On the flight home last night I had my earbuds in and my eyes closed, just relaxing and holding my EC’s hand. A quiet break from a busy, great weekend. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular until the thought hit me: What am I going to write about for my Mother’s Day post tomorrow? It boiled down to a very simple thought of little significance to anyone but me:
I wish my mom could read my blog.
My mom was a force of nature. She was always doing something creative, be it singing in a choir or group, writing musicals, plays or stories. The arts were her great love. She loved to laugh, she loved to serve. She would have been so proud to see me flirting with the creative world. In my brain, she and Erma Bombeck are inextricably linked.
She passed in 1999. By then, she had met four of our five children, and was the grandma to beat all grandmas. She was around to see me establish a successful business. She was around to see me grounded and serving in the Church. She was well acquainted with the “grown-up” version of Brad, and I know she approved. I was 38 when she passed away at 65. Both of us were far too young.
What she never saw was me attempting something like this. She never read anything I’ve written post-high school. Sure, I had some moments of creativity here and there, but she never saw a long, sustained effort that has been as well-receive as this. I know she would have loved it and been an avid member of the MMM bandwagon.
What I find fascinating is that even now, as a 55 year old man, I still crave the approval of my mother. I always have. I always will. In turn, she always wanted me to succeed and be happy, and she probably still does, but even more intensely.
That relationship between parent and child is highly reflective of our relationship with God, which makes sense, in that motherhood and Godhood are linked. As President Monson said, “One cannot remember mother and forget God.” (link) In the same talk her said, “God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one.”
Elder Dale Renlund said, “To endure to the end, we need to be eager to please God.” (link) I know that there were times in my life where I intentionally displeased my mom, just as there have been times that I have successfully displeased God. Remarkably, I think that both God and my mom could see through my adolescent and petty attempts and still love me, and root for me. I sense this even now. “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while but their hearts forever.”
In this light, in is no strange thing that the #1 item on my list of my most significant spiritual experiences is directly tied to my mom, but that is all you need to know about that. (How’s your list coming?)
“Motherhood, is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.” (First Presidency message.) (link)
President Nelson gave an entire conference address about our sacred duty to honor women and motherhood, (link) and this I gladly do. I honor my mom, my sweet EC, and the mothers who impacted my life. I also honor motherhood as a concept, especially as it comes under assault from an ever-degrading culture. To moms out there, I salute you. Thank you.
Seventeen years is a long time. Memories fade and change. Details get lost, and I find myself not thinking about my mom for large swaths of time. Yet when I do, the thoughts are always sweet. I am still that kid, seeking her approval.
I miss her. I love her.
I wish she had internet service.
Skype would be best, but even a dial-up modem to read this post would make me smile.