Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother ~ As Time Goes By


As a teenager and young adult, I did not have a close relationship with my mother. In fact, I was rather estranged from her much of the time. It felt to me as if she misunderstood everything I said and everything I did.

Eventually, I came to see that our discord had little to do with her lack of understanding, and more to do with my lack of clarity during those chaotic years. I had no clue who I was back then. And, as Anne Morrow Lindbergh points out in her book, Gift from the Sea, “When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too.” Such was the case.

It wasn’t until I married and moved away that my relationship with my mother took a turn for the better. Marriage has a way of changing your perspective on many things—especially how girls view their mothers. For starters, I realized how spoiled I had been under my mother’s care. Mother had been the laundry fairy, the kitchen fairy, and the fairy who had always kept the house clean.

But as a new wife, I came to see my mother as so much more. For the first time, I saw her as an individual, a young bride barely 17 years of age, with hopes and dreams very similar to my own.

I recalled her struggles in the leaner years—struggles of the most personal kind—and wondered how she managed to respond with such aplomb and decency. I considered how hard she must have worked to create a comfortable home for her family.

She raised three daughters—two of them twins—in a day when there were no disposable diapers. No perma-press fabrics. No hot-rollers. No dishwashers. No microwave ovens. I could go on.

I thought of her being thrust into the spotlight that comes when you’re a minister’s wife, and the shadows that she must have—on occasion—walked in, for that same reason.

As my life began taking shape, my instinct for creating a home-sweet-home brought yet other revelations about my mother. I recognized the valuable gifts that she possessed—and still does. In all of the photographs of my childhood, her talents are apparent, from the fantastic clothes she created with her Singer sewing machine, to the sparkling countertops in the kitchen.

And speaking of kitchens, as a young wife, I marveled at how Mother had faithfully served three meals a day, come rain or come shine. And that tradition continues to this day.

Through the years, I realized that nobody had ever, or could ever, care for me with the same intensity as my mother—not my father, not my sisters, not my husband, not anybody. That’s not taking away from their deep love for me, but in God’s miraculous and divine plan for children to be born and nurtured, a unique capacity to love is reserved for mothers.

It’s a mystery, but once you’re a mother, it makes perfect sense.

As I matured and adjusted to the many seasons of womanhood, a mighty bond formed between me and my mother. I guess you could say I left home a stranger, but returned as a friend. Today, as I’ve been doing now for more than a quarter-century, I seek out Mother’s wisdom on a regular basis, and I rely on her prayers. She rewards me with words of encouragement and heaps unmerited praise upon my head.

In this great circle of life, I’m not sure about a lot of things, but one thing I know: If I have any good in me at all, it is largely because of the goodness of my mother.

***


This article first appeared in Beaumont Enterprise. All rights reserved.


15 comments:

  1. A lovely tribute to your mother Dayle! Also, I really love your new blog look, don't know if I've ever mentioned that. :)

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  2. For some reason Blogger has decided, recently, not to let me know when you've posted. I'm glad I went looking this evening, and was able to read about your garden and your new Chicken Soup.
    This post, about your mother and her love and care for you, is lovely. You could have been writing this for me.

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  3. What a lovely post which practically describes my own young daughter-her young mother relationship to a T. And yours are my own sentiments about the rich, deep, close bond that is Mother's and mine today.

    At only 36 years of age, Mother lost her own beloved mom to cancer. What joy to still have these "mighty" women in our lives, Dayle. To still hear their voices, their laughter. Feel their hugs and their filling presence at table. To be with them, know them better and cherish in greater measure.

    A very Happy Mother's Day to you both! Thank God for mothers!

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  4. What a beautiful post about your mom. I think you speak for many women. happy and blessed Mother's Day to you, too.

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  5. Beautifully written and so true. I love what you said about your lack of clarity. That would have been the problem in my neck of the woods, too. I also agree that it becomes more crystal clear when you, yourself, become a mother.

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  6. Written so well and encourages me as the mom of a 20 year old young adult :)

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  7. I love that Anne Morrow Lindbergh quote. So true...

    Beautiful tribute to your mother -- and encouragement for mother-daughter relationships everywhere! Happy Mother's Day, Dayle.

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  8. This was a heartfelt wonderful post about your mother. I think it is true of soo many women. The longer and longer I was married and the more and more time I put in as a mom, the more I appreciated and understood my mother. Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day! HUGS

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  9. Ohhhhh, Dayle. That was a lovely piece. You are so lucky you still have your precious Mama. Give her a BIG hug next time you see her. (I know you do, anyway). Take care and Happy Mother's Day to YOU! Susan

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  10. Indeed, God blessed us with an amazing mother. She makes everything better.

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  11. What a wonderful, uplifting testament to a Mother-Daughter relationship. What a blessing that you were able to see beyond your self and into your Mother's life...the reality of it. Happy Mother's Day- Blessings- Diana

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  12. Such a beautiful and heartfelt post...thanks so much for sharing! I could see myself in many of your statements.

    I'm trying to get back to reading and blogging...so glad I stopped by today! Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day ~

    xo
    Pat

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  13. I'm so touched by this share, Dayle! Tho we loved each other, it seems my mother and I were always at odds ... absolutely my fault. AML's quote struck home for sure. Thank God, we were able to put aside our differences before she died.
    ... and hopefully, your words may touch another life before its too late.
    Happy Mother's Day!
    Myra

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  14. Hi Dayle,
    What a special and beautiful Mother's Day tribute that you wrote about your Mum.I'm so pleased that you are close now.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

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  15. Such a wonderful tribute to your mother. As a mother myself, I can't imagine how my mother walked away from hers. But then I think she was ill. My daughter who is now 37 seems to understand and empathize so much better now that she's a mother herself.
    Brenda

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle