Sunday, May 14, 2006

MY MOTHER, THAT'S WHO I NEED

"Her children arise up, and call Her blessed..." Proverbs 31:28

Once again the calendar has flipped around to another Mother's Day. It's a time of remembrance, and a time to show your mom how much she means, and it's also a time to wander stupidly around the store trying to figure out what in the round world you could possibly get her for her special day that isn't too cheesy or isn't something she wouldn't want.

Honestly, I should probably take a couple years off from Mother's Day gifts since I knocked it out of the park last year by making a 30 minute video retrospective for her. It took me WEEKS to finish that, but it was worth it to see her reaction to it. However, the downside is that I just can't top that gift, so I'm stuck in Wal-Mart trying to figure out if a copy of The Purpose Driven Life is Mother's-Day-ey enough.

Truthfully, though, it's not the previous gift that makes it hard for any others to measure up. It's actually more that the gifts she's given me would cause any trinket or bauble to pale in comparison.

For starters, there's the gift of...oh, I don't know...life? But there's so much more beyond that, too. There's the constant love that I got my whole life, the care, the advice, and the example.

My mom didn't come from much. She was raised in a backwater Kentucky town, or "up the holler," as they might say it. She was one of five daughters of a hard-drinking coal miner and a hard-working God-fearing mother. She lost her father to his drinking and his crazy ways at a young age, and her mother did everything she could to make sure the girls got by, often taking from herself and giving to them. I couldn't care less that I never knew my grandfather, but I am glad that I did get to meet my mother's mother before she passed. Memories of her explain an awful lot about my own mother.

My mother was a smart one, and she was driven. She did well in school. She finished college with a teacher's degree, and then she met my dad. Despite loud protests from her sisters and mother, they got married. A few years later, a bouncing baby boy came into their lives. My grandmother thought I was something spectacular. She used to hold me on her lap and tell my mother that I was too smart to live. As long as I had the birdcage music box to play with, I was a happy camper.

My mother decided to stay home with me and raise me. Till the moment I stepped onto the bus to go to kindergarten, my mother was there every waking moment. And she wasn't just there, as in around the house; she was there teaching me things, showing me things, and guiding me along with any question I might have. She was there when I took my first steps. She was there when I said my first word. She was there when I skinned up my knees and had to put that awful red medicine on them. She was there when I was four and I picked up her shopping list and read it to her. She claims to have little to do with me teaching myself how to read, but I doubt it would've happened without her. Sesame Street can only teach you so much.

She was also there when I got too big for my britches. As a teenager, I knew pretty much everything there was to know, or so I thought, and my parents were the dumbest people in the world. My mom didn't care about all that teenage bravado though. She knew at the end of the day, someone had to make the meals, and someone had to clean Super-Teen's laundry. And quite often, she knew how to make me work!

Still, I think I was spoiled. Well, spoiled to a point, I suppose. Discipline was meted out in its due amount along with the love and the indulgence. She never let me run wild or run over her. I was never once in my life beaten, but the spankings on the other hand are beyond enumeration. I don't regret a single one of them now, since they molded my mind (if not my behind) into the man I'm supposed to be today.

Mom and I had our times when we couldn't be around each other without biting each others' heads off or yelling at each other, but thankfully we both are wiser now and both realize the mistakes we made, and I think we both realize that the reason one person gets mad at another is because there is love and concern for the other's well-being there. I was a young man trying to win my independence. She was a mother having to learn to let go of her firstborn.

These days, I take time out to visit my mom (and my dad) for no reason at all. I am still learning things about them and their past that help me. I still get that sage advice from a woman who has been through the fire and lived to tell the tale.

I wouldn't trade you anything for the wonderful lady that is my mother. She is the true picture of the virtuous woman as described by Solomon in Proverbs. And I hope someday the woman I marry will be too.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom, from your eternally grateful son. This one's for you:


"My Mother"
--by Ross Bagdasarian

It’s hard to remember
Summer or winter
When she hasn’t been there for me.
A friend and companion
I can always depend on
My mother, that’s who I need.

I’ve taken for granted
Seeds that she planted.
She’s always behind everything.
A teacher, a seeker,
A both arms out reacher,
My mother, that’s who I need.

Wish I could slow down
The hands of time,
Keep things the way they are.
If she said so, I would give her the world,
If I could,
I would.

My love and my laughter,
From here ever after,
Is all that she says that she needs.
A friend and companion,
I can always depend on,
My mother, that’s who I need.
My mother, that’s who I need.
That’s who I need.

8 Comments:

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

JD, that is one of the most beautiful tirbutes I've ever read. How lucky you and your mom both are....I only hope that my son might one day feel the same things about me.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

PS - I think all you need to give your mom today is a link to this entry. :)

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

aw, that's so sweet- Happy Mothers Day!

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger Stacy said...

Awesome tribute, JD! Anytime a God-fearing, God-loving Mom is referenced as a virtuous Proverbs 31 woman is a time of deep humility and emotion. THAT is a wonderful gift. I'm sure your Mom is very pleased with her son.

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

what a lovely post, j.d... your momma raised you right!

& i am certain this post will MAKE her mother's day!!

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous alka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Kat said...

Awwwwwwwww!!!!! Very nice. :-)

 
At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Ann Handley said...

JD: On behalf of Moms everywhere...you rock!! All a mother ever wants -- for Mother's Day or on any other day -- is a sincere, "Thanks." You delivered...in spades. What an awesome tribute.

 

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