Remembering Mom on Mother’s Day
The world’s attempts to create a gender-neutral phraseology of parenting will never replace the truth of Ephesians 6:2-3: “‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with a promise, ‘so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (MEV).
As we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday, this scriptural truth is worth recalling. We honor our mothers—and fathers—because God said to do so.
As any parent knows, the task is fraught with dangers and frustrations. Not to mention the feeling that no amount of parental training or premarital counseling can prepare you for the unpredictable temper tantrums, childish thinking, and rebellious acts wrapped up in the heart of the young.
The parent who survives the challenge with sanity intact and their children somewhat well-adjusted to life deserves … well, honor.
While much of my childhood has passed into fuzzy memories, one episode I clearly remember is that cold wintry morning when I was about seven or eight. As soon as I awakened, I knew that the dreaded flu bug had struck during the night.
Hoping to reach the bathroom on time, I held my hand over my mouth and dashed into the hallway. Right before I could push open the bathroom door, off went Mount Vesuvius.
After some strange yellowish goo dripped down the walls, I stumbled to the commode and finished the job. Then I slunk back toward my bedroom and fell into bed.
Shortly after I laid my head on the pillow and thought that death would feel better than this, I heard my mother in the hallway. I assumed she had a washcloth in hand since I could hear swiping motions on the wall.
Then I heard her stifling back choking sounds. She was getting sick cleaning up my sick. In that moment, I appreciated her sacrifice, even though I never did the honorable thing by thanking her for it.
Mothers are like that, taking on thankless jobs, cleaning up their children’s messes, and tearing to shreds anyone who would dare lay a finger on her cubs. You might think I mean kids, but cubs more accurately describes a Mama Bear defending her offspring.
It has been more than 35 years since Mom passed into eternity. I still remember how devastated I felt when I learned that she had died before our plane touched down in Chicago.
We had planned to pick up my aunt and drive to the hospital where Mom spent her last week of life. Instead, we headed to the funeral home.
While my paternal grandmother had died four years earlier, this was the first loss I felt so keenly. Not because we got along. Friends who knew me could relate many stories of how Mom and I mixed like gasoline and water.
Yet, when she died I lost my #1 advocate. Eight years later a book I coauthored was released by a national publisher, the first time that had ever happened. It sold nearly 5,000 copies its first six months before fizzling into the never-never land where most books die.
I’ve often thought if Mom had lived, the sales would have been doubled, if for no other reason than her driving around and demanding family and friends buy a copy. Or two or three.
Only after she was gone did I appreciate what I had lost. Which is why I always tell a friend whose mother is still alive to thank her for doing what no one else would have: loved them the way she did. Remember your mother this mother’s day.