Seasons of Life
There’s much written about a Mother’s Love and Hallmark has certainly capitalized on that market. I have been a partaker of many beautifully illustrated and written cards that captured the most appropriate feelings and emotions for that particular moment. But for now, these are my thoughts and words for my mother.
There hardly is another like my mother. It’s something I wrote years ago when she turned 60. Now I’m closer to 60 than she is from 60, what an unbelievable thought. Many years have passed since we celebrated with a big party, and it looks like another year will go by without a gathering of friends and family to mark this special occasion. I often wonder if that is a disappointment for my mom or if it is okay. I hope the latter.
Life has shifted. We are getting older. I’ve moved away, others are busy with their own lives and some even have health issues. Times are different, but my mother remains unchanged. She is as constant as the northern star or the flow of a river as illustrated in this painting. She is a generous soul in every encounter whether it is with her family or even a distant encounter.
For the most part, my mom was a stay at home mom. She was the main caregiver, grocery shopper, bill payer, planner of holidays, cook, cleaner and whatever else needed to be done. She was the CEO of the home. Some of my most vivid memories of my mom was her undeniable presence. She was always there to aid, assist and comfort. When I was in elementary school, I loved walking home for lunch. She often prepared my favorite lunch; Campbells chicken noodle or cream of chicken soup with buttered bread for dipping. It was the best. We always had a hearty breakfast, packed lunch (when I wasn’t coming home for lunch) and supper was on the table every night. Life was basic and plentiful at the same time. That was the early season of my life.
My mom was never very outspoken or assertive. She rarely even got angry or at least I very, very rarely saw that side of her. But like all of us, life is never perfect, so I’m sure she had to either bite her tongue or bury some things deep inside and not allow them to fester and rock her world. I have witnessed so many lives eaten up by jealousy or ones inability to forgive, but that is not and never was my mother.
Life isn’t always fair or distributed equally, but again, it really is all about ones perspective. Her perspective on life had a beautiful filter that always would see the good in people and the world around her. Her lens was and is one of gratitude. All relationships, including her children, are a little different and yet she equally distributed kindness to all. Not everything in life always made sense and certain things cannot be explained, but that too was and is okay.
Probably the one thing I love most about my mother is the way she loves my father. They have grown into a life-lesson on marriage by always caring and always loving the other. They have a mutual respect for each other. They see each other as a life mate and partner, each with different roles, but none-the-less equal. As this season of life takes hold of them, the sacrificial caring continues in ways that cannot fully be expressed. There are no barriers. Just constant support and overflowing love. But, it has taken a lifetime of building to get to this state of affection.
Their days together have been verse and chapter of growing in and sharing life. As young kids, they never were reluctant to leave us for a weekend getaway. They loved road trips and vacations. They entertained a bit and back in the seventies, that meant dressing up in formal wear. I loved when they had a party or a church event and my mom would wear a long gown and even gloves when I was very young. I can remember she had a pair of gold shimmering and silver sparkling gloves. Of course there were matching shoes and purses, all neatly boxed in her closet. Such glamour at times, and with each occasion-I always thought she was so beautiful.
She was and is beautiful. But more than outward beauty is her inward beauty. Her goodness exudes her. She is a servant in her core and her inner guide and strength comes from her unwavering faith in God. God is her true north. Nothing happens in her world without a conversation with heaven. Her faith has been her sustainer and will continue to give her strength until that day when she comes face to face with her maker.
I am very, very fortunate to have a mother who is the type of mother we all wish we had. I don’t know why I have been so blessed, but I am thankful for the way she has lived her life, the guidance she gave me throughout my life, and the beauty her character emits, regardless of who she is with or where she is going. It is my honor to be called her daughter. There is no other like my mother.
Happy 80th Birthday Mom! You are my star.
The painting above was done by a friend of mine here in North Carolina. The painting is called Sunset and the setting is Bald Head Island, North Carolina. Catherine Lea is a gifted painter of landscapes, animals and still lifes. Please check out her website for more information about her artwork. There you will find an array of beautiful art. You can find Catherine on Facebook and Instagram and she will frequently post new works. She also will paint custom art if you have a desire for something truly unique to you.