We celebrate Mother’s Day once a year, but we should always honor our mothers. On our way to brunch, as Mike and I were driving, we passed the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. I could not believe how many people were visiting their mothers at the gravesite. I asked Mike if we could stop, because I wanted to take pictures for my Blog. Mike did not want to be late for brunch, but promised to bring me back. I got the time mixed up again for our reservation and we arrived 45 minutes early. I know it sounds like an excuse but due to my ADD and dyslexia, I can never get the time right. I also dragged Sonja’s family into it by giving her the incorrect time. When Lucas and Jacob arrived they headed straight to the chocolate fountain and dipped marshmallows and strawberries, and we were not seated yet. They got chocolate all over their new shirts.
Finally, when we sat down, William announced that he was just going to bring a bowl of chocolate to the table to do his own dipping. William’s face was covered in chocolate, and he must have eaten at least 10 chocolate-covered strawberries. I made the mistake of sitting next to Lucas; just looking at the mess of chocolate made me nervous. Mike did not escape the contagious chocolate mess, and some ended on the sleeve of his lime shirt.
As a family we enjoyed not only our meal, but our time out together. I shared my disappointment with Maddie, and excused myself for not being able to attend one of her performances. Maddie looked at me and lovingly said, “Grandma, you need to cancel your plans!” How I wish I could, because Maddie’s singing brings me great joy.
As is customary for our dinners, the girls all sat together. We had a lot of rejoicing and wonderful praise reports. Sonja and Russ are moving into their new home on Friday. Both Mike and I were worried that they would be staying with us; but thanks be to God, escrow is scheduled to close right on time. The good and bad news is that I will not be available to help with the move; I will be out of town. I did go over to help Sonja pack last week, but after watching her methodically clean out one desk drawer, I had to leave. Sonja read every piece of paper and kept asking me if it should be saved. I finally yelled, “I can’t take this anymore! Please, for the love of God, put it in the trash!”
When I went back to the cemetery, there were still plenty of people paying tribute to their mothers. Some sat quietly, some had huge family gatherings, eating and enjoying the afternoon at the gravesite of their mother. I came across a stranger and asked him if he was visiting his mother. He said, “Yes.” I went down to visit the gravesite of a dear friend, and said a quick prayer. As I walked back, I noticed that the stranger was accompanied by a woman. The woman was gently cleaning the stone with granite cleaner, while the man was placing flowers in the metal vase. I introduced myself. I told them that I was a blogger and asked them if I could take a picture of them; they both agreed. Turns out that they were siblings honoring their mother.
I thought of all that my mother had to go through as a single parent. She had seven children, and what she accomplished with us was an amazing task. My father was rarely around for most of my childhood. In the first five years of my parents’ marriage they had five children, one each year! By the time I came around there was a three-year span, and when the youngest was born, another three years. I marvel when I think of how our mother raised us-how she planned our meals, washed mounds and mounds of clothes, there were no clothes dryers back then we had clotheslines instead. My mother’s life was not easy, but we never knew we were lacking because she taught us to appreciate what we had.
I was born with amblyopia on my right eye, and I can still remember my mother taking me on a Greyhound bus to see a specialist in San Diego, CA. When I was five years old my mother arranged for me to have surgery. She stayed at the hospital the entire time. I was prescribed special sunglasses to wear, but my brother accidentally sat on them the following week. The broken glasses were never replaced because it was too much of a hardship for my mother to return to San Diego.
I think of all single mothers, and what they must sacrifice to do what our mother did, and-especially single working mothers. They are the heroes of the world! Our mother was in her late thirties when our father checked out. She never dated because she understood her role as an example to us, especially to her daughters. She was decent in every sense, and wanted us to follow suit.
The Fifth Commandment in the Bible states to “honor your mother and father.” Some moms are not the greatest of mothers, and are difficult to honor, let alone love. This is the only commandment that comes with a promise. Why and how do you honor a flawed mother? All mothers are human, and some may have had poor role models, and are ill-equipped to be loving mothers. It does not matter what background your mother had, or how deeply your mother has hurt you, God is commanding you to honor her. The word honor means high respect, great esteem. If anything she gave you birth, and for that you should be grateful. Even if your relationship is strained, never give up on trying to honor her. When you honor your parents. you, in turn, will learn a great value in life. If you do not learn to honor your mother you will be lacking in love. We all need to understand what love represents. There is nothing greater than the love a mother has for her child; even a dysfunctional mother needs to be honored. God made this a commandment because He knew parents would fall short.
Exodus 20:12 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.