“I’m your Mother’s Day gift!!” I have spent the past 51 years reminding my mom of this because I was born on Mother’s Day. She is a stunning blonde with a classic, elegant beauty. My mother is brilliant and the most well read person that I know. Conversations range from art history to zealotry. At times, spoken in one of the multiple languages that roll off her tongue quicker than Google translator. She paints and our homes were often graced with Renaissance era murals that were left for the next homeowner as we moved throughout Europe and the US.
I grew up every Saturday morning with a mix of “Soul Train,” and Broadway musicals blaring as we danced and cleaned house. I will admit I didn’t appreciate the quintessential woman she was and how this would form me to know that knowledge was power and women were born to lead. We’d take these night drives in her sports car with moon roof off and the Bee-Gees or Motown classics playing – loud…um…really loud.
You could be dying or depressed, and she’d lean over you and say, “Get up! Put your lipstick on and get dressed looking gorgeous. Say to yourself, ‘I’m a fox!!’ They only win when they see you upset.” It’s true and I’ve learned from her that the right lipstick is a game changer.
She worked full time and went to school full time while raising 4 children. The day she obtained her PhD, was a milestone for her and a legacy marker for me. Whereas my dad taught me the thirst for grand adventures starting with a VW bus and weekend trips to European countries, my mom taught me what to appreciate along the way.
When we moved to the south and I witnessed racial bigotry for the first time, my mom opened our door to my African-American friends for sleepovers and was genuinely kind in explaining ignorance and dishonor when my neighborhood friends shunned us. She taught us acceptance and to be young people of integrity.
My mom was raised Catholic and began attending an incredible First Baptist church in our community. The subject of water baptism was brought up quite often, and her response was, “I am not taking a public bath.” Imagine our surprise when she texted us an invite to her water baptism two years later! Her must on a Saturday is her Bible Fellowship Group where she is an avid participant!
Last year, we embarked on a new chapter in her life as she made the decision to go on dialysis. I can’t even type without crying and still don’t understand why they won’t do a transplant because trust me, at 81, she’s just getting started! It hurts to see someone you love suffer so much. She wears her Compassion That Compels shirt and “uniform” to dialysis and keeps her outfit change, which includes some high heels in the backseat of her fabulous sports car.
My mom suffers from leg cramps and prayed one night for God’s help. She told me that in a dream, someone in a monk like robe told her that, “Jesus does not worry about time and that she shouldn’t either as she looks for answers (note here that she knows the message involved “spec,” polysyllabic wording, but couldn’t remember). “Look into yourself and find answers but the answers don’t come quickly…I always found a way by seeking the truth. God gave me a lot of personal gifts. There was an answer to everything, you have to find an answer.” This passage from Isaiah has become her life verse.
In this season of her life, my mom is teaching me and our family, about God’s sufficient grace. There are no easy answers but we commit to still seek and trust. I love you, Mom. To all the moms out there, Happy and blessed Mother’s Day!