A Mother's Love

A mother's love is not a perfect love, but it is her best. It is all that she has in that moment that she shares it with you. Growing up, I didn't understand that. I didn't see that. I saw only the things it was not; the things I wanted it to be and that it fell short of. Expectations can steal your joy if you let them. They blind you. They keep you from realizing what you have been given because you become so focused on what you wanted to be given. There is joy to be had in what you get if you just give yourself eyes to see it. Now, I see my mother's love--in it's imperfection--and feel blessed through it just the same.

Yesterday was Mother's Day and I spent the day with my mom. As we were leaving my house to go to church, she asked me if I got the e-card she sent me. No, I hadn't. She then remembered that she must not have sent me one. Oh well, she said. My other two sisters live out of state and she sent them both e-cards, but then got caught up in something else and skipped me. At first, the pains of all the past times rushed back to me. The times that I got birthday cards or Christmas cards that were after-thoughts. The ones with food or beverage stains on the envelopes. The things that made me feel less than. As those thoughts started to creep in, I pushed them out. I reminded myself that while a card would have been a nice gesture, she was here with me right now and I got that. I could sit here and let disappointment steal that from me, but why? I hadn't even thought about getting a card from her before she'd said anything, but that one comment could have soured the whole day for me. Instead, I changed my perspective and embraced what I had right now--this time together.

Me & my mom - Oct 2010

Being a mother is not easy. I know this first-hand as a mother myself. I have three kids all diagnosed and being treated for ADHD; two of whom also have co-morbid mood disorders. They challenge my patience, but they also give me love and joy that is so pure and full. For Mother's Day, my younger two made me cards that told me how loved I am. My DD started my day (earlier than I had planned for it to begin) with a call saying that she loved me and wished me a Happy Mother's Day. Even though I had wanted to sleep in, that kind of call is worth the wake up. I talked to her older brother later that morning and he didn't wish me a Happy Mother's Day until he heard his dad tell me that and then he wanted to get back on the phone so he could wish me one as well. My oldest called me at the end of the day to wish me a Happy Mother's Day and then asked me for my Netflix login. I almost let that latter piece (that it seemed like the login was the purpose of the call, and while he was at it he might as well say Happy Mother's Day) outweigh the former.

Sometimes in our broken places, we let the truth and joy leak out through the cracks as the hurt and pain and things of old seep back in. There will be times when there is just enough light for that place that you are in...and you have to lean into Him to see the light and find that place of peace. Life is too short to not keep fighting the good fight of allowing those tendencies to let the darkness overtake the light in our lives. Last night my phone rang and it was my Uncle Matt. He called to tell Oma had passed away. A reminder that each moment is a precious one. 

Oma - Thanksgiving 2010

Oma is not related to me by blood, but she is surely my family. I have no recollection of a time in my life prior to now that she has not been part of our family. My Uncle Matt and his wife Sibyl, Oma's daughter, have been like a second family to us. Their grandkids call me Aunt Heather and my kids do the same with their children. Matt is also my godfather. He is the patriarch of our family even though he is not the oldest child. He is our rock. Whenever I see his number on my phone, I think bad thoughts; he called to tell me my grampy (his dad) died back in January 2008. He and my Aunt Sibyl host most of our family events and have for decades. Oma had been a constant part of all of those events and had treated us all as if we were her family and we treated her like our Oma even though the bloodlines say otherwise. I will miss Oma, but I am thankful that she is no longer restricted by her illness and that she has a life far better than she could ever ask or imagine now that she has reached her Father's home. Much love, Oma! xoxox

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