I love my mother and sometimes I miss her dreadfully. When I miss her, it is always with the disclaimer: *but not the person she was when she died, but who she was when I was young*. My mother died of mental illness. Reader's Digest asked people to submit a 6 word tribute to their mother. Mine?
Good intentions. Mental illness. Mercy. Missed.
She did the best she could. There is grace for the rest.
It took me a few minutes of reflection to be able to put my mother to rest again. I remembered something a faithful friend said to me a few years ago. He listened to my mother-fears and pointed out that my children have a very different childhood than my own. This is so beautifully true. The poverty, mental illnesses, divorce, anger, etc are far removed from my children. I, on the other hand, am still close enough to smell it and hear it. This leads to my fear.
I sat on the side of my bed this morning and thought of my kids still sleeping soundly in their beds. I thought about their lives and their growing knowledge of the Cross. They see sin and sorrow, death and pain, but they have a different filter than I did.
When I entered high school, it had become childish and a "waste of my potential" to want to be a wife and mother. In 11th grade, my school offered a job fair and we had to declare "what we wanted to be when we grew up". Motherhood and marriage wasn't on the list. I had to choose something else. I chose physical therapy or teaching, but deep in my heart, I just wanted to be a homemaker. I kept it quiet though, on the down low. I'm a people pleaser.
I have a friend I knew when I was in high school. She knew everything about me. Recently, after a divorce and a death, we stood in the cemetery and cried together. She had many regrets. As we stood weeping together, she looked at me and said, "Please tell me you don't take your life for granted. You have everything you ever wanted. That is so rare, Crissy. Be thankful and don't take it for granted. Promise me." I promised.
This morning, I stood in my hallway and listened to my kids' silence and kept that promise. Mother's Day is not about celebrating my mother but forgiving her and knowing that she tried. Mother's Day is remembering to savor the fact that I have everything I ever wanted and more. I should get my husband and children gifts on this day, not the other way around.
I asked my kids to complete the six word tribute. Here are their results.
Wise. Loving. Strong. Excited. Funny. Ridiculous.
She's a loving but annoying mother. (haha Ty.)
Loving. Sarcastic. Smart. Pretty. Crazy. Creative.
There aren't words to describe her.
She's got a really great personality. (yes, Maggie was being funny)
Then I asked them, "What is the one sentence that I say the most?"
I love you.
Be quiet! Your dad is sleeping.