Today is my mother’s birthday. My mother was killed in a car accident at the age of 54. Today she would have been 72.
We had a rocky relationship. My main memories are of my teenage years when sadly, being a complete unbeliever, I grew to despise my mother, and gave her such a hard time. As a mother of a teen girl myself now, I so much regret the grief and pain I caused her.
But when your mother is no longer around, you can’t walk over to the phone and apologize. The chance to do that is now long gone, and to be honest, even when I had it, I rarely took it.
After I was saved at the age of 17, shortly after my mother came to know the Saviour, too, I knew I needed to forgive my mother of all that I held against her – which seemed like an earth-full of grievances, and what felt, at the time, was justifiable anger. It was a process that spanned a year and a half.
But it happened. By the grace of God it happened.
Only with the realization that He forgave me of so much more in His gruelling, sacrificial, and eternally saving death on my behalf, could I extend that forgiveness to my mother.
Who was I to hold on to anything that I perceived my mother had done against me?
I loved her. I still do. I always will.
But now she is gone.
I have had countless friends over the years who have the privilege of having their mothers near them; walking alongside them in life-defining moments, and in the precious everyday. They call her up. They consult with her. They count on her prayers. They count on her generous willingness to babysit. The unconditional love that spans all of life.
I don’t have that. I genuinely am blessed to see that others do. But I don’t. My mother died during our first year of marriage, so I never had a mom to support me through the births of our five children.
I can see what a richness a mother brings in life as I observe such a role in those around me.
And I often find myself wanting to ask those who still have their moms around:“Do you appreciate your mother?” Click To Tweet
I’m not sure of what their answer would be. I know I didn’t appreciate my mother nearly enough when she was on this earth. It pains me to admit it. The thought produces a well of tears from deep within me.
Had she continued to live through these past seventeen years of my life, would I have appreciated her throughout?
I don’t know.
I only know that…It’s human nature to only truly appreciate something once it has been taken from you. Click To Tweet
Be it your health, your home, or your mother.
Today is my mother’s birthday. Today I pause to appreciate my mother.
I imagine what I would say to her if I could see her again.
I am reminded that I will see her again.
There is hope, which brings joy in the midst of this renewed grief.
Oh how I will run into her embrace when we are reunited in Heaven!
I will pour out every ounce of love that I longed to give her all these many years. I will say all those tender thoughts that I never expressed while she was here. I will see her again. And feel the sensation of her touch, which I have never forgotten. Which I so often recall when I stroke my own children’s hair, or lovingly caress their cheeks, or when I hold them close.
Even though I am 44 years old, she is still my mommy. There has and always will be only one. In the busyness of life I don’t think of her as often as I would like to. To be honest, it’s painful. Too painful.
But today, I take the time to appreciate her. To appreciate the God who brought her into this world on this very day, 72 years ago. Who ordained that out of all the women He created during all of time, she would be my mother.
And with all of the difficult memories and the intricate past interwoven with strands of both hurt and love, I am so thankful she is my mommy, and that I remain her little girl.
I love you, mom. Happy birthday…
Did you need a gentle reminder to appreciate your mother today? If you’re still blessed to have your mother around, how can you show her your appreciation of her? If not, what do you most miss about your mom?