Wednesday, May 11, 2011
My personal reflections on Mother's Day brings back memories of my mother's love for her children and how much she wanted better for us in our lives. Momma passed away almost 14 years ago but to this day, I can feel her love flowing through me in my darkest times. My mother was not a saint but she has always been and forever will be the wind beneath my wings.
Momma raised my brother, my sister and me, for the most part, by her own means. She did not have a formal education above high school, but she managed to get an entry-level position with a local radiologist who trained her as an x-ray technician. Momma took great pride in her work and never complained. And, because she worked for a local doctor, when my brother, my sister, or I would get sick, our doctor would treat us as a professional courtesy and not charge my mother.
My grandmother lived in an apartment behind our house and was always there for my brother, my sister and me while mom did what she could to support us. My grandmother had a sewing machine and she made magical wonders with it. Every Easter, she took great pride in making all three of us children a new outfit for Sunday school and Momma would buy us a new pair of shoes and a hat to match. I can still hear the laughter and squeals of delight as my sister and I would spin in front of and look at our reflections in the mirror. This was usually the only time that we would get something new to wear, because either the rest of our clothes were hand-me-downs that were given to us by people who had children older than us or they were bought at the Salvation Army or Goodwill store. My grandmother made sure that our clothes were always clean and in good repair.
Christmas was a wonderful time for us. We did not get the expensive toys and gifts like our classmates and friends received, but we were always thrilled on Christmas morning just the same. Mom always made it a very special and happy time for us. She always saw to it that each of us children had at least one very special gift that we really wanted.
Growing up, we never did without anything that was important. We never went without a meal. The meal that we had might not have been exactly what we would have liked, but we always had plenty to eat. We always lived in the same house and it was always home throughout our childhood. In the winter, when it was very cold, ice would form on the inside of the windows, but we stayed warm with a full tummy and a comfortable bed in which to sleep.
I look back on my childhood with such fondness and yet it is so sad, because I know in my heart how deeply my mother hurt for her children to have more. She was a very strong woman and she would never let us see her heartache. Unknown to her, sometimes in the deep of the night, I could hear her weep, ever so faintly. I knew that she would have been hurt if she knew that I had heard her cry. So, many times I pretended to get up to go to the bathroom and then I would just climb into bed with her, cuddle up, and tell her how much I loved her. What more could I have possibly needed? I had all the love that one child could have.
The thing that makes me sad is that my wonderful mother only saw what she was unable to give. She never realized that she gave us more than anyone could have ever asked. She never realized that she gave us the greatest gift of all. She gave us a legacy of unwavering love that would sustain us through all of life’s difficulties and allowed us the ability to pass that on to our children. She gave us the eternal gift of love in our hearts that will live on throughout all circumstances and time.