L-E-O-N-A. That's the name my grandparents chose for the woman I would call Mother. Even as a teenager, I never called her Mom. She was classy and kind. The classy part meant that we had to iron the tablecloths and set the table properly. It meant that she always wore a dress, apron, neat, wavy, black hair and red lipstick. The kind part meant that she wouldn't turn away anyone in need. Even into her old age, she would visit the "old folks" in the local rest homes. I questioned her once about how old they were and she replied, "About ten years younger than me." She never outgrew her desire to love and serve. Society never outgrows their need for devoted Mothers.
Yesterday, I was dabbling with a bowl of Chinese food at a small, uncrowded restaurant while engaging in conversation with several "golden girls" my age. The water was the best entree there, but the company was sage and warm. One of the gently wrinkled treasures sitting around the table commented that even after all these years, she still misses her mom. That was the starting gun for everyone to take off on their personal memory drove of mothering or being mothered. The idea that has stayed with me was an interesting "back to the future" comment. My beautiful, white-haired friend said, "Oh, that I could spend a day with my mother and have her be my age. She would be my very best friend." It sent me back to a day I went hiking with one of my sons and determined ahead of the hike that I would not say anything that sounded like mother-talk. It was one of the most fun and memorable experiences ever. Perhaps I will share some details of it sometime. For now, I will just say that I understood my friend's wish.
When we are parenting and the choice comes up between being a parent or being a friend, I believe that the parent role is paramount, even though it's much more difficult than just being a "hang out with you" friend. But when you move into the stage of having grown-up kids, a loving friendship with your child is one to be coveted. Whatever the relationship is or was, unconditional love is always a choice. It's mine. Moms generally do the best they can with what they have. So let's not be so hard on mothers or our own mothering. Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Thank you, dear Mother. You're one of those angels. I love you so!
Here's a Mother's Day freebie for you! Just print and pour your heart out to your mothers. They will treasure it more than chocolate, gift cards or money…
Save and Pin this freebie to Pinterest for later use!