In honor of Women’s History Month, I have lauded my grandmothers and written an ode to the aunties. I cannot let this month pass without honoring my mother. It is, after all, the first commandment with promise, according to the apostle Paul (Ephesians 6:1-3).
My mom was my first role model. Long before I learned to speak up for myself, I saw her speaking up for others as a representative of the teacher’s union in our school district. Before I ever taught a single lesson, I saw her not just running a classroom Monday through Friday, but also volunteering to teach Sunday School on the weekends. She taught me how to balance a checkbook and write checks before I had a dollar to my name.
Mom, just like her mother before her, gave birth to four kids, but had her hands on the lives of so many others. Our house was the hangout for the neighborhood kids. Sometimes, they called her Mrs. Hayes, but most of the time, they called her mom, too. She has the kind of heart that always makes room for one more. (God bless her, that is not a trait I inherited.)
Anyway, In the last few years, due to some health challenges, mom has become more dependent on me than she would like to be. She even apologizes for needing help. And yes, sometimes I get frustrated, and sometimes I get tired, but the things I am able to do for her are just a fraction of what she’s done for me and my siblings. At some point in time, she had three teenagers in the house at the same time. You have to be some kind of saint to deal with that. And I love my siblings, but none of us were angels at that age. (None of us are angels now, either, in case you’re wondering.)
Our heavenly father gave us earthly mothers to model his love for us. They bring us into the world. They provide for our every need. They forgive the unforgiveable, and are always ready and willing to reconcile and restore. I can think of no better picture of grace and mercy. I thank God for my mother. I honor her, not because of the promise attached to the commandment, but because the honor is well-deserved.