Stephanie Pearce: Being a rock
A large hill of rocks sits behind our house. They are large and noble looking, reminding me of fortresses upright behind us.
When I am driving home and I see those outcroppings in the distance, I feel a peace like none other. A peace of knowing I am home, where those rocks protect me and comfort me. They give me a soft place to fall.
When I think about those rocks, I think about the women in my life who have been my rocks. They have protected me, comforted me and given me a soft place to lay my worries.
There’s the woman who loved me through my ugliest teenage years. Besides my mother (who has to love you), she was the first woman who showed me unconditional love. She was my high school crush’s mom, and she still holds a special place in my heart.
She told me I was worth more than I ever knew or would ever know. She encouraged me to act like it. Through every mistake I made, with love, she made sure I knew I had made a mistake, but she also made sure I knew she still loved me. She made sure nothing I could do or say would ever change that.
When a little girl is broken, those actions and words are like those rocks behind my house. They make her feel protected and safe. I will always love her for being one of my rocks.
Another special lady who has loved me, encouraged me and helped mold me into the wife and mother I am today is my mother-in-law. I have learned so much from her. While most people dread their relationships with their mother-in-law, I have enjoyed mine from the very beginning.
She has inside information about my husband that came in handy several times in learning to be the wife he needs me to be. She always is so encouraging, never making me feel unworthy of her or her son’s love.
She is so nonjudgmental and always is the kind of person me and my kids have known we could tell anything to. She sometimes tries to fix our problems, but most of the time, she just listens. She listens with an open heart. If there are things we need to fix within ourselves, she just tells us that she knows we will fix them eventually.
I’ve learned from her how to be a mother who realizes her kids aren’t perfect and knows that they aren’t the only kids who make mistakes. I’ve watched her in situations where my heart was breaking for my kids, where all I could do was cry. She would tell them everyone makes mistakes, not to hang on to it, just fix it and move on. She never brings those mistakes up again.
She is a comfort, she is our cheerleader, and she is home to us. She is my rock. When I see her, I have peace, knowing I am home. Just like when I see the rocks behind my house.