|Julie Anne Clark
Nancy graduated from Iowa State in 1971. Teaching children was her goal. In love she was with a man named Richard and married she would be July 10, 1971.
The first child came in 1973. And that was no easy feat. Supposed to be born on Valentines Day, the little one didn't come out until March 2. (Sorry for the wait, Mom. I guess I wasn't quite ready!)
Next came the Learning Tree, a nursery school she owned with Richard. Here she was able to teach the children. But it was another child of her own that she dearly wanted.
It took them awhile but they finally got their dream. On the same date they had met only many years later, Jamie was born. (Why didn't you tell me she would be this little for so long?)
So the art of raising two children while Richard had to travel was the next task she would take on. And do it well she did. The nights of colic and temper tantrums were too many to count. Amazingly she made it through. With her sanity still somewhat intact!!
As we grew, she was always there. Never a job outside the home to take her away from her daughters. Always there for a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or a word (or two) of wisdom. Always the patience to deal with some trying arguments. And through all this, all she could do was show her love. For that was the best she was able to give.
Love and strength. Through the cuts and the bruises, the tears and the broken bones. Oh the broken bones. Now wasn't that a fun three weeks (okay - fun summer). The strength and love you showed me during physical therapy may be something only the two of us will know, but it is something I can never repay. Thank you so much for pushing me and making the pain go away.
The oldest one graduated from high school in 1991. Off to South Carolina for college. A little too far from home for Mom. But adjust to it she did. The next year the oldest one returned to the Midwest. Much to mother's delight. (Mom, we may still have our differences in opinion and of course my opinion is right but I feel we are closer now than ever. You always loved my stubbornness!! Right?)
And now the youngest daughter is off to Germany. The kids were never much for the hometown and off they went as soon as they could. (You thought South Carolina was far ... this one should be fun for you.)
Opportunities were always there for the kids. Traveling was commonplace growing up. The world was shown to be at our fingertips and for that I cannot thank you enough.
This brick is for you, Mom. For all the stories I've told here today and for the thousands that may never be told. You have given me so much. Teach the children you did. There are things you've taught us that you will never realize. There are things we take from you that make us who we are today. There are things I would like to change but they are only mistakes I made growing up. The things I said, the love I didn't always show, the appreciation I didn't know how to demonstrate... these things I regret. But I hope this shows how much you mean to me and how much you have given to me to make me the adult I am today.
To those of you reading this who do not know Nancy Clark, I hope you know her a little bit better now. She is a woman with so many gifts to give. A woman who has touched the lives of so many. A woman who loves her family dearly. And a woman who is dearly loved by her family.
Love Always and Forever, Mom