How wonderful is it that during the month of May we celebrate our earthly mothers alongside our heavenly mother?! Now that I am a mother myself, I have a different understanding of what it means to be a mother, the daily, infinite number of sacrifices a mother makes, and the number of times a day a mother holds her tongue. Yes Mother, I know this will come as a shock to you, but I do actually hold my tongue...sometimes. Ha!
As a mother, I now understand what it means when moms say "I can't afford to be sick" or "There is no such thing as a day off." I know how necessary it is to be organized, to have a calendar of events, to know work schedules and plan around big events. I know what it means to bake a birthday cake after the kids go to bed and frost it at 10 pm. I know what it's like hiding Christmas presents and secretly spending all night wrapping them while they snooze soundly in the next room. I know what it means to check on the kids before I head to bed and to run into their rooms at night when they cry out or scream. I know what it means to rock babies to sleep in my arms, only to have them wake up screaming when I try to put them down. I know what it means to stay up all night cuddling a sick baby on the couch just to have to stay awake the next day to take care of another child. I know what it means, to sob on the other side of the door while the baby is trying to cry himself to sleep. I know what it means to make sure everyone is fed and bathed, all the clothes are washed, folded, put away, the dishes cleaned up after dinner, the ironing done (and you KNOW how I dislike ironing!), and the grocery shopping complete. I know what it means to plan our weekly and monthly meals in the most economical way possible. I know what it means to try and sneak leftovers and veggies into meals then try to trick the kids (or in my case my husband) into eating them. I know what it's like to be so tired after a day with the kids, that my eyes are closed the moment my head hits the pillow. I know what it means when moms say "Your body is no longer yours". I know what it's like to NEVER have PRIVACY again! Ha!!!! I know what it's like to hear "mom" hundreds of times a day and I know what it means to time manage! I know what it feels like when my child tells me "I'm mean" or that he doesn't like me. I know how awful it feels when my child is ungrateful for gifts or sacrifices I make, and I now know how small one can possibly feel when my child recalls all of my faults. I know the worry moms have over their children's futures and the doubts we have in our own parenting skills. I know what it's like to question all the decisions I am making for my children. I know what it means to "get out of bed" for my children on those days when all I want to do is sleep. All of these things I now know.
What I can't figure out, Mom, is how you did this for eight children and countless grandchildren, with little or no money for the last (almost) 40 years, all while staying with the same man and showing us what it means to honor our marriage vows?! You may not have been the most emotionally accessible mother or the most affectionate. You still have problems with saying those three crazy words "I love you" (gasp!) but then again, that's not your love language. You show love by serving others and I know the life of service you have lived and continue to live today. I cannot image the number of times one of us has disappointed you or the number of times we were ungrateful for you and to you. I do not want to imagine the many times a day you thought about "running away from it all" or how many times you asked God if this was all there was to life. And I can never imagine all the sacrifices you have made for each and every one of us.
So for all that is often left unsaid, for all that you did and still do that goes unnoticed, I (pathetically) say the only two words I can...Thank you! Thank you, mom for all that I know you have done and all that I'll never know or understand. Thanks for being consistent and for being you! God blessed this crazy family with you as the mother and I hope one day you will know what a blessing you have been to us. I hope one day you know how your humility, generosity, perseverance and quite strength mirrors our Blessed Mother's and that through this life of service our Lord is "well pleased" with you (He would just like you to say "hi" every once in a while. He misses you, ya know.)!!! And since I have NO problems with those simple words, let me just add...
..."I love you, mom"!
Happy Mother's Day 2015!
Your favorite daughter (in my very "humble" opinion...wink, wink),