The fact is I had a ‘2nd mom’ when I was growing up that impacted me for years to come.
When I was 5, a new family moved into my neighborhood just 2 houses down from mine. My mother heard there was a little girl in the family that was my age & sent me down to ask if she could play. I never knew that the girl I met would be one of my best friends & see me through every road life offered. What I also didn’t know was how much her mom would mentor & guide me, how much her mom would become my Mom Paine.
Mom Paine taught me much but the thing she taught me most about was LIVING FAITH. I could recall countless stories of how this happened. It could have been the simple way their family said grace before each meal. It might have been when she let me spend hours with her daughter & I got to see how she was so loving, kind & compassionate. It also could have been when I watched her husband lose his job & rely on God to open doors & provide.
In truth, it was all those situations but there is one that stands out in my memory. It was the day I ran down to her house, sobbing as I ran, to tell them my mom had cancer. She already knew. She circled me into her arms & I saw tears in her eyes. Over the next few months she would love me like I had never had love from a friend’s mom. She would feed both my physical & spiritual needs. She provided a haven for me when I felt overwhelmed with my mom. Most of all, she drove me, along with her daughters, to youth group each week. Through my time spent with that youth group, I decided I wanted to truly give my life to Christ. We were on a ski retreat when I decided I was ready and she was there to witness my choice. It was a rocky road for me filled with pot holes & detours & she was ready to support & encourage me through it all. One of my favorite memories of her during that time was when she took me, by myself, to Hardees for a vanilla ice cream cone. I really don’t like vanilla ice cream but that day, it was the best thing I had ever had. She invested in me that day. To this day, there are times I go somewhere & order a plain vanilla ice cream cone just because of the good memories that come along with every lick.
They moved away my freshman year & she got the chance to be ‘mom’ to another set of friends. I count them all blessed to be able to have her as part of their life. I know that I am for sure. Best of all, she is still a part of my life now. She was there as I said my vows to my husband & she is still someone I could call for prayer & encouragement. She showed me through all of life that living your faith was an important part of our fabric of being a Christian.