In honor of mother's day coming up next month, I decided to do a sort of mini-series as it were, and introduce you to some of my favorite moms. Mom's that I want to be like when I grow up.
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to my sister.
Johanna Craynon O'Hara (see how I snuck that Craynon in there really subtly?) is my oldest sister. I have 2 and I must say that it is awesome.
In my mind my sister is still a Craynon. And always will be. YES I know she has been married for 5+ years. YES I realize she has 2 kids (and one one the way =) ), and that she will be an O'Hara longer than she was a Craynon. But I like to claim this relationship. I want to introduce her as a Craynon. I want people to know she is still mine. We don't really look much alike, so the name is a linking thing. I have no problem with her being married, I dont resent that, it seems normal. Maybe I should make her husband change his name to Craynon too, so that I can claim them both!
Why do I want to claim them? Aside from the fact that my niece and nephew are some of the cutest kids, I have some real reasons too =).
From as early as I can remember Johanna has been a constant and vigilant protector to all of her younger siblings, and now her kids. Although her "help" was sometimes counter productive (see the soap on the toothbrush incidents),and to my 4 year old self highly unwelcome, it was always because she thought it was what was best. Johanna was always the 2nd mom that we never knew we needed.
The childhood desire to protect and guard us may have been a little excessive, since we did have a mom, and a very good one at that!(Don't worry, you will meet her soon!)No one needs to worry about falling over railings at the mall, or even plummeting into the Grand Canyon, as long as Johanna is there to remind you that there is an edge ;-). But more than being physically protective, I have seen her stand up for us "littler kids" in situations where she sought to protect us from emotional pain, even at cost to herself.
For those of you who may be concerned that she uses soap on her own children's teeth, no worries, she grew out of that. And as she matured she learned to be a little more...discerning in what was best ;-). Now she willingly seeks advice, and council when she needs to decide what is best. She makes suggestions and gives advice. She prays, and submits to her husband. She seeks to honor him, and God in the way she cares for their children.
Johanna is one of the most transparent people I know. Maybe thats because she is a Craynon, and we wear our emotions on our sleeves. I think that is only part of it though. God has blessed Johanna with a gift of words, and a humble heart that allows her to use her words to honestly express herself. Her blog http://worthdoinghalfway.wordpress.com/ is a wonderful example of this.(Shameless plug ;-))
Now I am not insinuating that she is perfect or that we always got along. Like I said, we are sisters. But as I have grown older, I have a much greater appreciation for her wisdom. I have seen her walk through times of confusion, and times of real loss and pain, and I can honestly say I want to grow to be like her, as she grows to be like Jesus.
And, just for fun, here is a picture of all 3 of us girls. Sadly, as much as Johanna tried, she could not protect us from the 90's ;-)