Mothers aren’t perfect. They’re certainly not invincible, or shatterproof, or immortal. We don’t seem to understand that when we’re teenagers; but when we get old enough, we come to appreciate the perfection that lies in their imperfection. We realize that they juggled a lot more pressure than we ever knew in our carefree young lives…and they gave up a lot more than we knew just to see us have more. They didn’t wave their sacrifices in our faces to get our sympathy; but they didn’t get shoes or dresses or needed items many times, just so that we could have shoes, clothes, toys, music. Their advice wasn’t always welcomed—and times we may have copped an attitude, snapped at them, or rolled our eyes; but there was truth in their weary voices when they said, “One day you’ll understand when you have kids of your own.” And the first time you realize that she’s not there when you pick up the phone to call her, it will grieve you that you didn’t do more for her—no matter how good you were, how often you called or visited, or how much you did for her.
I beg of you, if you still have your mother, treat her with honor! Whether she’s a saint or the lowest sinner, show her the respect that a mother deserves. God’s Word doesn’t tell us to honor our parents only if they’re GOOD parents…but to honor them, PERIOD. If she’s angered you, hurt your feelings, abandoned you, embarrassed you with her weaknesses, or otherwise failed to measure up in some way to your expectations; or, if you’ve become upset and refuse to speak to her, please, reach out to your mother this Mother’s Day. And for heaven’s sake, don’t wish someone else were your mother instead of her. Life is too short to harbor unforgiveness or bitterness. You owe it to her AND to yourself to put aside whatever might have become a wall between you, even if you’re having to make peace sitting at her grave. Say what you need to say even if it’s “too late.” Let this Mothers’ Day be one of healing and closure.
When I was a child, the tradition was that the ladies/girls wore a red carnation to church if their mothers were still alive, or a white one if their mothers were gone. I used to feel sad on Mothers’ Day for the ones who had to wear a white flower. By the time I’d turned 21, the tradition was long gone; but were it not, by this coming Sunday, I would have collected 25 of those white carnations.
Was Mom perfect? Far from it. But how I miss her. So many questions I would love to have asked her in the years that have transpired, things that only a mother and daughter talk about. She missed practically my whole adult life. Though we were always open and honest, close and loving, I respect her so much more now than I did. I see her strengths and gifts so much more than her frailties. I even “get” her finally, as I find myself doing little things she did: laughing her laugh, or exercising the creativity I inherited from her. I laugh at the aging process as I’m arriving where she was when her life was cut short; remembering fondly her joking about hot flashes, insomnia, gray hair, and wrinkles. Time only seemed to trace a beautiful patina on her countenance, and I know now that she was truly remarkable. I was blessed.
Happy Mothers’ Day in Heaven, Mom. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.