In honor of Mother’s Day, Parentology is sharing stories of “Other Mothers” — women who aren’t the writer’s birth mother, but who still hold a special place in their lives. Meet Misty Wise.
I can’t remember the first time I met Misty Wise. I’d attended the same church since I was two years old. I was 10 years old in 2009 when the Wise family moved to town so Misty’s husband, Daren, could be our minister of music. Misty immediately started helping with the nursery, music — anywhere she could. I’m sure at some point, somebody introduced us and we said hello, but I can’t remember. All I know is, for the past 10 years, Mrs. Misty has always been part of my life.
My family was heavily involved in music at our church, so we worked with the Wises on a weekly basis. Together, we went on mission trips to New York, Indianapolis and Connecticut with Daren and the Wises’ three boys.
As I got older, I began to spend more time with Mrs. Misty. She led the middle school and high school choirs, where she spent much of her time trying to “reel” us back in from whatever hilarious-to-us joke we’d taken too far. And each year, with Misty leading the way, our choirs attended a regional conference for youth choirs.
As I got older, we still had lots of fun times, but things started getting harder for me. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, I was getting out of the bouncy house at our church’s Vacation Bible School and tore a ligament in my thumb. The injury required reconstructive surgery and six months of physical therapy. The night before my surgery, Misty called to pray with me. She apologized she couldn’t be at the hospital the next day. I was surprised anyone would even think about giving up their morning to be there for my surgery.
That same summer, one of my friends committed suicide. I remember sitting in Misty’s car and listening to her pray aloud for my friend’s family and for me.
Each year, my dad and I went on mission trips to Colombia, South America with our church. The summer after my injury, Misty came along. The trip went downhill on the very first day. A family friend and team member had medical problems, leading us to spend a very long day in the clinic of the Bogota hospital. Earlier that year, I’d started having a lot of mysterious medical problems myself, and the week-long trip was extremely hard on me. Misty, a nurse, kept the other team member, myself, and everyone else calm and encouraged.
When I think of Mrs. Misty, so many moments from over the years come to mind: dinner and swimming at one of our homes, setting up at the local fairground with board games and sparklers on the 4th of July, watching games together at baseball or softball fields all over the county. She gave me fitness advice when I fell in love with working out in high school (Misty is an avid runner) and medical advice when my health declined a few years later. There were countless encouraging texts, inside jokes, and carpool rides to and from church, plus yearly musicals, lots of birthdays, new puppies, and first cars. That’s what stands out most as I look back over the last 10 years — not the big moments, but the small and consistent ones that made up our daily life.
Unfortunately, I no longer see Misty as often, but our families remain close. We still enjoy swimming, going to each other’s ball games, and spending time together even though everyone is getting older and busier. Our lives are not quite as closely intertwined as they once were, but I’ll always admire Misty’s great example and I’m so grateful she’s in my life