As the sun streamed through my bedroom window this beautiful, spring Mother's Day morning, I laid in bed and wrote a whole blog post in my head. When that happens, I struggle to retain it long enough to find my way to a keyboard to record those quickly fading sentences and magical paragraph flow. Ah, the mind of a writer (of sorts)...a sieve.
The first thing I thought of, of course, was my own mother. (A bunny trail thought tried to distract, calling attention to the fact that my beloved hubby really needed to call his own mother, but I managed to set that aside for the moment.) My mother, of blessed memory, was the consummate mother in that she always gave her all to caring for others, especially her children. Forever concerned about whether everyone was getting enough to eat, she was a fabulous cook. She absolutely missed her calling as a nurse, but my brother and I certainly reaped the benefits of her natural tendencies to care for the sick and needy. She taught, and modeled, and coerced us to know and do the right thing. I could talk for a long time about all her funny idiosyncrasies that will be forever live in my memory, but most importantly, it was from my special and gifted mother that I learned how to be a wife, to parent my children and to respect those around me. She taught me, from the day I was born, how to be supportive to others without controlling them. She was an amazing mother.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
I miss you so, so much.
Next, as I continued to write in my head, I thought of my own children...my own motherhood story. I suppose the legacy of any mother is their children, and I am blessed to claim three beautiful and intelligent young adults. My oldest, Morgan, is stunningly beautiful, popular and inherited my quick-witted sarcasm. Strong, graceful and artistic, she has a bright and natural sense of style that carries her through her days with confidence. Her smile lights up a room, attracting young and old alike. I couldn't be more proud of my graduate.
My second is Alex. He is self-motivated and efficient. Just like his father, he is smart as a whip and just exudes confidence as he strides into any situation with purpose and logic. Strong, handsome (he inherited the 'million-dollar' smile) and obviously immortal, the lucky girl who snags his heart will not be sorry, for he will prove himself to be funny, faithful and loyal. That is, as long as she keeps him fed.
And then, there is Taylor...Tay, for short. My youngest is warm and funny, passionate and available. He is the lucky one who inherited my empathic gene. Even though he is still in his early teens, he intuitively, watches and waits for his opportunity to connect, add his two cents or reach out to those around him. He keeps us all entertained with his narration of our life, as he is the only extroverted personality in our family - a fact that he bemoans regularly. As each of my children come to me to show their acknowledgment of this day in their own unique way, I am truly thankful and blessed with my motherhood experience, and take the opportunity, each Mother's Day, to evaluate my progress on the journey.
Mother's Day, as we all grumble every year, is considered a Hallmark holiday. In truth, the day was the brainchild of Anna Jarvis after she held a memorial service for her mother. After her efforts, she apparently thought that everyone needed to honor their mother in such a special way, so began a campaign to make Mother's Day a recognized American holiday. She, herself, was disappointed at the commercialization that encompassed the day not too many years after its inception in the early 1900s. It has since grown into what must be a billion-dollar industry with required commercial reminders, flowers, candy and cards. Going out to eat seems to be mandatory, or at least, the family picnic as a appropriate substitution.
I'm rather torn about the day, frankly. Like Thanksgiving, I have never needed a specific day that mandates an expected reaction and profession of emotion on my part. I have always felt that I could honor my mother any day or everyday, thus negating the need for a specific day just for that purpose. However, I understand that some are in need of reminder to remember how special their mother is...alright, I'll give it to those apparently lacking memory or the good sense to appreciate or show gratitude on their own.
As my mind continued to meander around the topic, I thought of the other 'mothers' in my life that I always remember when I think of Mother's Day, and they definitely hold a special place in my heart. They were gifts to me from the Holy One and I appreciate them for their love and care, mentoring and modeling. Without these dear souls, I wouldn't be the woman and mother I am today, without question. I remember sweet Paulette, who I constantly hold as the high watermark of home-keeper and faithful, respectful wife. Her calm demeanor and patient love toward her family influenced me in ways, I'm sure, she could never know. I also think of beautiful Marilyn with fond memories; she was so willing to be available during such a difficult time in my life after my own mother passed. She held me and mothered me too many times to count. I love them both and miss their presence in my life.
Happy Mother's Day, Paulette and Marilyn;
you are always in my heart.
Finally, there are my dear, dear friends who are mothers. Excellent mothers...dedicated mothers. They are the type of mothers who, despite all circumstances, continue to love, care and tend to their children without conditions. They inspire me and encourage me. They are giants and heroes in my mind, and I praise the LORD for them in my life; not just because of our friendship, but because they cause me to be better - a better mother, a better friend and a steadfast confidante to my children. Thank you so much Lisa, Netanya, Kevin, Laura and Patty for giving me the strength, support and love to be a better mother and friend. I just can't say it enough - I love you all so much.
So, that's my meager morning thoughts on this Mother's Day. Enjoy the flowers, candy and cards that come from family and friends. But if we didn't receive these things today, instead of getting down-hearted, let us all remember and appreciate the recognition we receive at those times when it isn't an obligation. For, in my mind, those expressions are the true and heartfelt gems of love and gratitude...a mother's reward...from those we mothers carry in our hearts forever.