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Celebrating the Mother in Your Life

This is the week where mothers are recognized for their contributions and love. Where would we be without our moms?

We’ve all had one – at least for awhile. They are the ones who raised us the best they could – cooking us meals, encouraging us in our interests, guiding our decisions. Of course they made mistakes – we all do.

If we had the opportunity to become mothers, we too did our best, while making our own mistakes along the way. But we tried. We held the little ones while reading books, we hugged the older ones with broken hearts, and watched as they left home to become independent.

Having just lost my own mom last year, this is a time to reflect on all the things I really miss, and things I had hoped to do with my mom. Mom and Dad were dating in high school. Since dad passed, mom had been alone for the first time in her life, and had recently moved into an assisted living complex. It was perfect for her, and she loved it there. She had lots of new friends, and everyone loved her.

Mom had been a guide leader trainer, and therefore, I was encouraged to complete most badges. It was a challenge and very fun doing the backyard “camp”, wilderness camp, carpentry, sewing, cooking – so many badges 😊 She impacted a lot of girls over the years. Mom also encouraged our other ambitions and drove us to our piano, baseball, swimming, ballet, and art lessons. My sister and I had a great home life. She showed us how to look after others, as she took care of our grandparents in their later years.

After living in Winnipeg for 10 years, I decided to move back to my home town to spend more time with mom, and my little twin grand-kids. Two weeks before my move I was frantically packing, sorting, finishing a few shifts at my job, and then got a call. Mom had had a mini-stroke. My sister and I drove the 2 hour trip and found mom doing well, and she recovered quickly from the stroke. But a previous infection re-opened and went septic. She was gone within 8 days.

I still needed to finish packing, and called friends for help. Mom’s memorial was 2 days after I moved into my new place. I heard stories of how she was happy I was coming home to spend some time together, to just have fun together. It was so disappointing and I grieve losing her and losing the plans of our many visits and activities we could do together. I really miss my mom.

This can be a difficult day to celebrate.

Maybe you are the woman who has been trying unsuccessfully to have your own child or have had miscarriages.

Maybe you are the woman whose child has deceased – the greatest of all losses.

Today you are a woman who has lots of fun with her young children … and tomorrow you are overwhelmed with your young children.

Maybe you are a woman who is a single parent – living a full life as mom and dad.

Maybe you are a woman who is sharing your children with another family.

Maybe you are a woman who has a child with a disability, or who has a child who is very ill.

Maybe you are the woman who is a step-mom, giving and loving and truly being their mom!

Maybe you are the woman who is a foster mom, opening your heart and your home to little ones in need of love and care.

Maybe you are the woman whose child moved away. You’ve lost contact, but they live in your heart.

Maybe you are the woman whose child is in trouble.

Or you’re the woman who has a child you are unable to connect with.

Maybe you are the woman who younger ones gravitate towards to find guidance.

Are you a woman who has a senior mom who needs you, and a child who needs you too?

Or are you like me and have recently endured the loss of your mom. Love remembers Love!

Maybe you are the woman who is grieving the loss of your mom who, although still alive, sometimes doesn’t know who you are.

Maybe you are the woman - a mother, a grandmother, maybe a great-grandmother - who lives alone in a senior home.

All of these women have great inner strength! They have struggled, they have had sleepless nights. They have watched their kids make little mistakes, and big mistakes. They’ve watched as their kids pack up luggage and move away, and move back home, and move away again. They’ve loved their kids through all their own pain. And that’s just what we do… as moms. We stand together and get stronger. We share stories. We share hopes and dreams, happiness and challenges. No one ever said it would be easy being a mom. But no one every warned us it could be so hard – so many tears and heartaches. Our goal is to teach our little ones – to give them all the skills they need – so that they can leave us and live successfully with their own families. That’s what love does. Strengthen, encourage and teach them to fly.

In many cultures, families stay together, supporting and encouraging each other. They provide guidance and wisdom that’s passed down to the next generation. In other cultures, the children move to continue schooling, move for work, and the families become physically and sometimes emotionally distant not by choice but by result of these moves.

We all hope for the big family sitting around the dinner table, but in reality it often doesn’t happen that way.

There are many times in our lives when we need each other – women with experience, women who care. It might be our neighbor, the older woman we spend time with at work, an aunti, or a woman in a group where we have a common interest. Women standing together!

There have been other women in my life, older wiser women, who gave me guidance when I needed it. When I lived in Winnipeg, there was a woman who shared a lot of time as we just listened to each other’s stories. She was a real encouragement to me. She was physically there for the drop-in coffee chats. There was another time when I was searching for biblical knowledge and an older lady gave me much-needed mentorship. I am so thankful for each of these women, but they could never replace the love I have for my mom! Sometimes our moms just weren’t able to be there for us – physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. Other older women would step in. I’m thankful that happens. We can’t be everything – but we can never be replaced. We are always mom.

We know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. These village women may include teachers - nursery school or Sunday school, classroom or activity, the woman in the cafeteria at school, friend’s family or co-workers. Choose wisely. We become like the people who we spend the most time. (That’s wisdom for all of us!) We are that village! We are these women! We honor, teach, respect, love and discover life together. Accept the help. Accept the encouragement and guidance. Accept the friendship.

And be the woman who extends her hand in guidance and friendship. Especially in these times, we all need each other. As women, we are created with a mother’s heart of nurture and love. Look around – who needs you?

We don’t know how, or when life will change, so respect the time and love the people in your life. Never take anything for granted. Treasure the memories.

And, in this time, love like only a mother can! Always!

There is a time and a season for everything.

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