May 7, 2011

Mother's Day: Then and Now

It used to baffle me when folks, who were not my child, wished me happy Mother's Day. Clerks at the grocery store would confidently bid this salutation at the end of a transaction, void of any knowledge as to whether I had a mother or a child. I couldn't get past the fact they were wishing me Happy Mother's Day and they weren't my child. I viewed the day as one reserved for the family party's involved, not every Tom, Dick, or Harry. (I get hung up on peewee pressures in the world, bare with me.)

Time, however, has changed and so has my life's season. When I was younger life was simpler. Mom was alive, our children were young, and I had oddles of energy. Mother's Day involved fine tuning my observation skills months in advance, listening closely to even a whisper's hint of something mom might enjoy. Years ago she was into frogs, so I snatched up every frog item I could scout out for her. She ended up measuring rain with frog rain gauges, propping reptilian jumpers in her garden, entry hall, and living room. Her knack for decorating made it all come together in good taste, but I assure you if even one of those figures had been the real deal, I'd have never set foot on her property. She had a platoon of frogs.

Mom's been gone for 4 1/2 years and a new season is in bloom. This year in particular I've noticed two distinct traits come to surface I've never before exhibited. First, for some reason, I want to visit mom's grave. As a youngster I thought I'd visit her grave every week or more when she passed, but after six months of caring for her as cancer's squeeze gradually carried her away, the grave has been the last place I've wanted to visit. I suppose it reminded me too much of the pain of her last days. This Mother's Day, on the other hand, is different. I've had time to recover, I want to commemorate her life, and I'm ready to visit the cemetery.

Then there's the second trait a bloomin' in my heart and who'd have thunk this could ever pollinate in me of all people. Can you guess? I think you might have an idea. Dare I say? Should I reveal? Here she blows...I'm wanting to wish other ladies Happy Mother's Day too! Can you believe it. Have tables turned or what. The notion snuck up on me like a freight train. One day, before I realized metamorphosis had occurred, I found myself rehearsing a checklist of who I wanted to wish you know what to. On what I envision will be a sunny bright Mother's Day, I'm going to call my sister and sister-in-law (that's two). Then I will text my three co-workers and bid them the same salutation of grocery store clerks past. That totals five women of whom I did not come from or give birth to, surely this is one for the Guinness Book.

I have a lot to be thankful for on Mother's Day. I don't have a mother here on earth anymore, but I did for a time. Our relationship wasn't perfect but I learned a lot of good things from my mother, the value of faithfulness, the importance of remaining steadfast, how to work hard in all I do, and keeping life simple and family first, just to name a few. I try to pass these attributes on to our son, Drew, just in case one day he finds himself looking back on how he was brought up and deciding how to raise his own children. Who knows, maybe one day he'll find himself wishing Happy Mother's Day to women folk who aren't his mama.

May the Lord bless you this Mother's Day and whatever life's season you are in at this time.

Mom's last visit to our home
before she died.
I knew she'd never return.
Her and dad are both with the Lord.


Cheryl Barker said...

Thanks for sharing that precious last photo of your mom with us, Nancy. With Don's mother passing away just a few months ago, I know how precious those photos can be.

Hope you had a happy Mother's Day! :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts. I've always wished women who were not my mother a "Happy Mothers Day", especially those of the Family of Christ, drawing my perspective from 1 Timothy 5:2 where the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to "treat...older women like mothers, younger women like sisters...". I admit that it seems a little presumptuous to wish every woman "Happy Mothers Day" if you don't know that she's a mother, but as one of our pastors said, "Everyone has a mother, so Mothers Day is for everyone."

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

Thanks for sharing the photo of them! I love hearing happy mothers day from others. I don't know why, but it seems like and endearment of respect. I guess because it's a "club" I'm so thankful that I belong to.