“You will find no better best friend than your mother in this world. Believe me. She knows you more than anyone does. You are the flesh of her flesh. Respect her, cherish her and love her with all your heart. She could be gone one day and you’d find no one like her.”
I saw this on Facebook recently. Sometimes Facebook gets it right despite the hundreds of memes, politically charged comments, and selfies, not that I am against any of the aforementioned. After all, Facebook is the worldwide accepted commentary on life these days and for better or for worse it’s how we stay connected and informed.
We all have a mom or had a mom. Mothers can simultaneously be our best friend or worst enemy. People say we will miss them when they are gone, and I believe that to be absolutely true. There is no one like your mom. We only have one mom, but we only have one father, and brother or sister, in some cases, so what makes the mother-child relationship more special? Mothers carried us in their bodies, knew us before we took our first breath, and loved us when we were less than loveable, prayed, cried, cradled us, and cheered us on even when they weren’t physically present. Some mothers without the advantage of birthing their own flesh have brought a child into their lives and homes through adoption and know the joys and heartaches of motherhood full well. The connection between mothers and their children transcends the physical flesh; the connection is also spiritual. And, it’s the truth, there will not be another like her once she is gone, no one will fill her shoes. I know my mom has cried tears and prayed prayers for me I never knew about, as I have done for my children and will continue to do until my last breath.
Sure, moms and their children do battle, go to war, justify the battles and wars in their own minds, but at the same time, the foundation of a love that knows no bounds tethers a mother to her children. Children hack away at the tethers hoping to sever the ties that bind and sadly, permanently sometimes, but a mother doesn’t have the luxury. We are forever tied to the flesh originating from single cells that formed and grew within and outside of our bodies. The Ten Commandments say we are to honor our father and mother so that it will go well with us and we will live long on the earth and I don’t disagree, in most cases.
In Greek to honor means to value. We think of honoring as respecting and we also say respect needs to be earned, but it is possible to respect another’s position even if we are in opposition to their opinion. There is a difference. Children are to honor their parents, value them because most have their children’s best interests at heart, and I say most as some parents are abusive, purposefully so, and forfeit any claims to respect from their children.
My mom and I have had our share of ups and downs, learning how to be friends after I was grown, for one. I think in most cases this is true. Switching gears from being responsible for a little person every minute of every day to being mentor, friend, sounding board, and at the same time letting the child make their own decisions, mistakes, missteps and learn their lessons from life is a difficult transition.
My mom is a woman of integrity, strength, compassion, and love although she doesn’t see herself as I see her. She taught me many lessons, more through living life in front of me than through verbal instruction. We have always seen life differently, we are very different people, and yet I have grown to respect our differences. She was a single mom raising two kids when single moms were fairly uncommon, a survivor in her own right. She struggled to provide for us, and as an adult, I have felt the weight of struggling to provide and survive. Without the unspoken lessons, would I have been equipped?
My mom and I were separated for a number of years as a result of my abusive ex-husband who isolated us from most outsiders, especially family, but since the divorce, we have reconnected. It was a difficult time for both of us, and I know she and other family members tried to contact me, find out if we were okay, and prayed. Prayer is a powerful tool. The Bible says beauty comes from ashes, and in my mind beauty rose from the ashes my life had become.
Although miles and states separate us, we talk on the phone every day, and I don’t take a minute for granted. Our worldviews are different, our spiritual beliefs different and yet we are tethered one to another. She will be gone one day, and there will never be another like her. I love you, mom…..