As we approach Mother’s Day, and I reflect on my mom, I became supremely overwhelmed with a wave of profound gratitude and absolute awe for the woman who influenced me the most and the example she set.
My mom is from the Show Me State, the place where actions speak louder than words. Through her daily examples, which flowed naturally and effortlessly from her, those actions spoke volumes from my first living example of a woman, of how powerful women are, and how much they deserve to be loved, respected, and celebrated for their seats at the table.
The Online Etymology Dictionary defines feminism as ‘qualities of females.’ When I think of the qualities that my mom adorned and demonstrated, the ones that naturally come forth are godly, noble, loving, firm, diplomatic, devoted, unconditional love, persistent, persevering, powerful, strong, respected, trusted, beautiful, lovely, selfless, sacrificing daily, humble, steadfast, wise, champion of her family, and I can go on and on.
As I stated above, my mom was my first example of a woman. My mom set the bar and the tone of how I should view, treat, and interact with woman. My mom showed me, by her actions, the rich and defining talents of a woman.
Mom had that quiet strength—that powerfully gorgeous and commanding quiet strength which beamed from her beautiful and deep blue eyes. Those same eyes that displayed her fierce love for her children, and equally disclosed when you crossed the line. Those eyes that looked upon you with such love and kindness, yet were equally effective at correction and conviction.
I never heard my mom complain. Raising three boys and a girl, and I would argue a husband, (my dad) as well, all while balancing work, daily packed lunches, nightly dinners, grocery shopping with coupons and kids in tow, endless laundry, poison ivy, chicken pox, stitches, surgeries, school functions, little league, softball, high school football, community events, volunteerism, gave her plenty of legitimate reasons and license to more than a little whine time. But she never did.
My mom taught me God is the most important, and He is our True Source, and rightful head over our family. I cannot tell you how much my mom prayed—and having three sons required a lot of prayer. Even to this day, I still feel my mom’s prayers, both past and present. I truly believe her prayers helped keep our family where it needed to be, and from going off the rails. My mom is a prayer warrior. My mom is a warrior, period.
Mom required us to address women with respect, and that ‘yes and no ma’am’ was evidence of that respect, as was opening doors and the like. These acts in no way diminished the power of women—quite the opposite. These acts showed deference to that power and their imperative place in the world of womanhood.
Mom taught us, through her daily actions, that being a devoted wife and mother was an incredibly incomprehensibly and profoundly critical role that formed, shaped, nurtured, and set the tone and trajectory for her family. My mom wore her role as a wife, mother, community leader, professional, volunteer, and woman, as badge of honor. Above all, her family always came before all else; except God. Her husband and her kids were her magnum opus. My mom is the matriarch of our family—the glue that has held us all together, even when we were coming apart at the proverbial seams. Thankfully, we never came apart. We came dangerously close at times, but not quite, because of Mom.
Aside from God, without my mom, we wouldn’t be here today (and I include my dad as part of our ‘we’). If Mom wasn’t the woman she was, we wouldn’t be the successful, compassionate, devoted, functional, steadfast sons, daughter, fathers, mothers, husbands, wife, and people we are today. And this being said, we still can’t hold a candle this wonderful woman, who is my mom.
So, Mom, on this Mother’s Day, know that I am more grateful than words could ever express for you, who you are, your immeasurable love, and the great influence and impact you have had and still have on my life. You are my mom, my best friend, and the first woman I ever knew and loved. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Love always and forever,