My mom is in Heaven, but she was the best mom in the world. Oh, I know, you think your mom is. But you didn’t know mine.
Charlotte Rose Clevenger was born on May 10, 1938 in the little town of Richwood, WV. She grew up in that mill town and knew Donald Perrine from childhood, as he grew up there also. They fell in love in high school and not only did she graduate, but she forced Donald to graduate by completing some of his assignments for him. College and funding were out of their financial ballpark, but they married and after a few years, Donald started a business, which he grew diligently and successfully. Charlotte had nine children; number six just happens to be me.
Mom was the best Christian I’ve ever personally known. She lived out her faith in so many ways, through prayer and action. I can remember her budgeting and grocery shopping for her family; always sacrificing her own desires and needs for her children. Many times I recall her scraping together a few groceries and stopping to buy a gallon of milk and loaf of bread, only to drop it off on some needy family’s doorstep. She was hard-working, loving, dedicated and caring. Our house was always open to ministers and evangelists, missionaries and musicians, as well as children who rode the bus to church, coming from the “hollers” and hills just outside town.
Mom had a way of accepting everyone; she smiled when I knew she didn’t feel like it. She sincerely laughed at people’s stupid jokes to make them feel good. She loved her family, each one individually, and practiced a unique way of caring for people on their level.
Mom was my best friend. At my first wedding, I had to talk her into being my matron of honor. “You really don’t want that,” she said. “Pick one of your young friends; the pictures will look better.” I held my ground, “No, Mom. You’re the one I want to stand beside me. You’re the one who has been there all along.”
My mom never said, “I told you so.” Her words were more along the lines of “Is there something I can help you with?”
She never said, “I hope you learned your lesson.” It was more like: “Let’s pick up these pieces together.”
And so today, if this blog is really true, if I’m “just a mom with a heart for God,” then 99% of anything good that I am is because I had such a great mom.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:”
Will you leave a tribute to your mom below? Would love to know about all the other “best moms in the world.”