Mother’s Day is officially here and I must say I have been dreading it this year. It will be the first year with Mom gone. It is hard to believe it has been since October 27, 2015, that she drew her last breath and was ushered to the arms of Jesus. She is in a great place, reunited with Dad and the sister I never met.
My mom was a complicated, complex, and extremely intelligent woman. She was not a perfect mom. I can remember screaming incidents when I was growing up that would make the child protective services come running in today’s world. Looking back at her life now I have an entirely different perspective and I am astounded at how well she did under extremely trying circumstances. She eloped with my dad before she finished high school. Living in poverty, dealing with a husband who could never settle into one place (I lived in 16 different places by the time I finished high school), and trying to raise six children had to be extremely stressful.
She was one of the strongest individuals I ever met. Once she decided to make a life change and finish high school and become a nurse, there was no looking back. She became a woman who had some control of her own life and her own decisions. And she became a better mom.
Today as we celebrate mothers everywhere, I cannot help but think that we downplay the complicated, complex individuals they are. We say “Thanks, Mom, for loving me.” But I don’t think we ever fully realize the sacrifices, the worries, and the challenges that come with that love. The sleepless nights, the worry that we are not a good enough mom, the guilt when our child hurts and we can’t fix it, the emotional toll when we see our child make poor choices—they are all part of the complexities of motherhood.
We moms tend to beat ourselves up a lot and are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. We second guess our decisions, we weigh ourselves against those perfect moms out there (there really aren’t any, you know), and we have a hard time forgiving ourselves when we mess up. For every good decision we make raising our children, we may make a bad one. For every praise we give, we may level a criticism. Being a mom is just hard.
And my mom knew that. She sometimes voiced regrets that she hadn’t done things differently when we were little. But the thing is, she did an awful lot of things right. She taught us the merit of hard work, the importance of a good education, the value of family relationships, and the need to look at others with compassion. In the end, she did the most important thing of all–she loved us.
So I guess, I am going to be like everyone else on Mother’s Day and say, “Thanks, Mom, for loving me.” Love you forever.
Verses to ponder
Proverbs 31:26-27: She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 2:2-10 – beginning of Moses’ story
1 Samuel 1:1-28 – the story of Samuel and Hannah