I'm just feeling so overwhelmed with love for the women in my life who I look up to as the guiding compasses of a lifetime. To me, it seems that I am so blessed because I have had more than my share of love and nurturing.
First, I want to acknowledge and thank my birthmom, Patricia, who though weighed down by the circumstances of her life could have sought to destroy me, but she did not. She carried me with love and tenderness and made the most selfless act a mother can make and allowed me to be adopted. I am thankful for her never giving up on finding me and for being the dear friend that I have in her.
My mom, Lorraine, has been and continues to be the mom who has loved me and has done it all for me. She chose me to be her child and there is no greater love than that but God. She diapered me, fed me, sat up nights with me, taught me by lesson and by example throughout my life how to be a woman of God.
When I was just a baby my mom took sewing classes so she could make me beautiful clothes. Through watching her as I grew up, I was able to acquire a few simple skills that have given me pleasure in sewing. Her patience while allowing me to sit on the back of her chair while sewing amazes me. I clearly didn't get that temperament! My mom made sure that I took piano lessons for 8 years. Even though I threw a few (many) tantrums about practicing, I am grateful for the ability to do something that gives me a creative outlet and pleasure in making music. My mom's sweet, soprano voice was my template for the other joy of my life--singing. Though she didn't sit me down and teach me to cook and clean, through watching her, my mom gave me invaluable lessons through her example of creating of warm and loving home.
Mom made fun costumes for me for Halloween and plays and I never remember her grumbling about it. If she did, she must have done it without me hearing it! We always had a delicious meal ready for us even if it had to be at 4 p.m. so we could get to our school activities. And I know that my mom went without nice things so that we kids could have what we needed, though I never heard her mention it.
She put up with the junior high me who spent countless hours singing at the top of my lungs in the backseat of the car with my best friend Sheila while she and my dad chauffeured us to our school activities. Her patience with me is never ending and her advice was always true even if I didn't want to take it when I was a teenager or young adult. To this very day she is my comfort and my friend when I need someone to listen to my heartaches and she prays for me fiercely like no one else I know. My mom has been an amazing grandma who has come to my aid many times while my kids were young. She did all this even though she had to travel over 500 miles to get to me.
All of this puts me in awe of her because she never had a mother to do the same for her, yet she manages to do it so well. My sister and I joke with her and sometimes tease her about silly things but in truth, she is the person I most want to emulate when it comes to being a good Christian woman, wife, and mom.
I have had many friends and aunts who also mentored me through life in how to be a mom. But one who is especially close to my heart is my mom's sister--my Aunt Berta. Throughout my whole life the fact that she and my mom are so close means that my heart is deeply intertwined with hers. I have always felt as though she loved me as one of her own children. One of my earliest memories is when I stayed with her and her family while my mom was hospitalized. It would take a book to write all of the wonderful memories I have of my aunt. One particular thing is the way she would read devotions to us when we were little before we went to bed when I stayed at her house. She has the most tender voice and her prayers for us before sleep made me feel so safe and warm. Her faith has been an inspiration to me from the moment I knew her until this day. She has had many sorrows but her faith stands so strong. This past year I watched her lovingly, unselfishly care for her only daughter as she was dying of cancer. Her example of love and faithfulness is unmatched. I've always felt that if my mom moves on to Glory before my aunt that I would think of my Aunt Berta as my mom and that I would look after her in the same way as I would my own mother. It grieves me that this will be her first Mother's Day without her daughter. I hope she knows how much I love her.
So, I want to thank the women in my life--my mom, my aunts, my sister, my sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, friends, and women in my churches who have taught me and shown me what it truly means to be a mom.
Happy Mother's Day!!!