In his post, 10 Questions to Ask Your Mom or Grandma on Mother’s Day, Bob Tiede shared ten questions to help us get to know our moms better. I love the questions but feel shy to ask them of my mom, so I decided to answer them from my perspective; maybe my kids will be interested someday.
1. What are your favorite memories of times you spent with your Grandparents?
I don’t think I would have called them my favorite times when I was a kid, but in retrospect, all the times we spent on my Granny and Pa’s porch (my mom’s parents) shelling peas and just “visiting.”
2. What was your grade school like? What do you remember about your favorite teacher?
I went to two. Roosevelt Roads Elementary (we were stationed in Puerto Rico in the Navy) for kindergarten through part of second grade, then W.E. Cherry Elementary School once we moved back to Orange Park.
I don’t remember disliking any teachers in elementary school. She wasn’t a teacher but (surprise!) I really loved the library, Mrs. Derbonne.
3. Who was your best friend? And what did the two of you like to do?
Easy peasy. Paula Young (now Jordan). We became friends because we both have the same first name. We ended up in different places for high school, but every visit we pick up precisely where we left off before.
What did we like to do? We were in band, we both enjoyed academics. Otherwise I would say “hanging out.”
She is deeply loyal, terrifically bright, and determined to serve her family and her business well (she does!). I love her.
4. What kind of things did you do as a kid that got you into trouble at home or school?
For the most part, I was ridiculously compliant. RIDICULOUSLY. My most memorable transgressions:
- I didn’t clean my room enough (some things never change)
- I got pulled out of English class in the 10th grade and scolded for being too chatty with my cousin, Deneen. I was mortified; she was amused that I was mortified.
- There was the time I stole baby Jesus, though.
5. Growing up what did you want to be?
I think my rotation was similar to lots of kids (waitress, teacher, that type of thing). I was on a “missionary” kick for a while (and spent the summer after high school knocking on doors all over St. Lucie County hoping to save souls). But the one that comes closest to being a “regret” is not pursuing something medical.
6. Outside of the family, what was the very first job you had that you got paid for?
Babysitting was first, but the first one that made a huge impression, the one I still think about every day, was being a cashier at Spires IGA.
7. How did you meet Dad? How did he ask you to marry him?
Blind date! We went to the Huey Lewis and the News Concert, a setup arranged by our mutual friend Cherie who has declared herself out of the matchmaker business now that she had one success.
I broke up with him in 1989 and moved to NYC to “take my bite out of the big apple.” Over the almost-three years I was there, we progressively took the steps that led to us deciding to get married. I kept telling him I wasn’t ready. One time, when I had just gotten back to New York, I called him and said yes. He officially gave me my ring on the pier at Lake Butler.
8. What is the hardest thing that you ever had to do in your life?
Along with Dad and Aunt Mary, tell Grandma and Grandpa that Uncle Chuck had committed suicide.
9. What is the greatest compliment that you have ever received?
Someone who had been a little kid when I was a teenager working with the children’s choir at First Baptist friended me on Facebook YEARS LATER. It took me a bit to remember her (new last name, no longer four years old) but once my brain was engaged, she said “you made a difference.” I never knew.
10. What is one thing you still want to do that you have never done? (What is still on your “Bucket List?”)
I still want to be fluent in Spanish. I am so disappointed in myself that I haven’t made more progress toward that. I want to get out of debt. Go to Europe.
Bonus Question: If your Mom (Grandma) is a Follower of Jesus, ask: Is there a story you can share about how you came to be a Follower of Jesus?
For me, my spiritual life has been an evolution from doing what I thought I should do spiritually, to doing what most brings me in Communion with the holy trinity. I am *thrilled* Tenley has a church relationship she loves and have enjoyed going to church with Wayne Kevin. No matter what denominations they choose, first and foremost I hope they make time every week to turn to something bigger about themselves.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.