Fifteen years ago, my mother cared day and night for my dying father. Only a short time later, she would hold him in her arms as he died, then delay her grieving and open those arms to comfort her six little ducklings who lost their daddy.
I watched her do the same all over again for my grandmother. Roles reversed, she cared tenderly for my sweet grandmother, now a frail, tiny woman, so far away from the strong matriarch and beacon I had known all my life.
But it didn’t stop there. Even two more times, she cared for my father’s parents until their deaths as well.
My mother never broke. She was shrouded in strength and grace.
I owe her more than I could ever hope to repay. I can recall one day calling her from a pay phone from the University. I had just taken a test, thought for sure I’d failed, and thought my life would be better off it I took a year off to work and save money. I was truly overwhelmed, and there was only one person I needed to talk to, and it was her. I’ll never forget how she talked me off that ledge. A year later, I was walking across the stage, receiving my degree, my mom waiting to congratulate me.
Six kids, and countless years of working hard and caring for others later, she still is that strength for all of us. She’s a little weaker now, a little bit slower, has had countless battles with illness, but she doesn’t waiver. And when she isn’t spending time with her family, she is making pillows to send off to deployed soldiers!
Happy Mother’s Day to the strongest woman I know, the one who made me what I am today. Words cannot say what I need to. I can only try each and every day to let my heart’s gratitude show you. God bless you, Momma!