Mother’s Day

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.  She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:25-30

This scripture certainly does not describe me. Maybe the first line, but I am still trying to figure out how someone can be all five verses. I guess that will be just one of the questions I will ask when I get to heaven.

Today is Mother’s Day. After having a busy week with my daughter I told her that I was thinking of using several posts on Mother’s Day from my original blog. I did rework one. I only reworked one because I didn’t have many posts about Mother’s Day.

It’s a weird day for me. It has been for the past 56 years. In school if there were Mother’s Day projects I would be allowed to draw anything I wanted to. I would stare at the projects and be reminded that I didn’t have anyone to give it to. So, the day became an uncomfortable day for me.

When I became a mother, it was still a weird day. I never wanted to go out for a special dinner because the prices are raised in honor of Mom. I try each year to have a better attitude, but I confess I am pretty jaded about it.

When I think of my daughters being mothers, it’s a different story. Pride wells up in me. They are both wonderful mothers. I can see all five of the above verses in them. I ponder where they learned this. My words to them after they turned 11 was, “I am just winging it now. If you make it to 17, then I will count it a victory.” They grew into beautiful women in spite of me, so I know that was God.

Distilling the day down, though, Mothers should receive honor and praise daily. They deal with kids who don’t want to get up, don’t want to eat, don’t want to go to school, don’t like the way socks fit. They deal with a lot of don’ts. They deal with all the emotions. My youngest would say, ‘so many emotions, so little time’. Mothers are the ones kids want for skinned knees, skinned hearts, tummy aches hiding a fear of something in school. Mothers do not get paid, no one could afford their worth. It is a thankless job. It is an exhausting job. It’s a job that is taken for granted. One day to honor them is not enough.

So for those mothers reading, thank you for being who you are. For those who just have a mother, remember her, or call her.

Today I will go to church and will most likely be asked if I want to go out. I will hesitate, and wait for the day to be over. I love mothers and motherhood, but honestly, I dislike this day.

Ode to Mom

He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, Psalm 23:3a  (NLT)

I was eleven when my Mom died. For Mother’s Day, I decided to rework a post about her from my original blog.

As the years go on memories of my Mom ebb and flow.  Sometimes there is a clarity to the memories like looking through a window pane. Time seems to be non-existent, like she could be sitting right beside me.  Other times the memories are like an old faded letter.  The edges are worn and the ink is fading.  Time has begun to erase the sharp edges and the clarity of what you are grasping for.

In reality, how many of us truly remember everything from when we were eleven and before?  That is an age of being a child.  A place where things like cancer and death should not exist.  A place where there should not be a bed set up in what was a playroom before. There should not be memories of a table filled with prescription bottles and get well cards.  A child should not know what a bed pan is or how to empty it.  But, this child, along with her sisters knew that.  It was our reality. It was what part of our childhood consisted of for six months.

I have often wondered what lessons I had gleaned from my Mom.  She taught us the basics, how to eat, wash, take care of ourselves, iron, do some laundry.  We learned by mistakes how to cook, clean, iron things other than handkerchiefs, how to get groceries, how to be strong, independent women.  We learned to take things in stride.  We had learned the hard lessons already,  people get sick and people die and you learn to stand up, dust yourself off and move in a forward direction.

I spent many years in differing situations wondering what my Mom would do, what she would think, what she would say.  I still do that occasionally.  The truth is, I don’t know.  For the woman who I knew and love was young.  I was young.  The truths she would have imparted to me would be the truths you tell a child.  Truths that are not totally complete, for as a child how can you grasp a full concept of things?

The one thing I remember is her telling me that Psalm 23 was her favorite Bible verse.  Of course, it may have been for that moment it was her favorite, but, I hold that psalm close to me as being her favorite.  I chose this verse today because of her.  Also, this verse reminds me of Whose guiding hand has been ever-present in my life.  He has guided me when I didn’t have a Mom to verbally tell me not to do things.  Did I always listen?  No, just like I would not have listened to my Mom.

The point is, though, that we are given one mother.  She brings us in to the world.  She nourishes us, holds us, loves us and teaches us as much as she can.  As a mother myself, I know mothers are not perfect creatures.  We tire.  We get discouraged. We sometimes focus on the wrong things.  We don’t always listen with an open mind.  We don’t always agree with what is going on.  But, underneath all of it, at the very core of our hearts, that bond between mother and child is permanently knit into our being.  It is a cord that cannot be severed.  It is our lifeblood.  It is our heartbeat.  It is that voice deep within us that echoes throughout us.

That cord was broken so many years ago, but the song of love still exists for me.  You are still missed.

Needed

A mother goes through stages in her life. At first their child is dependent on them for their every need. It’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. You cannot catch your breath because it may interfere in the next feeding or diaper change.

Mothers of toddlers are tossed to and fro. From the highs of learning to walk and crawl and eat by themselves, to the terrible twos, the torturous threes and the fickle fours. They can’t catch their breath because they are too busy moving.

School starts and a Mother’s life switches gears. Slowly they go from hearing about the excitement of a day to being more of a taxi service to seeing them as they go from one adventure to another.

A Mother will accept each season of their lives with grace and a few tears. Eventually a Mother is someone who will text or call or be on the receiving end of a text or call.

At the end of their tenure, they are grandma and their breath is lonely for the days of being needed. We accept this as mothers, and it is a hard pill to swallow. I can remember a few years back when I tearfully complained to Dale that the girls no longer needed me. I expected consolation. What I got was a reminder. He looked at me and hinted to me that I had taught them to be strong independent women who could take care of themselves. The hint was supposed to comfort me and in a way it did, but it didn’t help my feeling of not being useful.

Last week we received a call from our oldest. It wasn’t a panic call. It wasn’t a call where she called me Mommy (those are dangerous ones). She simply asked when we could come up. They needed some help. Our son in law needed another set of strong hands and our daughter just needed some help.

I hung up and all at once Motherhood came to life. I felt needed. It was a great feeling, one I am enjoying thoroughly.

“So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy” Proverbs 23:25 (NLT)