Last year on Mother’s Day I was taking notes on my cell phone in church as fast as my fingers could fly, hoping auto-correct would render them intelligible.
Our pastor had invited people to share about their mothers. He began, pausing occasionally to swallow a lump in his throat. He remembered passing his mother’s bedroom door seeing her kneeling beside her bed, praying “Lord, be with Tom.” He wasn’t in trouble and didn’t think he’d be in any trouble soon, but has always remember that his mother prayed for him. Regularly and faithfully.
A former state trooper said his mother took him to the opera in St. Louis on Saturdays in an outdoor pavilion. He listened to dialects he didn’t understand. He grew to love opera. Now every Saturday he listens to a radio station that plays opera in the afternoons, enjoying Italian voices and fondly remembering his mom.
A woman shared that she was only 17 months old when her mother died. Her father remarried. She values the things learned from her stepmother — how to keep house, cook and care for children. “But it wasn’t a mother’s love,” she said. “If you have a mother and you’ve known a mother’s love, don’t take it for granted.” She hopes when she gets to heaven, she’ll meet her mother there.
An entrepreneur was 9 years old when his mom let him skip school to take him out to lunch at a nice restaurant on his birthday. The car attendant said, “Why aren’t you in school?”
“My mom let me skip and is taking me out to lunch for my birthday,” he said.
The attendant said, “Your mom loves you like nobody else. Don’t you ever forget that, OK? And take care of your mom!”
“I grew up in a good home,” another man began. “I knew my father’s principles, but I knew my mother’s heart. I was loved from my mother’s heart.”
In his teen years there was something he wanted to do and his mother said, “No.”
He said, “Well, why not? There’s no harm in it.”
She said, “Son, you’re gonna ride that “No Harm Horse” to hell. Don’t tell me there’s no harm in it, tell me the good that is in it.”
A realtor shared that when he immigrated to the U.S. as a young man, his parents said, “Why do you want to go to America? There’s nothing for you there! You’ll die!”
He came anyway and landed in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He found a roommate and every weekend they drove to the roommate’s home where his mother had food prepared and waiting for them. They’d pick it up and have food for the week. The roommate’s mother became a stand-in mother with whom he has cherished a life-long bond.
It is good tell others what your mother, or someone who has helped fill that role, means to you. But if your mother is still living, it might also be good to tell her.
(Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)