If you are a mother or your mother is still with you, congratulations. Happy Mother’s Day!
If you are a single mother, double blessing and kudos to you! As I shared today on my Face Book page of the same name and that supports this blog,
“HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY and a super shout OUT to all the Lord’s single moms! Yeah yeah YEAH! You ladies rock.
You became amazing women of God, worked hard to support your family often without child support or alimony, and raised your children without a godly husband by your side. With the Lord’s help you did it and we salute you.
Be blessed this weekend and all month long!”
I miss my mother. She passed away several years ago in a nursing home. That morning, early, when I got the call from her facility telling me the news, my heart sank and my face hurt. I suddenly dropped into the shadowy world of humans who mourn the loss of their mothers and for whom life will never be the same. By the time I got to the facility, I knew she’d been in the Lord’s presence for maybe three or four hours, completely healed, completely safe and secure, reunited with her departed friends and rejoicing and frolicking with the mothers of others who I knew had passed. I said good-bye to her body, but I knew she wasn’t there. She was long gone.
Never did I suspect, when I was first informed of complications to a minor surgery and traveled to see her that last time, that it would be my last period of time to see her alive on this earth. I know I will see her again, as I know she knew the Lord, but soft memories and blurred emotions linger, though it has been years. Those of you who have lost their mothers know that lingering, sorrowful, empty, painful feeling, even if you did not have a great relationship with her. I did not have a great relationship with my mother much of the time. I did take her for granted all the time, until her health began to decline in later years.
I thought about writing on something else tonight. However, this thought of letting the Spirit minister to me so that I can minister to Christian singles who have lost their mothers, rather than Christian singles who have never had children, kept coming back to me.
Today I can reflect on her life lessons without crying or becoming too melancholy if I keep my musings short. There is certain ethnic food I love, but I have to be emotionally ready to face them because they always remind me of my mother. I remember the bad days–once she had to have surgery and my sister and I got stuck at home without her presence, only dad’s. They had loud arguments. There were days she would become anxious and have panic attacks after finding out some things about their marriage. Her panic attacks stopped when she became a Christian.
I remember the good days–her singing, though I didn’t think she had that great of a voice. My mother and I spending summers at her sister’s home with their family when school was out because my dad was not stationed with us (he was in the military). Her teaching me to draw. Her telling me about stranger danger and how to make certain ethnic foods and how to tie a knot at the end of a thread when sewing by hand. Neither of my parents were affectionate; I gradually learned to do that after I became a Christian.
Every parent teaches their children inadvertent lessons, lessons that they did not mean to teach their kids. Some of those lessons were good, some not so good. My mother showed me life lessons, both good and bad, which I reflected on today. If what she lived reached one person, one Christian who, as a single, is raising a child, children, grandchildren, or other children, it will have been worth it.
1) She taught me up close and personal that a mother’s loyalty is unmatched, uncompromising, unflinching, and sacrificial. At one point in my parents’ marriage, she realized some bad things were happening that she could not change, and she began making preparations to leave this country and return to the country of her birth. She could have gone, except my father would not let her take me. He was determined to raise this daughter American. She stayed and suffered severe emotional and spiritual consequences that I had no idea even existed to the extent that they did until after she passed away and I talked to her best friend. My mom never told me to be a sacrificial mother, but I learned how sacrificial she was after she passed. May I be as loyal to any children I may have jurisdiction over in the future, but with better boundaries.
2) She never pursued her dreams very far as a young adult. In her late 20’s, she opened a restaurant and did well for while. However, she needed financial backing to go further. She never got that backing and got out of the restaurant business. She began singing in nightclubs. She was starting to climb in local popularity when she met my dad, and the rest was history. Bad history, for her. She never taught me to be careful in choosing which man to marry, or to pursue my dreams, but I observed it. May I never let romantic potential or other distractions deter me from fully pursuing what the Lord might have for me.
3) She stayed physically active nearly her entire life. She worked hard physically around the house to keep everything clean and was always walking, moving. I remember her lying in her bed on the days she didn’t feel well enough to walk around her facility like she typically enjoyed and making cycling motions with her arms and legs. She never had to tell me the importance of exercise or activity; I just did it. Today, as you may remember from previous blogs, I have been active physically with a gym membership for years. I worked out this morning! May I stay active and willing to work hard until the very end.
4) Though part of it was cultural, she never bad-mouthed my dad really badly most of the time. She demonstrated her loyalty to marriage, not just her husband, by staying married to him till he died of a stroke. She never remarried. She spent her remaining years as a free woman, giving and serving at church, learning the Word of God, and spending good times with her friends. May I be as loyal and faithful to my husband, once I finally make my choice, for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.
5) She became a Christian two years after I graduated from high school, and her life was changed by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit. It was cool to watch the transformation in my mom. We started talking about the Bible and politics and her past and all sorts of nifty things. I knew it was real when she insisted on going to church after my dad had stopped going and, especially, when she actually started saving money and paying the bills instead of being a spendaholic. I would come home to visit my parents and they had actually started fixing up the house and replacing furniture instead of spending money frivolously. One year they had a new TV. Another year, they had a nice, large patch of fresh strawberry plants growing. She even stopped smoking because she realized cigarettes cost too much and were terrible for her health!
Though she became a Christian later in life, or perhaps because she became a Christian later in life, she hungered and thirsted for the Word of God and fellowship with God’s people till the very end. May I hunger and thirst for God, God’s Word, and God’s people till either I join my mother in glory or the Rapture. And may I never tire of growing personally and professionally, learning things like how to take God’s risks and suffer well, and how to manage well everything He has given me to be a steward over.
I miss you, mom. Thank you for being such a good example of many things. I took you for granted growing up and I am glad I got to tell you how much I appreciated you and why long before you left. I’ll see you eventually and we’ll catch up on what God did in my life after you left. I love you.