It was 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday. Each year the second Sunday of May is appointed as a day of celebration, set aside to honor the ladies in our families who have taken on the task of motherhood. An honor much deserved and earned daily by the mothers who fulfill this vital role.
Whether she is a biological, foster, step, or adoptive mom, all mothers have offered a glimpse into the “love chapter” in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. This portrait of perfect love can be seen through these imperfect ladies in the things they do daily. From their simple acts and unrelenting patience to their profound endurance, mothers exemplify the impact of love. These are the days that illustrate a mother’s legacy to her children.
A Mother’s Legacy
Love is patient and kind.
We see this in the hours that a mother of a child with special needs sits in the doctor’s waiting room, trying to entertain and distract her precious child, who is facing another unpleasant visit. It can be seen when the unanswerable question “Why?” is asked for the fifteenth time by her three-year-old, yet the mother still tries to answer it. Or when she takes her daughter shopping from sun-up to sundown to find the perfect dress for the dance.
“The best part of being a mom to me is the unconditional love. I have never felt a love as pure, a love that’s as rewarding.” Monica Denise Brown
It does not demand its own way.
It’s when a mother delights in her child’s first word, “dada,” even if it’s not the one she hoped to hear. She willingly decided to set aside her own life pursuits because her child, in this season, needed her more. When she determines that the family budget can be trimmed because her child’s boredom in school is finally interpreted correctly: He is academically gifted, which requires a change in education to reach his full potential.
“When Thomas Edison’s teacher sent him home with a note that said, ‘Your child is dumb; we can’t do anything for him.’ Mrs. Edison wrote back, ‘You do not understand my boy. I will teach him myself.'”
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
When she keeps silent as she watches her middle school child stomp up the stairs, mumbling angry adjectives directed toward her the entire way, even though she is exhausted from the encounter. The realization that her child is stealing from the family to support a drug habit, yet her only concern is how to help her child overcome this addiction. Holding back the easily spoken “I told you so” because the lesson has painstakingly been learned.
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” Honore de Balzac
Love never gives up, never loses faith.
When a foster mom is willing to face the frequent visits to the courtroom advocating for a child who is not her own, she treats him as such while he’s in her care. She spends evenings pouring over homework that seems impossible for her child and is steadfast until mastered. Remaining on her knees, praying for that prodigal child and believing that one day they will find their way home.
“I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom’s the only reason I know it’s a real thing.” Conor Oberst
Is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Discovering her child is the target of bullying and acting to protect her. Beginning the difficult motherhood transition from protecting to preparing, letting the hard knocks hit enough so adulthood will be successful. Providing constant reinforcement to the doubtful child to help them believe they can no matter what the challenge.
“All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” Abraham Lincoln
But love will last forever!
The legacy of love a mother creates will not be felt only on Mother’s Day but every day. It is not in the dramatic moments or perfect acts but in the simple, tenacious, and enduring ones. Those moments and memories make up a legacy every mother can leave.
“My mother thinks I am the best. And I was raised to always believe what my mother tells me.” Diego Maradona
Woodrow Wilson got it right when he made this American declaration; a mother is worthy of honor. The countless acts and frequent sacrifices often remain unrecognized. The long days and short nights in a mother’s life are vital to building the next generation. The love they display daily is the backbone of healthy children. It is also the purest form of a loving God portrayed to us.
So this second Sunday in May, celebrate the moms in your life doing the job many shy away from. Let them know you see her, you treasure her and are thankful for her.
Motherhood isn’t always sunshine and roses. Here’s one mom’s advice for how to manage those less-than-ideal days: How Do We Handle the Messiness of Motherhood? with Laila Schell – 168