Saturday, May 09, 2009

Thank God for My Mother

I won’t get to see my mother on Mother’s Day. In fact I haven’t seen her on a Mother’s Day in over 20 years. When you live 2,000 miles away and only get home once a year or so the odds are poor that you’ll be around for Mother’s Day.

I send a card and try to write some of my heart, love and appreciation for her. This year I also sent roses. I’ll give her a call on Sunday afternoon and say some things that I want her to know I think and feel about her. But it’s not quite the same as connecting eye-to-eye.

My mother was raised in a small town in Arkansas and married right out of high school. I was born about a year later when she was 20. After my father was discharged from the Marines my parents moved to Memphis, a big city for two small town people. By the time I was 4 my parents divorced.

Somehow my 24 year old mother got a job (with no real skills), made a living and provided for me and my 2 year old brother. She didn’t own a car so she walked a mile to a bus stop and rode the bus every day. She cooked meals, washed dishes and clothes, cleaned house, played with her children and paid the bills. I have memories of waking up late in the night and walking out of my bedroom and seeing my mother doing all the housework. Then she would get up and do it all again the next day.

I saw my mother go to work when she was sick because she had to keep her job and make the money. My mother would come home exhausted but still go outside and play with me and my brother. My mother helped us with homework, and little league teams and paper routes and boy scouts.

As a child I didn’t realize how heroic my mother was. It wasn’t until I became a parent of two small children that I began to “get it”.

When I was 32, married and a dad, I felt that God was calling me to move to the Seattle area to plant a new church. I told my mother what I thought God wanted me to do and her response was one of love and support. She blessed me to follow my calling even though I was now her only son (my brother unexpectedly died when I was 12) and I was taking her only 2 grandchildren far away.

About a year after I moved to Washington my mother had a terrible stroke and through the years she has had several other strokes and numerous medical complications. Though only 73 today, she is virtually homebound and severely limited in what she can physically do. Most of the memories that my children have of their grandmother is of a frail and physically challenged woman. They never really got to know the strong, determined, persevering champion that raised me.

There is seldom a time that I face a challenge or disappointment or feel a temptation to quit that I don’t think about my mother and receive inspiration to keep on keeping on.

Today I’m thanking God for giving me my mother. She is a good gift to me. One of the good gifts God has given my mother and me is my step-father. I’ll tell you about him next month. Click here to see that post.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I really enjoyed reading this one about your mom. Thanks for sharing. Your mom sounds like a extraordinary person and mother.