Mom was the disciplinarian. Don’t get me wrong, Dad was no slouch either, but Mom was the one my Brother and I got really scared of when we heard our middle names used. One time as a young child a neighbors mother disciplined me  without regard for the situation. I was not in the wrong by any stretch and I watched my Mother from a few hundred yards away stand-up from her chair on the porch and march towards us. Up until this point in my young life I assumed she only scared my Brother and I. That day I saw someone as scared as we would get as she laid into this woman over her total disrespect. I stood there in awe and jaw wide. She grabbed my hand as we walked back I remember the first time I heard her use the phrase “Don’t mess with my cubs or Momma Bear will bite.”

In middle school I was given a poor grade on an assignment for reasons not fair to the circumstances. It was well known the teacher didn’t care for me and frankly it was mutual. My mothers first reaction was to scold me for a poor grade, but after a logical talk about what happened the switch flipped. We had a parent/teacher conference and before I knew it the teacher was scared and offering me all “A’s” if that would make us go away :) My Mother said “if Nick was in the wrong then I will back you, but you clearly are in the wrong over something stupid. I expect a fair grade for him, not for you to give him an A.” The teach (more in fear I believe) gave me an A on the project. The response as we left the school was “Don’t mess with my cubs or Momma Bear will bite.”

Re-reading the above I make her out to be a Female Rambo which isn’t fair at all. She is the most loving and caring woman you could meet. When I meet people for the first time that have known her they always convey the love and compassion my Mom shows them. It is from that love that she has been there for our family. The matriarch and core of our tight-knit team. Though 14 broken bones, countless stitches, my divorce, a loss of everything, countless requests for advice, and many other things she has been my trusted confidant.

It is because of all these reasons that the I know she is going to make it through the aliment she has. The tumor is not strong enough to fight the woman that has done so much in this world. The growth inside of her is not ready to take on the type of determination it will now receive.

In a prior life I wanted to be a writer. Not because I am particularly skilled at such things, but rather because it is therapeutic for my analytical mind to put things to paper. I needed to write this to let go of some of the fear, to remind myself how much my Mom has been through already and how little this is in comparison. The few friends I have talked to have been such a help in working through the emotions. Hearing their stories of parents and loved ones deal with similar ailments has helped me move beyond the fear. It was important for me to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things this nothing compared to the life she has already conquered. Like she always said “Don’t mess with Momma Bear.”