My mother and I had an interesting relationship. She loved me---I never doubted that for a moment--but I never really felt like she approved of me. It was difficult to please her and she was very vocal about sharing when I came up short. If you knew her, your immediate reaction is she was charming and sweet and yes, she could be, but there was another side reserved only for her children and it was--different. I came to a place of peace with my relationship with my mother, when I realized she did the very best she could. Her own mother died when she was two and she was raised for the next few years primarily by an aunt who was extremely demanding and never afraid to tell you like it was. Those important formative years when a mother's love makes us who we are--she missed out. My father struggled with alcoholism the last few years before he died from lung cancer. She ran the business, ran the family, and kept us all afloat during some extremely difficult times. He finally turned the corner and was doing great--when he became ill and died two months later. She then was left to raise 3 children alone. So I reconciled myself to how difficult her life was and yet she raised three children who all graduated from college and one from law school---all three had successful careers---all three raised beautiful families of their own. So, yes, she could jerk my chain with the best of them, but she obviously did her very best and with her best came three children whom she was proud of---in her own way.
I came next in the line of maternal legacy. I also have raised three wonderful children--all are doing extremely well and two are raising families of their own and I am praying for the third to do the same. Every decision concerning them was always made with their best interest in mind. I was no Saint--far from it--but I can tell you I did the best I could and it was all done in great love. I found during those years of active motherhood, raising children is NOT for the faint of heart. It is the toughest job I ever had and though you could never tell from the outside, I tottered on out of control a lot! What a blessing that out of control was! Despite my inadequacies, my children have fared well. It just goes to show you--they grew up in spite of my floundering attempt at parenting.
In the years since my children flew the nest, I have invested myself in several children in different venues. I am not their mother, but I am attempting to portray the picture of maternal love by investing time with them. I am also blessed to be grandmother to 6 fine grandchildren. The best of all worlds--love them, spoil them, indulge them--send them home. I love them not for what they have done, but instead because of who they are--a child worth loving.
What am I saying? Do the best you can--that is really all you can do. Somehow through God's grace, He takes our futile efforts and redeems our failings and most of the time--they grow up. Happy Mother's Day, Friends. I pray you honor your mother this weekend whether in person or in spirit. I also pray for those with troubled relationships, you forgive the past and remember we all have feet of clay. Cherish the memories of the past or forgive the pain and most important use the present day to do the best you can. That is all God asks of us--our best.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
I Peter 4:8