Thursday, 23 May 2013

And for the Mothers!

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay, honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purses.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars.

And that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and meant it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who never stops wondering if they´re doing it right, always wondering what they could do better.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college or have their own families.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shootings.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their children who just came home from school safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?

Or is it in her heart?

Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation... And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without, struggling to make ends meet.

For all the mothers at heart who are still yearning for a child of their own..
And for all the women who´ve loved kids of others as if they were theirs...

This is for you all. For all of us...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

10 years without the most important of them all.

Weeks to the 10th year without you, I'm feeling the now familiar dull ache. I'm feeling the heavy heartedness that has characterized every month of May/June for the past 10 years.
They say that time heals all wounds, but they never tell you that there are wounds that will never heal.
The pain might dull with time as you busy yourself with life and living, but it never really heals, the emptiness remains.
When faced with challenging situations, I miss your  gentle yet firm words of encouragement.
I miss the sound of your early mornings and midnight prayers. Praying for us, one after the other.
You settled our success in life on your knees, before you left.
You were and still is the most solid influence I and all my siblings ever had. You were mother, friend, confidante, counsellor, adviser, guide and teacher. You were intercessor and prayer partner.
You were strict and the firmest disciplinarian. You believed very strongly that sparing the rod spoils the child, so you spared not the rod. However, you were also generous with praise and affirmation.
You taught us to be strong, independent and generous with both ourselves and resources. You said that if we wanted anything, to go out and get it. You taught to know how to abound and to abase.
Growing up, we went back and forth between having it all and barely making ends meet, but in all of it, neither we nor the world could tell the difference.
Because of his business choices, Dad was hardly ever there and when he was, he was preoccupied with being the good cop amongst other things that he ended up not qualifying as a parental role model. He did qualify as our reference in style and elegance.

10 years without them both. We've tried to keep the fire burning, we've held on to the legacy. We are all doing well, all 7 of us. We've stayed united, even when we've disagreed with each other. And now more than ever, I feel that the love we have for each other is true and strong.

I love my 4 sisters to bits and I adore my 2 brothers.
I look around and I know we've been blessed to be borne by the most special of all women.
The woman who positively touched the life of every one who came in contact with her, in her vocation as a nurse/midwife, as a deaconess in church and as a mother to all and sundry.
This is to the most important of all the women in my life.
This is to You Mum, the woman who made me happen.