Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Mother is About Heart (Who's My Mommy?)

Mother's Day is quickly approaching - a time when children, young and old, give flowers and cards and gifts to the women who raised them. A time when we celebrate these special women.

As a young child, I didn't have a mother to give anything to. While we were making cards in school, or little paper flowers, I knew I had no one who would appreciate the odd little works of art I created. My biological mom left when I was 2 years old. For six years, I was raised by my father. I'm sure I gave these school-made crafts to my aunt, or one of my grandmothers, but I can't remember for certain.

As an older child, I remember fretting during Mother's Day. Did I make the breakfast in bed right? Is the gift going to be enough? Am I being quiet enough? Will I get beaten if I wake her up for breakfast? Until I left home at 18, Mother's Day was the day I had to choke up the ability to show love to a woman who I did love in a way, but did not respect.

It wasn't until I turned 18 that I came to understand what a Mother truly is - a Mother worthy of gifts and cards and hugs and love. That year, I actually came to know and understand Mothers in a whole new light.

When I ran away from home at 18 - still a senior in high school - I had no where to live. I walked the street that first night... slept at friends' houses the next couple nights.... met a man at a party, and moved in with him that night for a week or so. Ended up spending a week in the hospital for depression. When I was discharged from the hospital, I was again homeless. A woman I had met only a couple times just before my hospital stay took me in.

This woman  had 3 of her own children, and a grandchild, and a few other "strays" like myself, all living with her in her small home. She didn't have a lot of money, but had a lot of love. She would stay up all hours of the night letting me talk, complain or just cry. She showed me more love than I had ever known before. When I was scared, she eased my fears. When I was sad, she comforted me. When I just couldn't stop crying, she cried with me. When I was happy, she shared in that joy. When someone mistreated me, she was like a lioness protecting her cub. I called her "Mom" (although, the full term we'd all come up with was "unofficially adoptive mother"). I still call her Mom even though I do not talk to her nearly as much as I should. She helped me learn to love, and helped me grow as a person.

I lived there for 5 months, before moving in with my new boyfriend's family. This man is now my husband, and has been for 20 years. I often tell him I only married him for his mother. She is so much like the woman I described in the paragraph before. She took me in without knowing me. She stayed up many nights to listen to me. She, like my "unofficially adoptive mother", taught me much on how to love, and on what a Mom is and should be.

And, these two women couldn't have come at a better time. Shortly after meeting both of these women, I ended up pregnant with my first child. I don't think I could have raised, or even truly loved, this little baby girl (or the 5 children who followed) had it not been for the lessons and love I received from these two new Moms I had acquired.

Thank you God for bringing these real Mother's into my life... to protect me and guide me; to love me and heal me; to teach me how to be a love and trust and how to be a mother myself.

Mother's aren't always the women who gave birth to you. Nor are they always the women who raised you when you were a child. A true mother is the one who guided you, loved you, protected you, held you, laughed and cried with you. My two Moms may not have given birth to me, or even knew me when I was a child - but I love them more than ever.

Happy Mother's Day Mom and Mom :) God bless you both!

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