One of the gifts of a Life Story Book from Memory Lane Jane is the joy of reading loved ones’ stories through their own lens—a compilation of questions never asked, tales never told, and values never documented. This Mother’s Day, we honor the stories and experiences of extraordinary, kind, resilient women that we’ve been privileged to document through the years. For this series, we asked several friends to talk about their mothers/grandmothers and how a Life Story Book from Memory Lane Jane has deepened their relationships. 
Today, we celebrate our Founder and CEO Lauren Befus’ mother, Susan Rutherford. Not only is it Mother’s Day, but it also happens to be Susan’s 76th birthday. The  mother/daughter pair is in the process of preserving Susan’s life story—they’ve completed seven hours of interviews and are moving forward to genealogical research and photo gathering. To honor Susan, we’re publishing a tribute speech Lauren wrote for her mom on her 70th birthday.  

I Just Need My Mom

I read a quote the other day that said, “No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her mom.”

Ain’t that the truth? That’s how mom would say it. 

Twelve years ago I had just had Jack, my first baby, and I was walking in a parking lot lugging his big, old baby carrier when I tripped and went face first into the pavement. Jack was fine; I was a mess. My nose and my lip were bleeding and cut up. I got myself up and to the car and in that moment, all I could think was, “I want, I need my mom.” I called her and told her what happened and instantly she said, “I’m coming. I’ll be right there.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those exact words from her throughout my entire life.

She met me at my house with her nurse’s kit the size of a suitcase. I swear, she could sterilize a room and perform several surgeries with the contents of this thing. I’m not quite sure how she obtained all of these items: the IV bags, the needles, the gauze, the forceps. This woman has the hook ups. And it’s not just the supplies that she brings her in bag of tricks, it’s her vocabulary that also has a magical healing power. As soon as I hear her voice I start to feel better. “Oh come here sweetheart, sweetie, honey, baby, we’ll get you all fixed up.” I sat down and she worked her magic on my wounds and instantly I was so much better. I just needed my mom.

My mom has this amazing ability to always make it seem like she’s having the time of her life when she’s taking care of you. Now let me be clear, a quick aside…my mom does not have the time of her life when other people are taking care of you. Lord have mercy on the nurse who couldn’t start an IV in my arm. Hell hath no fury like my mom and a “nincompoop” nurse with “incompetent” vein-finding skills. My mom has literally moved a nurse out of the way to finish the job herself. She’ll mutter…“Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” But I digress.

She loves taking care of people. She loves taking care of me. Not once have I ever felt like an inconvenience to her…now bring all four of our kids over and our big dog and that’s a little bit of a different story. But whenever I’ve needed her, really needed her, she’s there. No matter what time day or night, my mom is ready for whatever I bring her way. I’ve called at 2 a.m. because I think I’m dying from some weird ailment, a trait I inherited directly from her, and she’s instantly awake to listen, to talk, to diagnose. And then after I finish she’ll say, “Now sweetie, if you need me or you get nervous, you just call me back. I have the phone right here.”

My mom is always up for a chat, a hangout, a lunch, dinner (usually at Sean’s (Tokyo Grill) or Juan’s (El Arriero) because my mom has befriended the staff and owners and everyone knows her by name and she knows all their names). She’s always down for some retail therapy (usually at TJ Maxx or Target or Nordy’s as she calls them…where many people also know her by name). Every time I ask her to go out and do something she says, “Ooohhh, I’d love that.”

And every time I talk to her on the phone, without fail, she asks me, “Do you need anything, sweetie?” She’s usually referring to toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent and cleaning products because she knows that without her it could be days or even weeks before I restock after we run out. She’ll pull up to our house with car loads of supplies for me, something she refers to as her duty, mostly for the sake of her grandchildren’s hygiene and health.

Now growing up I didn’t realize how incredible these traits in my mom were. We’ve always had a close relationship, with the exception of the time I bought a really short pair of jean shorts and my mom took one look at them and marched right back into the store and berated the young girl who sold them to me. That was tense. But no matter what, I could always tell her anything, ask her anything. There was never any shame or fear or judgment. My mom made our home and our relationship safe and secure.

I always knew she was special. I didn’t know a lot of other moms like her and I didn’t have many friends who loved hanging out with their mom or traveling with their mom like I did. But I didn’t realize just how special she was until I became a mom myself. See, showing up, listening, being present, being available, being generous, never being inconvenienced, those don’t seem like super glamorous or glittery qualities when you’re young. It’s only now that I’m able to understand how remarkable they truly are and how truly remarkable she is. I could go on and on about what she’s taught me and what I admire about her: her incredible work ethic, her love and acceptance for everybody, how she taught me that women can be and do anything they want to and even make more money than men, but that list would take all night.

I would like to raise a glass to my mom for the countless “I’m comings,” “I’ll be right theres,” “Call me backs,” “Honeys,” “Babys,” “Sweeties,” and “What do you needs?” I love you and I couldn’t be any more grateful for you.

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