'O' means only that she's growing old
'T' is for the tears she shed to save me
'H' is for her heart of purest gold
'E' is for her eyes with love lights shining
'R' for right and right she'll always be
Put them all together they spell Mother,
A Word that means the world to me.
Mother's Day is here and the lyrics written by Howard Johnson 93 years ago still ring true today. This time every year we are encouraged to think about our mothers. Whether they are young or old, rich or poor, alive or dead, we are to pay homage to the woman who gave us so many things; the greatest of these, of course, being life.
Many call this holiday a "Hallmark Holiday" fabricated to sell cards and flowers and yet another excuse for department stores to have one day sales. Some buy into it, some don't. Whether you run out to purchase a dozen roses or ignore the event all together, the original reason for the day is still a good one: Our moms.
There is no way I can speak for all mothers, so I'll speak of the one I know best, my own. When I think about my mom, the first thing I think of is unconditional love. I wasn't the easiest daughter in the world. I was whiney and stubborn and spoiled... and then I became a teenager! I know she had days when she threw up her hands in exasperation and defeat. Many times I saw her heart break and tears fall as she ached over the choices I was making. When I did succeed, I would see tears again; but these were tears of joy as my accomplishments were somehow her accomplishments too. Through good times and bad, I knew she was there and I knew she loved me.
My mom taught me all about life, the important things. She taught me how to share, how to help others, and how to be polite no matter what. She taught me how to put on nylons, shave my legs, build a sand castle, bake cookies and drive a car. Most importantly, she taught me about Jesus and to love others the way He loves us. This monumental lesson is by far the best gift she has given me.
Now, as a mother myself, I look into the eyes of my own children and I finally understand the joy and heartache that goes along with being a mom. I yearn for patience and wisdom to teach them all the things they need to know… how to share and be polite, how to bake cookies and drive a car. But in my heart I know that the greatest gift I can pass onto my kids is the same gift my own mother gave me so many years ago: the knowledge and acceptance of Christ and the ability to love others as He loves us. I know I will shed many tears, both happy and sad. I will cry when they make wrong choices and I will rejoice in their success, because somehow, it's my success too.
Life has a funny way of coming full circle and I thank God for a mom who taught me about life. Without her I wouldn't be the person I am today. So, thank you mom, on Mother's Day and every day, thank you for being you.