Today is the 76th anniversary of my mom’s birth. She passed away two and a half years ago, but her legacy lives today.
As I thought about this day and its meaning, I thought of all she had to go through with raising me. I didn’t make things easy on her, that’s for sure. After all, I was a teenage boy at one time. There was a significant portion of my life when I simply didn’t respect her as I should have. I always loved her, but I didn’t truly respect her.
Thankfully, when the time came for me to see her for who she was, she was still very much alive and available for me to express my love, and my respect. So many lose out on that opportunity because they learn too late, or their parent(s) died too young. I’m so grateful to God that nothing was left unsaid. We had several years to finally have the loving relationship she deserved.
My mom taught me so many life lessons without me even realizing I was learning. As a teenager through the early adult years, I figured I knew it all. My mom was 29 years older than me, so she couldn’t possibly be in touch with today’s issues we face.
Yeah, in some ways she was out of touch. My mom couldn’t set a VCR to record a TV show. Trying to get her to use a cell phone was pointless. Forget the idea of her ever getting the concept of sending text messages or using a computer. But whether my mom was technologically illiterate or not didn’t keep her from being on the cutting edge of what was truly important in life.
My mom lived her life with grace and dignity under pressure. The years leading up to my birth were among the most difficult for her. She endured very difficult circumstances. The last 15 years of her life were particularly challenging. But through it all, she never complained. She simply marched on. My mom found the joy and fulfillment of serving others. She took care of her family, she was always the class mom throughout my school years. She was the team mom on most of my youth sports teams. After I was out of high school, she and my dad turned their attention to serving under privileged kids. They served on the board of directors of a Mexican orphanage. They bought an RV for the express purpose of being able to drive down there and stay as long as they wanted without being a burden to the orphanage by taking up much needed beds. I went with them on occasions. What an eye opener it was to me to see these children and the way they responded to my parents, and my parents to them.
My parents then went on to spend 8 years living in Costa Rica ministering to couples and families there. Again, when I went to visit, I could see the amazing impact my parents had made in their new world.
My mother was an amazing woman. There was a time in my life when I tried to distance myself from her in order to carve out my own identity. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realized the honor it was to be her son. Maturity has that affect on us, I guess.
So on this day, I search the depths of my heart to pay a meaningful, tear filled tribute to the woman God blessed me with to raise me and teach me.
And the lessons didn’t stop just because her heart did.
Happy Birthday Mom.