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Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

Good Mother

Mother’s Day is so … daunting, if you are a child.

Mother’s Day is so … stressful, if you are a husband of a mother (so my hubby says).

Mother’s Day is so … lonely, if you are a mom, whose child is not longer on this earth.

Mother’s Day is so … full of hurt, if motherhood has not happened for you.

Mother’s Day is so … beautiful, if you are blessed to be a mom (so, I say … no gifts required, but time together is always appreciated).

But for this blog, I write, not as a mom (as if that is possible), but as a daughter. And, this is a daunting thing to do.

When I think of my mom, I think of the words of a Jane Arden song, “Good Mother”:

“I’ve got money in my pocket,

I like the color of my hair 😉 ,

I’ve got a friend who loves me,

I’ve got a house, got a car,

I’ve got a good mother,

and her voice is what keeps me here”

But, what does ‘good mother’ mean to me, as I think about my mom?

She didn’t do it all right. She didn’t wear pearls, like June Cleaver. She didn’t have warm baked cookies for us when we came home from school. She didn’t read to us at bedtime every night. She didn’t keep her cool at all times. She didn’t drop what she was doing, every time I wanted her attention. She doesn’t always have wisdom to share (advice, though, … always). She didn’t work into the night sewing, and cleaning and whatever else that Proverbs 31 chick was supposed to do.

She is not perfect! Which is okay to me, because I am a mother, and I am so aware that ‘perfect’ and ‘mother’ do not go together (and surely, I was not perfect, as a daughter either).

But here is what she did right, in my mind:

She, despite being single and poor, chose to give birth to me.

She chose to marry, not just a man who would love her, but one who would be the best father to me, and to my brothers, that they would have in the years that followed.

She chose to do what she could, by caring for others children, to contribute financially to our family during the years when interest rates soared to near 20%.

She encouraged relationships with the parents of herself and our dad.

She celebrated … everything! If there was reason, there was cake!

She made birthdays special for my brothers and I.

She worked hard, with our dad, to maintain a marriage that has survived just over 40 years.

She loves us, all.

It would be so easy, too easy, to pick apart the problems, the mistakes, the weaknesses … the sins of our mother. But that does nothing to benefit anyone … that does nothing for her, that does nothing for us, for me.

She taught me to be honest, trustworthy, kind, sensitive and good to others, to be myself, and that it is a good thing to love God. I am, flaws and all, who I am because of my upbringing, because of my good mother. I believe my own children will only love me, in proportion to how I have modeled my love for my own mother. The jury is still out on how that is going to go.

But I know that I love her. I know that I respect her. I know that I could never know what it was to walk in her shoes, because I have been blessed to have grown up in a different time, with different parents, and different circumstances.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she did the best she could, with the resources that were available to her. And I know that, one thing is for sure, she has loved me from my earliest beginnings and will until we part on this earth.

“I’ve got a good mother, and her voice is what keeps me here,

Feet on ground, heart in hand, facing forward,

Be yourself”

* this is a re-post from four years ago … but still so true.

 

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Today we celebrate Mother’s Day!

I have been blessed with a great mom. Although I will not be with her in body, my love and appreciation are being transmitted across the miles, from coast to coast, from heart to heart. I have also been blessed to be called mom. It is my most favorite title, name, and calling. It is the experience that has changed, not just my life, but me, the most.

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As I think about this annual celebration, it seems that there is a baby boom all around. Although not many ladies that I know personally are expecting, it seems as though every shop, restaurant, park and bus stop is full of them!

With each exposure to pregnancy, I am realizing that something within me is changing. I no longer look at the expectant mom, and think:

‘how exciting for her.”

Now I look and think:

“does she know?”

Does she know of the miracle of this entire process, from conception to birth?

Does she know how surreal it will be to watch a perfectly formed human being emerging from her own body?

Does she know the mixed emotions of wanting to hold this child in her arms, and knowing that with each push, she is closer to that moment when she will no longer feel him or her moving around … within her very own body?

Does she know that her child will be born with a scent uniquely their own, and if she were blinded she could surely pick her own child out of a crowd just by their scent?

Does she know that ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes will be the only thing she will count on that first day she holds her baby?

Does she know that, no matter how tired she is, she will choose to watch her baby sleep peacefully, as she stares in awe and wonder?

Does she know how holding her sleeping child will create the most deep feeling of warmth?

Does she know how a smile from her baby will erase the fatigue of sleepless nights?

Does she know the changes to come?

As the years pass …

As her child grows …

As busyness takes over …

As independence, and school, and part time jobs, and friends come between them …

As her job, her husband, her house maintenance, her meal preparations, her friends come between them …

As growing up can mean growing apart …

The moments of inhaling their scent, wondering at God’s handiwork in their form, watching them sleep. The moments of rapt wonder, just at the existence of this miraculous removed part of her, dim somewhat from her memory.

And then …

a phone call

a text

a note left in haste

a shared laugh

a glace at their adult body sleeping

a hug

an I love you

a momentary pause when looking at the size of their t-shirt, she remembers how tiny their t-shirt was many years ago.

And it will take her back to those early days of wonder at this piece of herself walking this Earth.

And it … all … comes … back.

And all she wants to do, is to hold that overgrown child of hers, and feel the warmth, and inhale their scent, and trace the outline of their lips with the soft of her finger.

Does she know?

A woman,
when she is in labor,
has sorrow because her hour has come;
but as soon as she has given birth to the child,
she no longer remembers the anguish,
for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”
John 16:21

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