Friday, May 10, 2013

The Little Things {A Mother's Day Reflection}

Next Monday is the 5 year anniversary of my mother's death.  It always falls around Mother's Day, which is kind of odd to experience.  Mother's Day, for me, is such a mix of emotions--missing my mom while remembering the very painful times we endured together.  Thoughts on how my own journey of motherhood has shaped me, stretched me and helped me grow in love, sacrifice and faith.

As the years go by and time marches on, I find myself most often remembering the things my mom got right.  These are the things that come up again and again as I spend my days with my own kids.  They're usually little things, yet the things that were the essence of mom.  The endearing things that make me smile.  Like how she could really tell a story.  She recalled all the details in a way that made you feel like you were living the tale itself, right as she told it.  I'd like to think I tell stories this way, too.

And other memories come flooding in:

~how we laughed sitting around the kitchen table until our sides hurt and happy tears flowed down our cheeks

~discussing novels, poems and song lyrics together, working out their deeper meanings, growing together in mutually sought knowledge and wisdom

~cooking steak and onion sandwiches in the silver pan, wonder bread slathered in butter, the whole house smelling like a '50s diner

~crafting together--sometimes painting, sometimes sketching, always creating

~the way she teased that made me feel annoyed and yet treasured at the same time

~her excitement over seasons and holidays, often months in advance!

~how she delighted in simple things--like peonies in bloom or cardinal perched on a nearby branch

~her competitiveness--determination to win anything--even a simple game of dots!

~her love of Scrabble and uncanny ability to beat the pants off me with the most esoteric of 7-letter words, strategically placed

~eating pistachio nuts by the handful, salty mouths, fingertips stained red

~how deeply she loved her family, with every fiber of her being

Mom was far from perfect.  Battling mental illness all her life, there were very dark days growing up.  But through it all the beauty of her spirit radiated.  The mother-daughter love was an unshakeable bond, knitting hearts together through trials and triumphs.

As I reflect on motherhood, the good and the bad all running together, I wonder what things will stand out in the minds of my own children when they are grown?  Which little traditions and everyday goings-on will they carry with them in their own hearts?  It's my hope and prayer that one thing I will get right, just as my mom did, is for my kids to know they are fiercely loved.

"These three things remain: faith hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."
-1 Cor. 13:13

Wishing you all a truly blessed Mother's Day!

Take a few minutes to be blessed by this video--a tribute to mother and child: 


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