Tell me about your mom.
My mom has always been very nurturing and caring of me and my two brothers. She would always make stuff for us. She’s a protector and a gift giver. She gave me the pants and shoes that I have on, and she was with me when I got this shirt. She always made things fun for us. Arts and crafts were important. She took ceramics and cake decorating classes for us, and she has made paintings of all of her kids at one time or another. She’s a receptionist at an eye doctor’s office, but family is her main priority, definitely not her work.
How is her relationship with her mother?
They’re still very close. My mom lives where she grew up, and she had a great childhood on a farm. Everybody in the family still lives there. The whole family gathers at my grandmother’s house every Sunday. I can’t go because I live in D.C., and I work on Sundays, but if I lived back home, I’d be there.
What would you say is similar between you and your mom?
I like to care for people, and be considerate of people. I get that from my mom. The ways that I’m different is that I’m more adventurous and want to see the world. She once told me she wanted to join the military, but that seems really counter to what I know about her. She wasn’t too happy about me moving to D.C. I’m able to leave because I know I can always go home, where I’m safe and secure.
What does she want for you?
I think she wants me to go back home, but I wanted to experience things apart from home. Maybe make some mistakes? I felt called away from home. Maybe be a missionary in East Africa. My mom used to come for my birthday every year. But maybe not in July. She doesn’t like the hot, and I don’t like AC. I don’t have a car here.
Why do you like the heat?
The deep answer is that it makes me feel secure. I don’t have to have three layers on, I know I won’t be cold. I get cold really easily. I’m freezing right now, in 60 degree weather.
What have you felt called to do?
I have felt called to care for the most vulnerable people in society, the typically forgotten. It mostly centers around their social and emotional well being, and that comes from my mom. She always wanted us to feel special and cared for. But she does ask why I feel like I have to leave to do that work. She didn’t leave her mom or town, and no one else did either.
Would you go back?
I think I’ve been considering it more lately. I used to tell her that I never wanted to move from Madison County, and she reminds me of that often. One of my brothers still lives with my mom, and my other brother lives five minutes away. A lot of extended family lives around there, and I’m the only one who has left.
How do you feel about kids of your own?
People tell me that I’m going to be a great mother, and I do want children. I don’t have a specific plan for that right now, and moving far away has felt unstable, making a life for myself here. It could have been more of a given if I had stayed home. I know that when I have kids, my mom wants me to be close, and I would want to be close too. Being two hours away won’t be ideal. D.C. is the opposite of what I had growing up. I had great grandparents on both sides, and most of my grandparents were always in my life. My dad’s dad, we lived with him for five years, and my aunt lives across the street, with eight kids. And nobody ever moved.
What would be your ideal situation for you?
Somehow, still being connected with the world, having the opportunity to have a strong community with both my family and others, experiencing different cultures. Being in contact with people with varying languages, cultures, and worship experiences. That would be the ideal.