May is the month for mothers. For some, this is a happy time; for others, this a time of sorrow, grief, or regret. I am so blessed to have a great mom who is still here, a mom with whom I can spend quality time. If you’re not that fortunate, it’s OK – I’ll share my mom with you.
My Ups and Downs with Mom
The other day, I was thinking about what Mom was like when I was younger, and one particular photo came to mind. It was taken at some banquet I attended in middle school. I don’t remember what the banquet was for, only that I received a certificate. Family members were encouraged to come, so my mother and grandfather came to support me.
In the picture, I’m sitting across from them at the table. I look excited, smiling in my pretty floral dress we bought just for this occasion. Papa looks very nice in slacks and a polo shirt. Mom, on the other hand, is still wearing the button-down dress shirt and khakis that made up her uniform for her job at the doctor’s office. Now, my mom is a very pretty lady, and she always looks immaculate and put-together, but she doesn’t look particularly great in this photo. In fact, she looks really worn out. And with good reason.
I now realize that Mom worked over 45 minutes away from the restaurant where the banquet was held. She probably had to leave work early; she definitely had to race to the restaurant in rush-hour traffic; and she sure didn’t have time to run home and get dolled up for a banquet. As an adult, I am also painfully aware that smiling through two hours of teacher-parent conversations in the back room of a Ryan’s Steakhouse had to have been complete and utter torture, especially after a long day’s work. But she was there – for me.
That’s why I love that photo, because it’s a reminder of all the things Mom has done for my siblings and me. I was thinking about this and all the other times that Mom put us kids first. I started to make a list, and I noticed they all included the word “up”:
- She stayed up with us when we were sick.
- She cleaned up after us constantly.
- She stepped up when grown-up decisions had to be made, allowing us to just be kids.
- She manned up when it was time to get to work, put food on the table, or kill spiders that frightened us (even though she was really terrified of them).
- She paid up for all those things we just had to have, from clothes to school trips.
- She dressed up for everything, teaching us girls the value of modesty and gracefulness.
- She prayed up every day, asking for God’s guidance and protection.
- She showed up when we needed her – every time, no matter what.
- She got worked up when we were wronged.
- She stood up for us when we needed someone on our side.
- When one of us messed up, we always found a way to make up.
- But even when we were bad, and she had plenty of reason to, she never gave up on us.
This is why I look up to her – because she’s always been such a great mom.
Now that I’m older, though, things are a bit different. Now, I appreciate it when we sit down…for a meal, a movie, or a laugh. It’s because of these sweet moments together that I think of Mom as more than just a great parent; I appreciate her as my friend.
Life is full of winding roads, and we never know where it will take us. However, if you are fortunate enough to have a mom like this in your life, she’ll be with you through those “ups” and “downs.”
(Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!)