Last weekend was Mother’s Day. You’d have to be a hermit to miss it. The stores were full of flowers and all thinks pink and chocolate and Facebook® was flooded with heartwarming sentiments about everyone’s “Best Mom ever”. It made me miss my mom all over again too. She passed through the gates right after getting her wish to see the new millennium in. We had a wonderful celebration together that year.
All this got me thinking about what to write about today and I’d like to share with you some of the important life lessons I learned from my mom.
Unconditional love. After her mother died, her dad remarried. Her stepmother “invited” mom and her younger brother to leave when she was only fourteen. So she left and somehow managed to care for her younger brother. Needless to say there wasn’t much of a relationship with her stepmother after that but when she was on her deathbed with cancer, her stepmother only wanted my mom (out of five other siblings) to care for her. Mom never hesitated and was there until her stepmother drew her last breath.
Commitment. Mom was the payroll clerk for a large school district in Pennsauken, NJ. She took that job very seriously; I don’t have to tell you how people feel about their paychecks! One day there was a major snowstorm that resulted in all the schools being closed. But because it was a scheduled payday mom felt like she needed to be at work so that everyone else would be paid. While she was scraping the ice off the car windows she slipped, fell and broke her arm which required her to be immediately hospitalized. You should have seen her bosses, including the Superintendent of Schools, scramble and working with her from the hospital to run the payroll. As soon as she got back to work they gave her the assistant she’d been requesting !
Sacrifice for others. This could be a column all by itself but this one example should suffice. She and dad worked, saved and gave so selflessly that both my brother and I were able to graduate from college DEBT FREE! I wish I had time and space to list out hundreds of other examples.
Living faith. Mom never failed to be at church herself along with us boys (whether we wanted to or not). Not only be there, but serve there. I remember the mimeograph machine being on the dining room table as she prepared the church bulletin; her practicing the hymns of the week on her upright piano at home so she could play them well Sunday morning; and studying her Sunday School lesson to teach her girls class. I met one of the girls back in the fall at our 55th high school reunion and she told me how much that class meant to her. I was really touched. There were so many more lessons but time and space say I must stop here.
One of the Mother’s Day tributes I saw on Facebook ® over the weekend had a quote that I’d like to share with you about the paradox of a mother’s love: “The mother-child relationship is paradoxical, and in a sense, tragic. It requires intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.” (Source unknown). That is selfless love!
Hopefully, after becoming independent, the child realizes how he made it that far and returns the love to his mom. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. It’s our job as seniors to facilitate this circle of love the best we can by reaching out to mom’s and grandchildren at every opportunity. Let’s Do it!
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!