I’ve known my mother my whole life.
She was there when I was born. She held me when I cried and fed me when I was hungry. She was there celebrating when I took my first step. She was there grieving when the doctors thought I had leukemia. She was cheering when I scored my first basketball goal. She was crying when I broke my two front teeth on the court. She was patient with me when I yelled at her and made her cry. She pleaded with me when she thought I was doing drugs or making bad life decisions. She woke up earlier to take me to band practice. She stayed up late when I would leave the house and go to parties. She woke up earlier to make us breakfast before she went to work. She stayed out late to see me in plays. She was there when I packed my car to move to the same city with a girl I hardly knew. She was there when I married that same girl. She drove fifteen hours to be there when my daughter was born. She drove fifteen hours again when my son was born.
I’ve learned so much from my mother.
My entire life my mother has behind me, supporting me, encouraging me, loving me, and challenging me. She was always there in the background, never drawing attention to herself but always being the first one willing to help out if necessary. She was always giving out of what little she had. She taught me discipline. She taught me love. She taught me grace. She taught me hope. She taught me how to be grateful for what I had. She taught me not to take things for granted. She taught me what it looks like to always be there for being who you love who will inadvertently hurt you because she had not just one boy but four and boys can be jerks sometimes. She taught me what it looks like to wait for fruit of the labor of love to be harvested after decades and not just after dinner.
I’m still learning from my mother.
She teaches me the value of laughter. She teaches me the value of home. She teaches me the value of love. She teaches me the value of acceptance. She teaches me the value of parenting. She teaches me the value of a shared meal. She teaches me the value of hugs. She teaches me the value of hard work. She teaches me the value of giving. She teaches me the value of sharing. She teaches me the value of a cup of coffee and ice cream after a long day. She teaches me the value of time spent with family. My mother teaches me so much and I know that she will one day teach me how to let go. She will teach me how to endure. She will teach me how to remember. She will teach me how to create. She will teach me how to hope. And now, I see the cycle starting over again with her grandchildren. It is such a wonderful and humbling experience and I’m blessed that I get to see it start over again.
I’ve known my mother my whole life. I know that she’s not perfect. I know that she’s not everything she wants to be. I know that she’s made mistakes. But I know that’s what makes her human. And in light of all those truths, she still pursues her identity of mother with compassion, endurance, grace, and love. For that reason, I am celebrating her life today. I wish I could share with you her story. But it’s not mine to share. All I have is my story and my life. But you should know that her influence runs through like the threads in a cloth.
I am a mommy’s boy. I am my mother’s son. I love you mom!! Happy Birthday!