I was a mom at an early age, right out of high school. As a young mother, I think I did the best I could. I worked two jobs, went to school at night, and still managed to raise a decent human being who treasures his wife and children, and more importantly, he is keenly aware of what it takes to be a good parent. You have to equip your kids with tools to become happy adults - that's his motto, and I'm proud that he feels that way.
However, somewhere along the way, I lost him. He doesn't need his Mom anymore; he doesn't feel as if it's necessary to call, to write, or to even answer the phone when I call.
I was the same way once with my Mother. I avoided her calls, I didn't visit, I didn't share my happiness or my turmoil with her. She had six other kids; I figured she didn't need to hear from me. So I stayed away. I punished her for something she could not really do anything about, and I tortured myself year after year with the guilt that comes from not doing what we should.
Confrontation is a really tough thing to do. I wish I had confronted my Mom. I wish I had said to her all the things I want to say to her right now. I can't say those things to her because she died 22 years ago. Perhaps my Father knew that I needed the comfort that comes from closure, because as she lay dying, he asked her if she wanted to hear Country Roads...it was their song. She nodded through the haze of the coma, smiled as much as she could despite the ventilator that was keeping her alive, and looked right at me with those very blue eyes, the eyes that I remember all throughout my life as the eyes of my protector, my provider, my mother.
When Mom responded to Dad's question, he said to me, of all the seven children surrounding her bedside, "Kim, sing Country Roads for Pearl." And I did. Somehow, I did, and although it was the hardest thing I ever did in my entire life; I am eternally grateful for that moment.
I still remember a lot of the pain of my childhood, but as I mature, I forgive. As I grow, I live. As I choose to love, I live.
I hope if you have not yet forgiven your mother for not being perfect, for whatever hurt you may feel she caused, that you forgive her. You may lose her one day and you will never have the chance to tell her how much you care and how much you know she did the best she could. We all bring the best we have to the table as parents. I don't know anyone who does not, in fact.
Here is a prayer we prayed today in worship. I hope you find meaning in it. If you are a Mom, I wish you a happy mother's day filled with love and laughter and peace:
As on a first day you began the work of creating us;
as on a first day you raised your Son from the dead;
so on this first day, good Lord, freshen and remake us;
and as the week is new, let our lives begin again
because of Jesus, who shows us your loving power. Amen