Sunday, May 13, 2012

What it Means to be a Mother

"A woman who has given birth to a child, a female parent" - these are among the first dictionary definitions for the word mother.  Obviously they don't even begin to touch the true meaning of the word.  As a verb it means "to take care of" and as an adjective "that carries another or others."  These are a little better but still not quite complete.  If you read further down the list of definitions the figurative meaning is "the largest and most perfect example."  This one says it all about what a mother is or should at least try to be.  I am lucky enough to still have not only my mother but also my grandmother in my life.  They have been through more than their share of hardships and difficult times, but they remain shining examples for others.  Both have a strong faith in God and a determination to live their lives in a way that benefits others.  They are the best examples I could possibly have for being a mother myself. 

While I don't even pretend to think that I have been the kind of mother that my mother and grandmother are, I have tried to learn from them.  I hope that I, along with both of them, have in some way shown Trey what it means to take care of and to be there for others.  For a time after Eddie died, I know I wasn't what Trey needed me to be, but thankfully my mother was there to step in and fill the void.  Now that I'm "back on my feet" I plan to always be there for Trey and to help him in any way that I can.  I know that I can never be "the most perfect example," but I will be the best example I possibly can.

This is my fourth Mother's Day since Eddie's death.  I will always think of him on this day, just as I will always think of him on Father's Day, because we are Trey's parents.  Having a child with someone creates a bond that exists even after death.  Eddie's no longer here to be a parent to Trey, and while I know I can't replace him, I'll do my best to fill that void for Trey.

                          What is a Mother?
It takes a mother's love to make a house a home -
A place to be remembered no matter where we roam.
It takes a mother's patience to bring a child up right
And her courage and her cheerfulness to make a dark day bright.
It takes a mother's thoughtfulness to mend the heart's deep hurts
And her skill and her endurance to mend little socks and shirts.
It takes a mother's kindness to forgive us when we err,
To sympathize in trouble, and to bow her head in prayer.
It takes a mother's wisdom to recognize our needs
And to give us reassurance by her loving words and deeds.
-Helen Steiner Rice

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