This year, I join the ranks of women losing their mothers. It's quite strange and odd and mother's aren't really supposed to die. As I process all this new strangeness - I felt led to ask Joy's daughter Cheryl to reflect on her mother - the woman in the green apron at our farm.
Cheryl took to the heartfelt task of sharing about her mother Joy with this beautiful tribute.
You’ve all known my mom, Joy Hubbard, now for a number of years. And, truly, to know my mom is to love her. She’s gracious and caring, a true friend, amazing with children, and has a gift with nature. I believe she’s found her true calling on your farm! But, let me tell you a little bit more about the most amazing woman I know:
This woman is a woman that had a vision as a teenager that she would marry a man from the mountains. It was just something she knew. She told me a story once about a trip she took to the Grand Canyon and while there she picked out a salt and pepper set made of wood. Her mother asked her why she would want something like that and she said she would marry a man from the mountains someday and wanted to have them for her house. She did marry him, and we still have those cedar salt and pepper shakers. I want to tell you she’s deeply insightful (some would say bordering psychic). I want to tell you she’s a caretaker, which is deeply comforting (but you know this). I want to tell you about her parents, which were complicated and amazing people in their own right. But, all of this digresses from my story with her.
I was raised by a woman who has always had a deep knowing and faith about all things – especially the earth. I don’t think there was ever one summer we didn’t have a half acre garden. My favorite memories of that time: grinding grasshoppers in the blender for a natural pesticide, helping my mom sow seeds and weed (hated that, really), sitting in the garden and eating every single yellow pear-shaped tomato (stemmy part first) and/or the strawberries and having mom yell at me. Yeah, good times. We were raised with an understanding that good food always leads to good health (try convincing my brother of that now – ha). My mom believed in holistic healing during a time people hadn’t even heard of such things. Sought treatments out or had ideas about things people are only just today beginning to talk about and understand. She taught us from an early age to grow and nurture all things animals, plants, children….
My mom hugged us, played with us, nurtured our talents, showed up to all of our school events, and was the most comforting force in my life. With my mom, I knew I was protected and safe and loved. I won’t lie to you, I’ve had trauma and had it not been for my mom’s strength I don’t think I would have made it. There have been a lot of times she didn’t think she understood me or could help me, but I assure you that that force that runs through her – that strength – is what helped me survive. She’s my model for forging ahead, for snarky rebuttals, for not backing down from what I believe, and for my compassion.
I have this theory (and, yes, I have many) that God doesn’t just make great women –he’s raises them up from lines of great women. My mom’s mom was a marine raised by a single father whose wife had died from pneumonia before penicillin was invented. And, my mom? My mom always marched to the beat of her own drum. She was the VP at the Chamber of Commerce and held her own in the Good Ole Boys’ Club and did just fine thank you very much. If she wanted to paint, she painted (and was an amazing toll painter). If she wanted to grow a garden, she’d go overboard and grow a half acre of amazing-ness! She sews like nobody’s business – a true skill. She ran a successful video rental/take-and-bake pizza business for years. She became a great paralegal and led me to do the same. I’m not sure what I’ve done that’s great besides love my kids with the ferocity that my mom loved us, but I’m certain that with the genes I have and the examples I’ve been shown that my daughter or my daughter’s daughter will be an amazing woman. Somewhere in our line we could be looking at the next President, or Poet Laureate, or female Scientist who finally pulls string theory together into all its gloriousness - all because of one woman – my mom.
Yes, she’s just that amazing.