Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My mother is my hero. She raised me and my two brothers and two sisters after my father left her in a strange town ( after a five state move pursuing his dream job) to fend for herself. She never received a penny in child support, but went to work in a maximum-security prison to put a roof over our heads and feed us.
She never missed a concert, a play, a recital, an art exhibit, or an open house. She never left us to go out partying or drinking, but stayed home to make sure we were safe in bed at a decent hour. She never brought men home, because she felt it was our safe haven, not a hotel for clandestine thrills. In short, she is the most selfless, altruistic, self-sacrificing person I have ever met.
She brought us to church every Sunday, even sent us to private school a few years. She took us to the public library every Saturday in preschool and elementary school, and cultivated our love for reading and the arts every opportunity she could. She modeled patience, integrity, and ingenuity. She managed to give us piano lessons, singing lessons, bought my art supplies, took me to living history events, and supported every interest and talent I fancied.
She gave me the best Christmas present have ever received. During our worst financial struggles, we lived in government housing, which discouraged dog ownership, and charged extra security for pets. Knowing my gnawing desire for a dog, she risked the trouble and paid the extra to give me my German Shepherd/Pembroke Welsh Corgi mix, Lady. That was 26 years ago, but it still stands out in my memory as one of the happiest times of my life. If we were poor, we never knew it, because she made us feel rich in the important things.
She showed me that good parenting has nothing to do with money, or compromise, or even personal success. She laid her life down to see her children succeed. She gave me the best example of a life well-lived. and still does. I am blessed to have a mother as wealthy in love and true goodness as I have been given.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thank you for giving me life, even though I was your fifth child, conceived to a marriage that was falling apart. You could have chosen to terminate my pregnancy, but you chose to hope for a purpose and a plan for my life. You had faith.
And to all of you moms out there, keep giving. A proverb says men will praise you when you do well for yourself. But Proverbs 31 says the children of a woman of noble character will rise up and call her blessed. Whose praise do you prefer?