Yesterday night, I thought about my mum. I cried, because of the hurt we’ve both inflicted on each other, and because I now know more of the love I had failed to see for a long time.
When I think of her these days, I no longer think of the efficient, perfectionistic, domineering person she is. Instead, I see graciousness, gentleness and tenderness….a beautiful tenderness that I have never seen there before.
When I was 3 years old, playing the piano, my brother accidentally slammed down the lid and my 10 little fingers were mercilessly bruised. I clearly remember how my mum swept me up into her arms and held me until I stopped crying. I can’t remember the physical pain, but I knew she felt pain for me. And I felt so safe in her arms.
My mum tells me that when I was young and she read me the story of Hansel and Gretel, I cried for the children because they had no mother. 🙂 Every time she tells me that I have a special kindness and sensitivity, I cry. I cry because I realize, she sees who I am. She knows who I am. And she remembers it for me, in times when I have become hardened and cold.
Today, I had a quiet revelation. I realised that every mother longs with all her heart to be a good mother. They are asking themselves,over and over, am I a good mother?
The mother who sees her rebellious child run away from home, do alcohol and drugs. Am I a good mother? What have I done wrong?
The mother with the son who is flopping school, failing in life. Am I a good mother? Did I do enough as a mother to nurture my son?
The mother with the daughter who has shut her life off from her mum, withdrawn. Am I a good mother? Why, why, why is my daughter hiding from me?
No, they don’t always respond in the way we want them to. Sometimes they lash out in anger, sometimes it’s as if they don’t care. Some fail to be good mothers. But it hurts them, the voice inside telling them that they have failed as a mother.
If you think your mum has been a good mother, go tell her and assure her. It’s not the same as telling her “happy mothers’ day”, “thank you for everything”, and “I love you mum”. It’s telling her that she has fulfilled her calling as a mother, she is a great woman, she is worthy of praise.
It might mean more to her than a present would. 🙂
p/s: Would also like to remember my friends who no longer have their mums with them, who find Mothers’ Day especially difficult to bear. I know God sees your pain, and I hope you will still have people in your life to mother you. 🙂