I believe Abraham Lincoln said it best when he stated, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” I feel the true role of motherhood is defined in the following story told by my mother.
“I had just given birth to my second son, and my mother had come out from Iowa to help me recover. A few days into her visit, our oldest son broke out with chicken pox. Now my mother not only was my caretaker but our 3-year-old’s nurse as well. Another week of round-the-clock care passed before we began to notice red spots with tiny bumps on our newborn. Taking this all in stride, my mother phoned the pediatrician for recommendations on what a newborn could safely take for a serious case of chicken pox. After administering the dosage of Benadryl, it seemed our youngest son became more and more distressed. My mother and I took turns rocking him throughout the night, as this was the only relief we could give to him. It wasn’t until morning when we phoned that we were told the “on-call” physician gave us the wrong dosage, and it had only served to create havoc for the newborn (and for us, I might add).
After about three weeks, I awoke to find my body covered in red bumps. You guessed it—I had contracted chicken pox myself. What a predicament! Once more, we were at my mother’s mercy for any hope of recovery. With three of us in different stages, the phone call came that would change our lives forever.
My grandmother had passed away in a bicycling accident—yes, my mother’s mother. That morning at breakfast, I told my mother she should leave immediately for her memorial service, and we would make do. At that moment I learned the stuff my mother was made of when she replied, “No, everything will work out. My place is among the living at this time.” She continued to stay for another two weeks until our two sons and I recovered completely. I have never forgotten my dear mother’s example of care, love, and compassion for what turned into a five week stretch of illness. Her generous, thoughtful example was one that has inspired me many times since to serve with no thought of reward.”
My grandmother’s legacy of selfless service has now become my mother’s. More times than I can count I have seen her give all she has for her children. How great an impact these memories will have on future generations as we preserve and share them with the ones we love. This Mother’s Day I feel fortunate to know such incredible women and hope they realize how much they are needed and loved.
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