I made homemade cards for her out of scraps of paper.
I picked dandelions from our yard and gave them to her.
I made toast and spread jelly on it for her so that she could have breakfast in bed.
I am a gift giver and those were some of the ways that I showed my mother that I loved her when I was growing up. Mother’s Day was the day that my siblings and I tried to make Mom’s day special. I’m pretty sure that she worked harder on Mother’s Day cleaning up after us after we tried to make her day special, but she was always gracious and thankful.
As the years have gone by, the way that I show my mother that I love her on Mother’s Day or any other day has changed. It is no longer about what I give her, but it is more about the time that I spend with her. I do not do very much for my mom, but she continues to do so much for me. I call her every day because I want to hear her voice. We discuss what plans she has for the day, catch up on family news, and then I share my plans for the day with her. When we finish our conversation, she always says, “God bless you and your family.” She has no idea how much that blessing means to me each day.
Mom taught me faith. When we were preparing to go on vacation with three of our young children, I asked my mom how she moved from the country of Lebanon to America with a three-month-old baby without luggage on wheels, a stroller, a baby carrier, or disposable wipes and diapers. Her reply was, “God provided.” She sought God’s will in every aspect of her life including moving to a different country.
Mom taught me to work hard, persevere and keep moving forward. She raised her four children while working as a seamstress out of our home. My parents opened our home to our aunts, uncles and cousins who had immigrated to the United States and they lived with us until they could get jobs and find a home for their own families. Some stayed with us for a few months and others for up to three years. My mom became a blessing to those families and helped them feel welcome in a new country. She did not have a cell phone or computer and learned to cook, decorate her home, and raise her children without a mother’s support group. She was the support group because many women sought her advice. She was up at sunrise and worked late into the night to prepare for the next day.
Mom taught me that your family is more important than anything else. My childhood was filled with the smell of homemade fried chicken, trips to the park to play, picnics, drive-in movies with our pajamas on (just in case we fell asleep), and family get-togethers with our cousins on Sundays. Life was not easy but we were happy, secure, and loved.
My mom no longer ties my shoes to prevent me from falling, but she is always there when I do stumble in life and encourages me to stand up again.
She no longer picks me up from school, but she does pick me up when I become discouraged or need moral support.
She no longer packs a nourishing school lunch for me, but she nourishes me with womanly wisdom.
She does not know it, but I will carry her words and actions with me throughout my lifetime. When I make decisions about how to prepare certain meals, how to sew, how to love my grandchildren unconditionally, and how to handle difficult people, I automatically hear my mother’s words answering the questions that are in my mind.
She is the one who taught me to have faith, work hard, to give generously of my time and talents, to persevere, and to do it cheerfully. Her patience, generosity, kindness, and her desire to serve others, inspire me to be a better person.
I no longer give her homemade cards, pick dandelions for her, or make her a piece of toast with jelly on it, but I still love being with her. Those times are priceless to me. Although I am grown up now and have children and grandchildren of my own, I still look forward to her daily blessing. I thought that I was the gift giver, but God gave me the greatest gift of all – my mother.
God Bless you Mom. I love you.
Happy Mother’s Day.