This was a speech written by Jen Rumbos and Melinda Pouli on the occasion of their mom's 60th birthday. Enjoy! - Greg Slingerland
One thing was certain – the teal carpet that had graced the living room and staircase for so many years had to go. Dad was suffering from renovation spending fatigue and was in no mood for a whole scale renovation. Mom blamed Dad’s bad hips and knees for being a home decor Scrooge. After a lot of discussion, Dad finally gave the green light for painting, and ONLY painting. Mom was desperate – the teal carpet taunted and mocked her. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Mom purchased two gallons of paint – one gallon of latex and one gallon of oil and came home to a quiet house. Details remain unclear but the two cans of paint somehow “opened” and “tumbled” all the way down the stairs. “I don’t know how it happened Bill” she said in an innocent voice when Dad came home later that day.
Yes, we all know that Mom is a sweetie and is content as can be. Whatever our Dad says….goes. Mom would never think to get her way…hahahaha…RIGHT! Mom has an amazing capability to agree with Dad’s opinion and then, blink a few times and do the complete opposite. “Oh no, I don’t need a new kitchen, Dad is too busy anyhow.” I would look over at Dad, who was reading the paper, and he would be rolling his eyes...knowing full well that the kitchen would be ripped to shreds in a matter of weeks. Sure enough, wood, paint and countertop samples were littering the house. This would happen often…. “That big window in the living room is such pain for DAD to wash on the outside”. “It’s fine, INE...we don’t need a new window.” The next week we came for coffee and I’ve never seen such a crystal clear view of our backyard. I just looked over in disbelief at Dad, and he was rolling his eyes again.
We started to ruthlessly tease Mom about getting her way and she protested. “I don’t replace everything! See that hideous chandelier hanging in our dining room? I don’t NEED a new one...this one is fine. Oh, I know Bill just adores that light…well, too bad…it’s ugly.” Of course she neglected to say that she had just spent over $100 on frosted globes, which didn’t look much better. Now, how was she going to get a new one without it looking like she was once again going against Dad’s wishes? “...hmmm…I know! I’ll pretend I am going to do the economical thing…(even though I already blew a hundred bucks), and I’ll spray paint it pewter. Hmmm…but what if it actually looks good? Ummmm…I know ! I’ll spray paint it while it is hanging up…and get new curtains, a table, and a new wall paint colour out of the deal!” Yes, unbelievably she twirled that chandelier, at a speed similar to Port Dalhousie’s carousel on rocket fuel, making sure that the pressurized can of spray paint blasted at full speed and destroyed the room. Dad came home to the ugliest, plastic-y looking light he had ever seen, and sure enough a week later, Mom was beaming alongside her newly installed light and fully renovated room.
In all seriousness, Mom is the sweetest Grandma to her 21 precious grandkids. A number of years ago, our whole family headed out for a holiday up north together. We were all crammed into one large cottage, and Mom decided to flex her “grandma muscles”...
“Come kids, Grandma has CANDY!!!” The kids ran to her, but no, she wanted them to catch it from the loft. There Mom stood, way up high. “Here it comes!” The children looked up to the loft with glowing, expectant smiles. Their hands were outstretched as they waited for Grandma to toss some candy down. The laughter was quickly transformed into shrieks of terror as the ringpop blitzkrieg began. As candy slammed like missiles off the tops of their heads, the kids ran screaming and shrieking in terror, diving from the ambush attack. Why was Grandma so VIOLENT? As we iced bruises from the kinder surprise attacks and removed embedded jolly ranchers, we kids had to spend some serious time in therapy with our kids, explaining that, Grandma does love you…she just has a strange way of showing it! She used to pinch us with her toes...just for fun!!!
As time wore on, Mom mellowed a bit…..or should we say melted a bit….You see, she always loved sharing things with her dear sisters…What better than to all go through THE CHANGE together! We nieces have had quite the laughs watching our hot tantes and mom sweat more than members of the bomb squad.
But, really seriously this time...we love our Mom to bits. Her generosity, kindness and love towards those around her are such a shining example for us. She brings new meaning to the word “hospitality”. As you all know, the door s are always open at Mom’s place (unless she’s having them replaced because some paint somehow splattered them) and she is ready and willing to lend a listening ear, or a helping hand to anyone in need. Her love for the Lord is evident in her daily walk and extends into her job at Shalom as well. We hear so often what a great nurse Mom is, and how the residents love her. We agree! On behalf of your five daughters, we love you so much! We thank the Lord, for giving us such a godly, beautiful Mom! We hope and pray that God gives us many more years with you.
Please, raise your glasses with us and toast one amazing woman, OUR MOM!!!!