This Mother’s Day, I want to pay tribute to the mothers who have had the most influence in my life. Yes, I only have one mother who gave birth to me, but there have been several other mothers who are a part of me, who helped shape my life.
The first mother, of course, is the one who gave me life (Mama). She gave me her red hair and brown eyes, and her fair skin that burns at the drop of a hat, although she left out some of her freckles. I’m not nearly as freckled as she was! Although I saw her as being as healthy as other mothers, in reality she was not, and the effects of what was then called juvenile diabetes were taking their toll. She passed away from complications of that disease when I was 16 and she was 37. Some of the other things she passed on to me, besides my appearance, are the “gift of gab” (she definitely had it!), a love of reading, a modest way of dress, an example of suffering without complaint (not that I suffer without complaint – she modeled it and I didn’t learn it very well!), a sense of determination (some family members might call it stubbornness). I miss her to this day, and when I wear a rose corsage for Mother’s Day, I include a white one for her.
The second mother who influenced me would be my stepmother (Mother). She married my dad less than a year after my mother’s death. Many people ask if that was hard. Blending two families is always hard; the Brady Bunch does not exist! I admit I had my times of feeling like I was in a fog with all the changes in that one short year! Twenty-five years later, though, we have blended into a family. Although I only lived with Mother for a little over 2 ½ years, she still passed on a few things to me. She is the one who taught me to wear makeup and to wear it properly. She also convinced me to get my first perm. Oh, my! I looked like Bozo the Clown for a week or so – horrible! LOL Mother also taught me to have a little more confidence in myself and my abilities. I was a terribly shy, backward teenager when she met me, and she helped me come out of my shell a bit. Some of the intangibles: faithfulness in adversity, perseverance, determination, gentleness. She is my children’s Grandmama and loves them the same as her “flesh-and-blood” grandchildren. As a mother myself, that means the world to me! In my Mother’s Day corsages, I wear a red rose for Mother.
On Mother’s Day I also remember my precious grandmothers. What an influence they had on me! Granny was my mother’s mother. She was a soft-spoken southern gentlewoman. She was as patient as the day is long, but once when I said I wish I were as patient as she was, she only answered, “Oh, Baby . . . I wasn’t always patient!” Maybe there's hope for me? Most every attitude I have toward being a wife and mother I learned from Granny – serving my husband, staying home with my children, putting my family first – all from Granny. Granny is one of the handful of people I’ve ever known that without a doubt loved me and accepted me just like I was. My Granny was a living example of the Proverbs 31 woman.
My dad’s mother was Grandma. She was a quiet woman who was content to sit among her children and grandchildren and just listen to them. Grandma gave me her body shape. I guess that sounds odd, but it’s something I’ve noticed as I've grown older. Grandma was a bit shy about verbally expressing her love for her family, but that changed as she grew older. Grandma was also a Proverbs 31 woman, taking care of her family, cooking, and sewing, and working hard. I don’t remember hearing her complain or gossip – excellent qualities to pass on to her granddaughter!
Finally, last but definitely not least is my mother-in-law, whom I call Mom. She has been like a solid rock in my life. I first met her when I was 16, and she has treated me like a daughter from Day 1. She is a quiet woman and very practical and wise (Wes’s temperament is much like his mother’s). I will never forget the day I called her crying over the hurt of a trusted friend who had betrayed our confidence. She told me it didn’t matter what the other person did; what mattered was how I responded to him. I’ve never forgotten that. Mom is a prayer warrior extraordinaire! She knows how to pray and get her prayers answered! She has raised five children, four of them boys, with patience and discretion. Most importantly, she gave me my husband, a man who loves God and his family unconditionally, and is faithful and steady. Even aside from all the qualities I love about her, just the fantastic job she did of raising her oldest son is enough to make me love her! ;) Just between you and me, I think she did her best work on Wes! LOL
I praise the Lord for the mothers in my life. Each one, though so different in personality and relationship, has had a part in shaping my life. I have a goodly heritage, and the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places! Whether you are a mother or not, take some time this Mother’s Day to think of the women in your life who have helped to make you who you are. Then thank the Lord for them!