A Tribute to Mother

May 12 2017

At this stage of life, I appreciate the way my mother raised me more than ever before.

She could have raised me to hate, but she didn’t. She raised me to love.

Mother grew up in the most difficult of circumstances, not unlike many of today’s children. She grew up in poverty. The kind of poverty that robbed her of her innocence and dignity. The kind of poverty that could have left her soul scarred for life.

Once I attended a women’s event and listened to a woman share a story about her grandmother’s tragic life circumstances. With ever increasing intensity, she explained her grandmother’s disappointment in “a failed system”. It became evident that disappointment turned to bitterness that was passed on to her mother. Within ten minutes of starting her speech, she not only became enraged, but also incited most of the listeners to rage with her intense indignation.

My heart ached to think that three generations of women had allowed themselves to be consumed with anger and unforgiveness. Saddest of all was the evidence that they had ruined their lives, and no doubt, the lives of other family members.

By the time I left, I was in tears. I called my 89-year-old mother to thank her profusely for not instilling bitterness in me.

Rather than allow bitterness to control her decisions, Mother chose to forgive and take ownership of her situation. Her painful childhood propelled her into adulthood at the age of eleven. With little schooling, but recognition there was Someone watching over her, she embarked on a journey to find her purpose.

And find it, she did—to show the rest of us how to love and forgive in spite of disappointment, heartache and abuse.  She has spent her days retelling her story not to bring others down, but to lift them up.

My mother has lived a life filled with goodness and beauty.

On this Mother’s Day, my heart is filled with gratitude for the woman who taught me how to love, how to give without expectation of return, how to love my family intensely and how to serve others.

Thank you, Mother, for loving the Lord, loving others and loving us well.

From my heart to yours, 

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