Today is Mother’s Day. I am at my computer writing to you in the quiet hours of a May Sunday morning. I am happy about that.
I am thankful for the hours to put my heart on paper and not crying my heart out for a mom that is no longer here, and for children that are far away.
My daughter, Amy, is in California running a race at Disney World in Anaheim. I am glad she is taking a vacation to see friends and is happily doing something she loves.
My daughter, Heather, is at home in Florida relaxing with her daughter and husband. They will probably go to the beach today and celebrate life. Heather has always loved the ocean that both calms and gives her great joy.
My son is settling in his new home in Colorado. I am sure he is preparing for another trip to South Africa to save the beautiful animals of our world. Corey has always tried to “save” something all his life.
I am the happiest mom on the planet. I am grateful that God decided to give these three children to this undeserving girl. I am glad they are all doing something they love.
When I was in high school I dreamed of a white house with the proverbial picket fence to hold my family of six children and a great husband. I would sew their clothes, prepare their meals and have hot cookies for them when they came home from school.
I never saw myself as a career woman, or a woman who would celebrate some holidays without a gaggle of kids around. That was just not me.
Then life happened. I did marry a great guy, had trouble having those six children, and lived in an apartment for years. More years passed and life happened again.
Divorced, alone, three children, and work. Motherhood was not only a blessing but a hardship. I look back on those days and wonder how in the world I did it all. I would wake at 5:30, cook breakfast, get the children ready for school, then off to work until dark. Back home, I would cook dinner, clean the house, wash the clothes and read a bedtime story or three.
I struggled financially, had horrible child care, broke down a couple of times from sheer exhaustion, battled depression, and prayed a lot. In other words, I was one of thousands of women out there going through the same thing. We tried to do it all. It was virtually impossible to do it alone. My extended family lived in other states. My three little ones were my only constant lifeline to life.
Would I do it all again? You bet! Was it hard? Yep! I was so busy providing I know I didn’t do it all correctly. I was by no means the best mother. I was selfish at times, I cried too much at times, and I know I yelled too many times. I disciplined too harshly or too leniently. I struggled the whole way, but there is one thing I did perfectly – I loved those children with every fiber of my being and they knew it.
My children gave me the bold courage to try anything. They gave me energy when I thought I was depleted. They gave me laughter when my cheeks were drenched in tears. They gave me hope when all I had left was a prayer. They gave me friendship and companionship when I felt alone. They gave me honor as a human being.
They grew up and worked hard to help with their education. They believed in God. They loved one another. They survived their teenage years and my teenaged mind.
My three children have crossed many hurdles in life. They have done so with pure guts and determination. They understand that life can change on a dime and that living is a gift never to be taken for granted.
I am thankful I have been there in crisis to hold their hands and encourage them. I know I am capable of brave feats that without them I would have never understood.
I have learned that the dreams of bliss in my youth do not hold a candle to the reality of this life, this love, this day, this moment.
Even though I will not see my children this Mother’s Day, I look above my desk and am surrounded with photos of those that along with God’s grace, gave me my finest hours.
There is Corey in his baseball uniform at age 5, beaming with pride. Heather with her big blue eyes, staring down at me with a slight, sad smile at age 2. Amy, with her curly hair at age 1, being held in my arms and laughing because I am tickling her leg.
There in the corner is my mother at age 86, holding her great-granddaughter.
The loves of my life in snapshot moments of living.
I hope wherever you are on Mother’s Day, you take a moment to be thankful for your mother, your child, your grandchild, and all those in your family and realize that these blessings are your own journey to forever.