Today mark’s another of those firsts that you never really look forward to. In this case, it the first Mothers Day since Mom died. While over done in a Hallmark sense, the day itself if a reminder to take time to offer thanks for our mothers. While a great idea for sure, we must acknowledge the suffering of many who grew up without a mother, had a toxic relationship with a mother, and acknowledge those mothers who have lost children, and those who are not, or cannot be mothers. For those folks, Mothers day is a whole lot less Hallmark and a whole lot more hallow or even hostile. I pray in thanksgiving today for those whose have, or who remember, great relations with mothers. More-so, I pray for those for whom this day is difficult.
I was fortunate to have a great mother and to have enjoyed a great relationship with her. In Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote:
“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”
The first time I read those words, I thought of Mom. I realize that Rilke is writing about something larger than human relations and I appreciate the power of a God who loves me no matter the distance I place between us. Mom came to mid when I read this because I always felt that my mother stored up tremendous love for all seven of her children. Her love for us was so strong that it would never be broken. At times when I felt unloved by others, my mother reminded me of her love. She often used acts of love and tenderness. She did not over use the word love, but she exhausted every opportunity to show her children, and her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren how much they were loved.
Mom died in February. Since then I have been working through my feelings and emotions. I began today by reading previous posts about mom. I read some her notes. I looked at some photos. I read some scripture. I reflected on my inheritance — it’s an abundant inheritance indeed. It is a love that is a blessing so large that I will never be able to step outside of the love she had for me. I have no problem with seeing God as Mother. For me, Rilke was suggesting God as a parent who willed to us an inheritance of love that could not ever be spent, an inheritance that would never betray us. I felt that love from my mother. the metaphor makes all of the sense in the world. Today I give thanks for having been born to great parents. In particular, I offer thanks for having a mother, for her skill at being a mom, for the love that she gave to us in life and willed to us in her death, and for the many lessons of faith that mom taught me. I am rich beyond measure. I will love her always.
Mom once told me that her favourite hymn was For the Beauty of the Earth. That makes all the sense in the world when you read the first verse –
For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the Love which from our birth
Over and around us lies:
Christ, our God, to Thee we raise
This our Sacrifice of Praise.