A Mother’s Love
I will never understand the love a Mother has for her children. Today I have finally accepted it is simply beyond my ability to comprehend.
Like so many of us I took advantage of my Mom as a child, and given the gift of hindsight, I probably even did that as an adult. Mom was always there looking out for me. It wasn’t until her final moments that I thought about how much she had done for me. In those precious few minutes it dawned on me that I would never understand why she cared as she did, why she put up with all my mistakes, why she loved me as much as she loved all her other children. She died with me never understanding the love of my Mother.
I was equally dumbfounded later in life when a family heirloom that meant the world to me seemed to have slipped through my fingers once again. Yet there is a lamp in our house today that serves as a constant reminder a Mother's love is not limited to those children she bears. Why was I the one blessed with this special act of kindness? After all these years, words still fail to describe the emotion of that moment. And it convinced me all the more I will never understand the love of a Mother.
Even when I watched my wife and the interaction she had with our sons, I couldn't understand the love of a Mother. Those boys drove me nuts but Becky persevered. I remember when teen choices drove a wedge between father and son, Mom was there making sure the wounded family ties were repaired. While I felt a huge sense of loss when they left our house and later when they married, Becky didn’t waste any time welcoming 2 wonderful young ladies into our lives. When I was convinced I should have done more, Becky knew we had done all that was needed to prepare our sons to lead their own households. How did she know? Why was she right every time? I have no idea. But it pretty much proved beyond any doubt I am incapable of understanding the love of a Mother.
Today I am confronted once more with my inability to grasp the enormity of a Mother’s love. Holly, our sweet little Holly, hesitated not one second when asked if she wanted to carry a child that would not look like other children. She was told her baby would not live as long as other babies are expected to live. She would never see her baby leave for the first day of school, go on her first date, or share that special day when wedding rings marked a new chapter in the lives of everyone who loved her baby girl. But Holly never wavered in her decision. In spite of the hardship, or maybe because of it, she chose to continue a bittersweet pregnancy that tore out the hearts of those who thought they knew what was best for her. I was one of those people.
Holly was not ready for this. It was just yesterday that I watched her and Katrina playing in a small wading pool with my sons. Just yesterday she fell asleep in my lap after a long day of boating and many failed attempts at water skiing. Just yesterday she was a busy athlete on the track and field team, a goofy acting teenager racing to embrace the promise of tomorrow. Just yesterday she married and with Anthony began a family.
It was just yesterday. I was there. I know she was not ready for this.
Yet what I know is not what I see because there stands Holly, glowing only as a happy mother-to-be can. There is Holly, smiling and reassuring all of us she is fine, that she knows this is the right choice. There is Holly, inspiring those who doubted, giving us the strength to carry on. At a time when she should be leaning on us she is instead the crutch a family depends on. How can she do that? Where does she find the strength? She has reminded me once again I will never understand the love of a Mother.
I deeply regret that I will never know little Carleigh. I would like to watch her grow and see her listen in wide-eyed wonder as I argue with her Grandma about whether she looks more like her Mom or more like her Dad. I would like to hear her laugh when I tell stories of her Mom as a toddler and teen.
I would like to tell her what a wonderful Mom she has.
But somehow, I think she already knows all the things I would like to tell her. And I suspect she knows even more because I am certain she understands the one thing I never will: the love of a Mother.
I hesitate to speak of God because I know so little and others are far more qualified than I am to speak of His love for us. But instead of wondering why this happened I choose to believe in His wisdom. I choose to believe that He knew Holly was the best choice to be the Mother of one of His most precious children. I choose to believe that He knew Carleigh would be safe and warm and loved. Seeing the smile of our young Mommy-to-be I know it was the right choice.
I may never understand the love of a mother but today I understand the love of our Father just a little better. He sees what we can’t see. He knows what we don’t know. He understands what I don’t, the love of a Mother.