Mom or Mother?


As the day we celebrate Mother’s Day draws nearer, I can’t help but think about mine even more than normal.  My mother was the epitome of the mother deserving of all the accolades the holiday encourages.  Everywhere you look this time of year there are advertisements for the perfect gift or card or dinner; many choices to bestow them honor.

We actually called my mom “mother” until we were in our teenage years.  As we grew older and I think due to the influence of our friends, we slowly, carefully tested out “mom” and eventually made the switch.  I say slowly and carefully because my dad didn’t like the term “mom”; he thought “mother” was far more respectful.

Today I was remembering how all of our friends loved mom.  She always had a smile, a kind word and a way of making them feel special.  She was very discerning and could quickly tell if someone was going through something and needed a hug.  She was always compassionate and loving, but they also knew she didn’t put up with any shenanigans and showed her the utmost respect.

On a fall day, if we had friends over to play football in the yard full of crunchy leaves, she was inside making a big pot of chili and brownies, enough for all to share.  On a trip to the mall, our car was busting at the hinges with teenagers who weren’t the least bit ashamed to hang out with “Mom Goff” which is what most of them called her.  I still have one of her old scrapbooks and it is full of pictures, cards and even poems that our friends gave to her through the years.  The expressions of their love continue past high school, as some kept in touch with her long after they’d lost touch with us.

How I would love the chance to honor her on this Mother’s Day now that I am older and fully understand how truly blessed I was.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew it then; we all did, but she died when I was a mere 30 years old, pregnant with my 2nd child.  In the years since, my girls have grown up and moved out and away to begin their own adult lives and I am Nana to a precious five year old.  I know so much more than I did then about the joy and yes, even the pain of motherhood.

I know more of how she felt at graduations, weddings, the birth of a grandchild.  I know more about the sacrifice, the beauty, the love and the heartaches that every mom partakes of.  I’ve walked in similar shoes, I guess you could say.  I now understand that from the moment you birth that child, they own a piece of your heart.  Because of that, you feel not only their joy, but their pain for a lifetime.

Motherhood is worthy of honor; it is a lifetime calling.  You can’t quit, take a break, walk away and find yourself or turn off your emotions when you feel like they might pull you under.  You are in it for life!  For those of you who might be saying, some aren’t worthy of the praises you offer; some abandon, some mistreat.  You are right, and I sincerely offer my heartfelt sadness and regret for those who can’t celebrate their childhood.  However, those can begin a new chapter and leave a better legacy and those of us who know how, can help them.  Women everywhere should try to help fill those voids in children who have broken hearts and low expectations with love and understanding.

And for those of you who still have your mother, whether you call her mom, mother, madre, or mamma, I would encourage you to spend time with her!  Cherish every moment because I can assure you, you will be glad you did when she is gone.

I am glad my mom knew how deeply her children loved her and I am beyond grateful for the 30 years I had her in my life.

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