Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Someone asked me to describe my Mother once. I believe that was the hardest question I have ever been asked. If you know her, you know why.

Charlotte Theresa Younger Buster is, among other things:

Larger than life
A force of nature
Unbridled energy
A little woman with a heart as big as Texas
Purpose personified
Grace under fire
Beautiful from the tip of her toes to the top of her head, inside and out
Not exactly what you'd call quiet

My Mother is a living definition of what it means to be in love. She is in love with her Lord. She is in love with her Bobbie. She is in love with her family. She is in love with her home and her life.

She is the epitome of homemaker, a godly wife, an excellent cook and nobody...NOBODY can clean or do laundry like she can.

Everyone should have a friend like Mother. She is the consumute friend and neighbor. Always there with a giggle, a cup of coffee, a freshly baked cake, prayers, time and concern. When my Mother is your friend, you have a friend indeed.

If she hadn't raised me to be a strong woman, I fear I'd have spent my life totally intimidated by her. I have never possessed her energy. I'm much more introverted than she is. I'm a true homebody and Mother is always ready to go! Somehow, though, this tomboy of a woman gave birth to one very prissy daughter. I remember sitting in the floor with her while she carefully cut out paper dolls for me. I know that was an act of pure love, because I know she cared not one whit for such things. But she knew how I loved them and she did it for me.

She taught me so many things, and one was that it was okay to be me-even though I am so different from her.

That lesson, the space to grow up and be all I can be...not an extension of her or even who she wanted me to be...is one of the most precious gifts of earthly grace I have ever known.

Because of her wisdom in raising me as she did, we grew up to be friends. She is Mother first. Always Mother. But,Friend as well. I am so blessed. When I had a daughter of my own, it was my honor to give her Mother's name. Not to call her Charlotte, because Annie suited her so well...but her name is Charlotte Anne. They are alike in many, many ways. The blessings have rebounded.

Describe my Mother?

My husband does that very well. I've often heard him say, 'Charlotte is the most extraordinary and remarkable woman I have ever known.' When a Son-in-Law feels that way about his Mother-in-Law...you know she's special.

Oh...and did you see the picture? That is Mother in her Uggs. Its not enough that she's extraordinay and remarkable...she's doggone adorable, too.

Love you, Mother!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Sweet Daddy

His steps are a little slower these days. Actually, they are a lot slower and he shuffles as he walks. His shoulders stoop and his hands don’t always work like he wants them to. I find myself helping him put his coat on and opening bottles for him. He doesn’t hear well. He keeps his medications in his pocket and takes them like clockwork. He drops things and it isn’t easy for him to get up from a soft couch.

Amazingly, he does it all with such grace. No complaints about his aging process. He doesn’t allow, at least not in my presence, the slowing and slipping of things to frustrate him or cause him to be down, angry or depressed. He seems to be accepting that after almost 80 years on the planet, its just time to slow down a little.

Did I mention that he still holds a job? He is the Associate Pastor of the church where he first came to know God as a young man. He can still stand in a pulpit and proclaim the gospel with a clarity that many younger pastors would envy. He sits in staff meetings, and I imagine provides a voice of calm and reason and wisdom to any who would listen. He is still a leader of his congregation and an advocate for doing things in new and different ways. He studies his Bible, as he has done for 60 years to search out new lessons from God, and teaches Sunday School and two off-site Bible Studies.

It takes me off guard when I see him napping on the couch (or, perhaps just sitting with his eyes closed and thinking…unless he is snoring I’m never quite sure if he’s asleep or not). When I look at him through realistic eyes and see the man who has somehow become an old man, I think to myself, “Who is this man?” Because, in my heart and my mind and the eyes through which I mostly view the world, he is still a giant of a man. Tall, strong, handsome and walking with purpose in his stride. He could be frightening at times in his size and temper to a child as small as I was. He was bulwark of safety against the many things that frightened me. He knew the answer to any question I could ask. My earliest notions of God the Father certainly had a Bobbie Buster appearance to them.

I recall having this thought the year he turned 33: I just knew that this was the year he would die, because Jesus died when he was 33. I would have been 6 at the time. That is how deeply connected my early spiritual thoughts and ideas were tied up with my Sweet Daddy.

Never in my life have I needed my Daddy and had him not be there for me. Not always in a physical presence, but he has been there for me. He has been the hands and face of God to me throughout my life in his words, his deeds and his love.

And now we are at that time of life when middle aged children become more concerned about their aging parents and begin to consider what they ought and ought not do. How strange it feels to me that I ought to watch out for him. He has always taken care of me.

One of the sweetest relationships of my life has taken on a new and tender aspect. Today, my heart is full of thankfulness and joy that this man…this giant of a man whom I love and respect and wish to honor is My Sweet Daddy.