For several days I have been in the process of writing a Mother’s Day post in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Mother‘s Day. Did you know Mother’s Day is going to be 100 years old? Did you know it is a week from this coming Sunday? Hint, hint. After my girl said such sweet words to me, it’s now my turn to talk a bit about my own mom.
While pondering what to write, I couldn’t help but get a little lost. After all, where does one begin when writing about one’s mother? There’s too much! She’s my friend, yes, but she’s also mom. She’s the grandmother of my children, yes, but she’s also my father’s wife. With all of this, the surface still hasn‘t been scratched. Do I share about how she cries liquid emotion so easily, just like her own mother? About how she trains a dog to do tricks better than anyone I’ve ever known? What about how the ability to snort when laughing originated with her before coming down to some of my daughters and me?
Some writers share what their mothers have taught them. Hello! This is my mother. She has taught me almost everything. She was the very first teacher I ever had. Even though I totally lacked imagination when she first attempted to play school with me and wanted nothing to do with the “desks“ set up in the living room, I still learned from her. Granted, learning how to use my imagination was probably one of the largest challenges I provided herJ But I did learn how, by watching her. The fact that I now encourage my children to smell the flowers on the pages of books testifies to this fact.
Some of the lessons I learned from my mother were ones she did not teach intentionally. By watching her, I learned to be active in church, to visit friends whenever the mood struck, to make fresh brewed ice tea, that coffee is necessary when eating dessert, to use the newest book I want to read as motivation for completing the day’s tasks, to study the Bible, to give students my all, to pray over little for God will make it much, and more, so very much more. When a fellow church goer is less than pleasant, I learned to pray for God’s love through me. I also learned that friends make most everything better, even if they do make us laugh so hard we snort.
Seriously, where is a daughter to start? It can’t be put into words this mother-daughter relationship. Mentor, defender, protector, teacher, encourager, supporter, soother, trainer, corrector, therapist, counselor, and yes, friend. Men have written eloquently of their mothers, but as expressive as they are, the words of sons won’t work for daughters. Daughters possess a wordless knowledge of this beautiful mystery, the mystery known as mom.
If a daughter becomes a mother herself, this unspoken understanding opens up in unimaginable ways. For only after becoming a mother herself does a daughter begin to grasp the true enormity of her own mother’s love. It is impossible to grasp the pain in a mother’s heart or the passionate intensity of her prayers for her teenage children until one has teenage children of her own. Only after cleaning up vomit at 2 o’clock in the morning does someone truly appreciate the sacrifices of personal comfort made by their own mom. In moments like these, and many others, being a mother reveals your own mother to you as nothing else ever could.
Even as I try to write and fail to find the right words, it is my mother’s unfailing love I am counting on. I am resting in the knowledge that she knows she is loved, even when my words and actions are weak. I know she has been a mother with a crying little one so understands that our days don’t always allow us to do what we want nor when, and that sometimes, they keep us so busy our heads turn to mush and it’s a miracle we are able to get out even three intelligible words in a row. With that in mind, please know that these seven words contain more love than it seems they could.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM!
I LOVE YOU!