It is Mother's Day in the United States. It is a hard day for a lot of the female population. I remember when it was a hard day for me to. I spent the first two years of our marriage begging God for a child without success. I remember hating going to church on that day as I felt someone less of a woman. Little did I know how much mothering I was doing to children that weren't my own and yet I touched.
The couple of families I babysat and the youth I would teach. They were mothered by me. Of course I didn't think this mattered, but now as a mother I know how much it matters to me that there are others out there mothering and fathering my children. After all they don't listen to me, maybe something someone else says will sink in and make a difference. That is the prayer I pray each night now.
Then I was blessed six times over! I truly count each one of my kids as a blessing from God. He trusted me enough with these precious souls. Wow! What trust.
But today my thoughts go to my own mother who has left me here on earth by myself, or at least there are some days I feel all alone. As I have been thinking about her these passed few days because of some very hard things that I have had to deal with, I have stopped to count my blessings. She was a super hero to me. She did so much and I was so ungrateful. She put up with so much and still smiled. I remember one day when I saw this photo in a photo book she had.
She is about 17 in this photo and at the time I was 12. I was doing some report in school on someone in my family. I don't recall why I picked my mom, but I did. I even asked to use this photo and she let me. She must have been really trusting. The reason I picked this photo was for the first time I really stopped and looked at my mom. She wasn't the "old lady" who was my mom. I didn't see her "knobby hands" (her words, not mine). I saw a woman who was beautiful. She wasn't just a mom that day to me, she was a young girl. I don't remember why it hit me so hard, but it did and to this day I can't but help think of that a-ha moment when I look at that photo of my mom. She is a beautiful woman, not just my mom.
We had a rocky spot while I was a teen. I remember later her telling me that I was a difficult teen. I thought I was a darn good teen. As a mom of teens now I don't know how she made it through me, but back then I knew I had my head screwed on correctly, knew where I was going and I knew I would be OK. I'm sure those were the opposite thoughts of my mom and I did give her a fright.
The day I realized how much she meant to me was the day she pulled away from my first college apartment. I was just 18 and she had just left me 800 miles away from every friend and my family. How was I going to make it by myself without her? Worse was that it was going to take her at least 12 hours to make it home and so I had 12 hours before I could hear her voice (remember this is before cell phones--I'm old). Of course I wasn't going to admit it, but dang I wanted her then. I remember crying and yet trying to be brave. I did have an older brother in town if I needed him, but that didn't lessen the miss, I still missed her. Calling her was going to be sporadic as both of us had very little money for phone calls. Email didn't exist and so I wrote her weekly. Oh, how I wish I had those letters. I would laugh now reading them, but I'd still like to read them.
The above photo was taken the week I left for college in my back yard. I remember her saying she wanted a shot with me before I left. I'm so glad I took this photo and didn't wait until the perfect day.
During my first year at BYU, I remember after one horrifying date coming home and the first thing I did was call home. I had to call collect and thankfully she was home. "I called to tell you I was OK mom," I told her. "I knew you would be worried." She told me she always worried about me and always prayed for me. I'm sure she was truthful, but I'm also sure she had no idea what type of hell I had just endured. It didn't matter. All that mattered was that I heard my mother's voice and the words that she loved me and was always worried about me.
Then I got married and was able to call my mom more often. Boy did I feel richer.
She was the person I called often when I needed help, encouragement or direction from her. I remember her telling me that I was entitled to all the inspiration I needed from above. I remember her telling me that I was a good mother and that I had been raised well. She was right! I was raised well and right!
Boy I miss my mom. I miss her wise counsel. I miss her calm voice. I miss her warm smile. I miss her conversation. I miss her. But she gave me everything I ever needed. I just have to remember it all. Thankfully I know every now and then I hear her voice and she is always saying exactly what I need to know.
Mom, Happy Mother's Day!