GENDUSA COLUMN: The Most Important Task

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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As I pondered my column regarding Mother’s Day, I realized the story was before me, hanging on a wall above my desk.

Her big blue eyes are bright in contrast to the rest of the fading picture taken by Olin Mills over 48 years ago.  She is not smiling but looking beyond the camera with an uncertainty that still haunts me each time I study her sweet face.  She is my middle daughter.

To the left of her portrait is her younger brother’s picture in his overalls and another in his first baseball uniform, clutching a bat.  He is sporting the same impish grin he still has today.

On the right, a framed snapshot depicts me holding my oldest child in my arms.  In the photo, she is crinkling her nose with laughter while we both look at the camera.  Seeing this picture makes me smile and reminisce about the day I realized that being a mom to this precious baby daughter would make life wonderful forever.

However, some days were not so fine, and they never will be with children.  The ups and downs of our children’s lives affect all we do.  The quote, “You are only as happy as your saddest child,” requires an “Amen!”   To this day, if one of my middle-aged offspring is in sorrow, I am also.  Time never stops the beating, worrisome heart of a mother.

If we do well, we teach our children by example.  If they see us struggle and fall but stand again, they learn courage and determination.  We are our children’s teachers, and we wish them to be excellent examples to their children.  Being a good mother is the most important task on earth because our love passes forward through generations.

As mothers, we raise our children to be independent and self-sufficient.  However, it’s ironic that as they grow up and become self-reliant, we find it hard not to be needed anymore.  With age, our children require less mothering, and it can be challenging for us to accept this shift in our roles as caregivers.

I know that is God’s plan, but after my mother died, I knew I didn’t tell her enough how much I relied on her to catch all my tears and ease my soul by her just being present.

Being a mother is never easy, but it embodies devotion, compassion, and joy if you try.  It is not without heartache, but every kind of love comes with some degree of suffering.  It is through such pain that we learn resilience and become stronger.  Maybe my middle daughter, with big blue eyes, was uncertain of my determination and fortitude to handle such a responsibility as motherhood.  However, I did it because I simply loved her, just as my mother loved me.

We should praise all those Mothers who did what was best for their children and sacrificed so much to care for each one.  I am thankful for those who teach a child kindness, respect, dignity, and honesty, which must become a priority before success and money.

Our unsung heroines are mothers who pack school lunches daily, head to the ballparks on Saturdays, and accompany kids to church on Sundays.  These women who work to provide a home, a safe haven, and assuring hugs are priceless.

No blessing is more significant than a mother’s love to absorb all the tears shed and comfort their children.

We mourn with the mothers who’ve lost a child, cared for sick babies, and prayed tirelessly for strength and healing.  Their bravery teaches us courage.

I am grateful to God for giving women the ability to be guardians of His children, examples of His power, and protectors of the future.

I remember those days as a single working woman when fatigue hit me.  But even after reading the last bedtime story, I did the laundry, put away the toys, and prepared for the next day of mothering.

Thankfully, God was with me as I folded clothes, scrambled eggs, and wiped away tears.  He provided me with the will and faith to get through those unfine days and find the glory of motherhood.

After my granddaughter was born, I held her in my arms and rocked her during a bout of colic while her mom rested.   She stopped crying for a moment and gazed at my face.  Her eyes were just like her mom’s… uncertain.

I whispered as if she could understand, “Have no fear, little girl.  You are loved beyond what you can comprehend.  You will always have uncertainty in life, but there is one thing you can be assured of…. your mother will always be with you.”

“Happy Mother’s Day to all the unsung heroines out there!”