Proverbs 31:29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” NIV
Another Mothers Day has come and gone. My children blessed me with cards and candy and chocolate covered strawberries. There were phone calls and texts and messages. There was dinner with my sweetheart and son, a movie with youngest daughter and sweet baby Lyric, church with sweetheart, my best friend and her husband, and a nice long four hour nap. (ok well the dinner was yesterday but I don’t go out to eat on the Sabbath so it was an early Mothers Day) Don’t tell anyone but the nap was the best part of my entire weekend! I couldn’t believe it when I woke up. I never get to sleep like that during the day. Of course, that is why I am writing this blog in the middle of the night. Because, as every mother will tell you, if you nap, your up all night! But it was surely decadent and relaxing.
|me, middle daughter, my mom|
I was thinking about my mom today. We are estranged and I am sure we will be until the end of time. She comes from a long line, ok, I come from a long line of grudge holding women. It makes me sad that I don’t get to share this new found love and life that I have found in Christ with her. She is such a part of who I am today. What is even more sad is that there were dozens of years when she was my biggest supporter. We did everything together. I took her to all my trade shows and we vacationed around the country. I went to every doctor appointment, every hospital stay, every sleepless night from watching her hooked up to machines. I sat beside her through brain surgery, back surgery, heart surgery, and failing lungs. I walked beaches with her, camped with her, fished with her, played bingo with her, and went through two wars with her. She helped me with my children, my farm, my garden, my life, my failed marriages, and my lost and lonely times. I love her dearly and miss her friendship. I envy those women who get to spend mothers day with their mothers. I pray that God will help my mother find peace after years of bitterness and anger.
I have had many stand in mothers throughout the years. Some are still a part of my life and some are looking down on me from heaven. My mom was super mom for the first quarter of my life. The perfect stay at home mom of the 60’s. Homemade halloween costumes, cookies every day after school, hideous homemade outfits that we had to wear, (ok that was a gimme) and the best biscuits in the world. When our world fell apart when I was 14, she had to go to work. Life for all of us changed so dramatically. My grandmother Luella became a surrogate mother, along with my Aunt Carol and my Aunt Judy. Then my step mother Marianne who was there every step of the way when I was pregnant with oldest daughter. Each of these women shaped my life in ways they will never know. I thank God every day for all the things I learned from each one of them. Sadly, my Aunt Judy passed away some years ago but she taught me more about compassion and kindness than she ever knew. She was a beautiful woman who raised amazing daughters (and sons) who were willing to share their hearts and home with me at a time when I was lost and alone. My step mother Marianne gave me her strength and wisdom at a time when I was alone and afraid, pregnant with my first child, and struggling to be a new wife. My Aunt Carol taught me how to enjoy life to the fullest, even when the world tells you that you should be angry and bitter about your circumstances. My grandmother Luella was absolutely hands down the coolest grand mother ever. In her 70’s she was camping and fishing with us on barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. A fighter to the end, she never once expressed anything other than optimism to me about all the bad cards that life had dealt her. I have a picture that has five generations of women in our family in it. My grandmother, my mom, me, oldest daughter, and oldest granddaughter are all gathered together. It is rare to even begin to get three generations of people in a picture, much less five. I will have to scan it and put it online someday. (I will put it on my to do list!)
|Sweetheart’s mom Gail|
I am grateful to every woman who has had a part in making me who I am today. There were some who had just brief moments in my life and some who are still there for me. I am grateful to Christ’s mother Mary and how she accepted God’s command for her, even though it meant going against everything that made sense to her. I am grateful for Cyndy who mothered my children when I was not capable of doing it. I am grateful for my children who love me as their mother even though I am flawed. God has given every woman a chance to be a mother. Whether it is her natural child or whether she is a stand in mother in some way. You never know when your life or your words or your love will impact a child in a way that will change their life for good. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think that while that may be true, it is the sharing of gifts from every woman in a child’s life that makes that child the person they will become. Thank you to all the woman past and present who still “mother” me. You have changed me for the good.