A Small Mother’s Day Wish

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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.

 

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I’m sorry for your loss. My hubby lost his mom in 2012 , she was 59. He says the hardest thing is not regrets of the past, it’s the loss of present and future memories. Not being able to call when he got his work promotion and have her be excited for him, the way she would have been. Walking into the house and hearing silence instead of her voice. It’s all those little things that you want to share with your mom, because she’s your mom. It’s hard.

  2. I thought I would read your blog to perhaps give myself a different, less selfish outlook on a day where I judge myself most harshly. But…nope. Crying even more. Thx a lot, MMM. BTW, if I were your mom I would be very proud.

    • Unsolicited advice: Change your focus. Today is not about you, or me. It is about your mom. Spend the day pondering what she has done for you.

    • I also have unsolicited advice…or perhaps an added perspective (not that I disagree with MMM…forgetting ourselves and honoring our mothers on this day is a good thing to do). I used to love Mother’s Day but last year and this year it’s been really hard…I’m not entirely sure why although judging myself harshly is definitely an aspect of it. Last night, my ward’s Relief Society President posted on Facebook about how hard Mother’s Day is for some and then said (in part): “You have a loving God that knows you very well. He is aware of every fear you have and every tear you shed. Go to him with all your burdens and he will make them light.” I read this last night, studied Sister Burton’s talk Certain Women and spent some time pondering and praying. Which all helped. Today as I was driving to work, feeling like I was having a much better perspective and pondering what I could do to make Mother’s Day better next year. I felt inspired to spend some time on that day, or at least around that day, each year writing a letter to each of my children and expressing my gratitude for them, my joy in being their (imperfect! but loving) mother, and telling them what divine attributes I see in them. I’m going to sit down tomorrow and write this year’s letters and make a note in my calendar for next year to hopefully turn this in to a tradition. I’m hopeful that by turning my thoughts both to my mother and to my children and sharing my heartfelt love for them, it will help prevent (or at least limit) the negative feelings. Maybe a similar idea might be helpful to you…or not.

  3. I miss my mother all the time. I was 40 when she passed in ’95 at the age of 64 while serving a mission with my dad. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. It’s been almost 5 years since my mom passed away and as I read your post, it came to mind how much my mom was always my greatest fan (my siblings tell me I was her ‘golden child’). She was always wanting to know about the events of my life because she wanted to know the next thing she could be proud of. I don’t recall her ever showing disappointment (though I’m sure there was many an occasion that she was), nor do I remember anything but praise and support and encouragement. Though my mother was a very shy person who avoided the lime-light at all cost, when it came to her children she was the biggest fan and spokesperson to anyone that would listen.
    At the time of her passing she had suffered and gone down-hill for over 4 years. I found myself grateful that she was finally removed from her physical/mortal misery. I didn’t want her to have to suffer any longer. But even through those years she always had a smile on her face, and though she had lost the ability to speak, she always spoke volumes to me through her smile and recognition.
    It’s such a blessing to know with absolute certainty that those we love, especially our moms, are still happily encouraging and blessing our lives from the other side of the veil. I imagine they probably still brag about us to anyone who will listen, as well. Just can’t wait to see that smile again face-to-face!

  5. I strongly suspect your mom has a much better internet than you do and is well aware of you and yours. Mine left in 1995 at 87 and left huge shoes to fill. “Her children call her blessed” as you do your mother. Blessings on you for your blog too, I certainly am blessed by it🙂 Thank you.

  6. Your mom would be very pleased with the positive influence this artistic side of you makes in the lives of more people than you realize.

  7. I started my list as soon as you issued the challenge. Mom was in one of them, as yours was. But your comments reminded me of one more to add to the list. We are blessed.

  8. I like Bryan Elkins’ idea. Didn’t Brigham Young teach that our departed loved ones are all around us and are very interested in our doings? I’d be willing to bet (if I did such things) that your mom knows of your accomplishments and is very proud of how your blog is such a blessing to so many. I miss my mom too. We lost her a year ago New Years Day. I was lucky to have been by her side as she left and am in the process of doing her temple work. Thanks for this great blog Brad. We love it!!

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