My Three Mothers

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. Already, in my facebook memories I am seeing past posts I have made about this day. I am also seeing my friends post pictures of their Moms.

This holiday always gets to me. First of all Mothers should be honored each and every day, not just one day a year. We, (mothers) don’t need to have lavish gifts once a year to remind us that we are loved. No, and this is my personal opinion, a simple text saying ‘love you’ is enough, as long as we hear it at least once a week. A phone call is another gift that we cherish.

I have always tried to make Mother’s Day a family day. For without our family, how could we be a mother?

As I walked today thoughts of my three mothers came to mind.

Elizabeth Mae, my mother. She passed away when I was eleven. I remember her in bits and pieces. Sometimes those memories are crystal clear, like they happened yesterday, but for the most part memories of her are like looking through a frosted glass. Did they really happen? Or am I seeing a reflection of stories I have heard. Today, one memory came rushing in. I hadn’t thought of it for forever. My sister and I were fighting. I called her a name that I shouldn’t have uttered. I did it in front of my Mom. After spewing the disparaging word at my sister, I looked over to see my Mom’s expression. I took off running. I know, stupid thing to do. I just didn’t run around the inside of the house, I high tailed it outside, heading for the woods. I knew she wouldn’t follow me there. But, there she followed me! Grabbing me by the arm she popped me on the mouth. Not harshly, just enough for me to remember sixty years later. I was then reminded that she was my sister, and she deserved better. I apologized to my sister and as I think of this memory, I laugh. I underestimated how fast mothers can be.

A year after this incident my Mom passed away from pancreatic cancer.

Dottie, my older sister was my second mom. She gave up her carefree teen years to be a mother to my younger sister and myself. I did not make her role easy. I think she had the toughest role of all. She guided me through my teen years. She encouraged me to do things. She dared me to be better, to do better. I now realize that the happy memories of high school are due in part to her. She has said that my younger sister and I were her practice kids. The saying practice makes perfect shows in her children.

Marietta, is my third mother. She was so much more than a mother in law. She gave me the example of how to be a wife to her son. I often say she is my Naomi to my Ruth. Her mirthful laughter gave me hope. Her quiet conversations instructed me and guided me. I am so blessed to have had her in my life.

There were many other ‘Mothers’ in my life. Mothers of friends who would love me and care for me. Those bonus Moms who would answer questions about wardrobes when I wasn’t certain. Those who would just encourage me with a hug and a kiss.

These women all shaped me to be who I am today. I am so grateful and thankful.

“My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9 (NLT)

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.