I’ve been struggling for days. I’ve wanted to write special thoughts about Mother’s Day. And I can’t seem to sum it all up. How do I wrap up all the emotions of the word “Mother” into one quick snapshot on a blog? This may be a very poor attempt. But I am going to give it a try.
The word ‘Mommy’ has always been something I aspired to. When I was a little girl, I had the Golden Book called Little Mommy memorized.
Just like that blonde little girl in
the book, I played with my dolls (and my sisters’ dolls) so much that I honestly believed they were real. I even I cut my sister’s precious doll’s hair completely off because I truly believed it would grow back. I became known for having quite the imaginary life. Some called it lying. I preferred to call it pretending.
I now know the reason why being a Mommy entrigued me so much as a little girl; it is because of the amazing example I was given – my momma. She was magical. The comfort, safety, love, mystery, confidence, fun, warmth, security and faith she showered on us was incomparable. She embodied the word mom. I heard recently that great moms don’t just love their kids, they are love. She is love to me.
I remember clearly the day she passed the torch of motherhood to me. Our first born, Charlie, was coming home from the hospital, and like all new parents we had no clue. He was teeny tiny (in the 5 pound range when he came home), jaundiced and wrapped up like a glow worm in a billy-blanket, and I was trying very unsuccessfully to nurse. No one tells you as a new mom that nothing will make you feel more incompetent than not being able to nurse your baby. Charlie was like a little starving bird and my equipment just wasn’t doing the trick. My mom came and spent the night our first night and helped keep our new little miracle from starvation. She was the perfect blend of support and confidence builder. She didn’t hover. She didn’t take over. I remember as we “went to bed” that first night (which is a misnomer with a newborn) she gave me a kiss and left me on the couch next to my little glow worm safely tucked in the pack and play. And I thought; you’re going to leave me alone with him?? I have to do this alone? But I wasn’t alone. She had faithfully passed the torch. She was there; allowing me to navigate the challenges first on my own and then there to help when I called for her. That night… and my entire life. Even today. She’s been in heaven for nearly two years now. And yes, Mother’s Day is not the same without the warmth of her hug and her physical presence. But as my Dad would say, it’s like she’s just in the other room. She’s still guiding me. I feel her with me at all times. And I know she’s there when I call on her. And boy do I.
In addition to my momma, God has sent me so many examples of motherhood to follow. They say it takes a village and Lord have mercy, do I have a village!! Working mom or stay at home, I truly would not make it through life without my village. The examples that fill my mind are endless of moms past and present who bless me in miraculous ways.
Like my Grandmothers. I could go on for days about them. One raising 8 children amid war times and the changing society of the 50’s and 60’s while maintaining the most beautiful aura of love and peace I have ever encountered. The other showing me what it meant to work and be successful in a man’s world all while making a home, caring for a husband and raising good, God-fearing children.
Or my mother-in-law, who raised an amazing man to be my husband; instilling in him humility, hard work, determination and faith.
Or my sisters, each of whom have come into motherhood through their own miracle stories. From a baby being born on the kitchen floor and early births, to bed rest and overcoming infertility; they are momma warriors each in their own right and I couldn’t walk this road without them.
Or my Saint and friend Diane (or Didi) who had mercy upon me in a church pew as Chris and I were attempting to start a contemporary music group when Lewis was just a baby. She held my hand and said “as long as you are helping the church, I’ll help you.” It was if all my stress was washed away through her warm touch. And that began the most beautiful momma-hood friendship.
And then there is our angel – Ellie’s birth mom. She is the most awe-inspiring mother I have ever encountered. To be a mom is to think of others at all times before you think of yourself. And this was our angel. The most impactful memory I have of her was a few weeks before she gave birth, we had gone to lunch together and I was driving her home. We began to talk about names for the little girl inside her. I hesitated. She sensed that I was leery to give that beautiful life a name in my heart for fear of the “what ifs”. We had had two failed adoptions prior to this and my heart was guarded. She smiled at me and said without prompting – “You don’t have to worry. I’m not going to change my mind. This is your baby. God just chose me to give her to you.” That is motherhood personified. There is not a day that goes by that I do not pray for her and work to live up to the honor she gave me of being Ellie’s mom.
To say ‘thank you’ to all these moms and all the countless others I didn’t have room to mention – seems a failure of words. You have all changed my life… For the better.
Happy Mother’s Day