“A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” Proverbs 31:10-11 (NRSV)
As we approach Mother’s Day, I reflect on my own mother’s role in my life. I admit that I never wanted to be like her – not that there was anything wrong with her life or how she lived it; actually, she has had a very good life and is a wonderful person. It’s just that I didn’t want to be at home taking care of children. I’m not even sure I wanted any special career which might explain all the different careers I HAVE had. It’s just that Mom seemed to me to be rather un-glamorous. I have to admit that my childhood aspirations were to be a movie star, but that was only in my dreams.
But now that I’m in my sixties and watching Mom decline in health as she becomes more frail and elderly (she will be 89 in August), I see that she has some wonderful qualities that were gifts she passed along to me: a caring heart, tenderness, a cute and subtle sense of humor, her beautiful singing voice and love of music, her faith in God, and commitment. Mom taught me that when you made a commitment, you followed through. If you joined a committee, you went to the meetings; if you decided to sing in choir you went to rehearsals and showed up on Sundays; if you promised to “love, honor, and cherish” someone for the rest of your life, you stuck with it.
Mom and Dad have been married for 67 years this July. Both of them say that it hardly seems possible so many years have gone by. I’m only learning now about how they have worked through problems and stuck with each other even when the going got tough. Mom supported Dad totally in everything. Mom was a quiet, gentle, steady force there for Dad and all us kids as we were growing up. She always told us she was proud of us, and she was there to listen when we needed someone to hear what was going on in our lives. Mom also has very strong opinions about politics, substance abuse, marriage, and moral issues, and none of us ever doubted where she stood on things.
As I see her age, I remember all the gifts she has given me – given our family, and I’m grateful that God has given me a mother to be proud of and to love. I know my mom loves me and all of us with an incredibly strong love, and it is in that love (from both my parents) that I recognize a tiny sliver of the depth of God’s love. Thanks, Mom. Thanks, God. I love you both.