My momma always said, “the best sermon is a great example;” thus she and daddy (for better, or worse sometimes) taught us daily by their living example. My sister and I know we “chose our parents wisely,” because in the midst of everyday life, there were daily lessons through their poignant example.
As I watch moms today in the grocery store, on a hiking trail in the park, and everywhere else in the community, it stuns me how moms must be as wise as Solomon, as smart as Socrates, as unconditionally loving as Mother Teresa, and as disciplined as an Olympic Athlete. Momma was the same over half a century ago…she wasn’t our friend (until much later in life); she was our parent. “You didn’t come with instructions, so rule #1: I’m never wrong, and rule #2, if I am wrong, then refer back to rule #1.” 🙂 Funny how those rules changed drastically when she became a grandmother. 🙂
Yes, my mom demonstrated daily who she was and lived by the legacy she created with witty southern sass, grit, humor, and backbone. Even though she was a young mother who literally grew up with us, she firmly shaped our character with integrity while encouraging us to dream big for the future. And because we also grew up in a progressive household where we were expected to “take care of ourselves in the real world,” finding our passion to help us independently support ourselves was non-negotiable. “Get a grip and buck up” were heard daily in our household. “You’re not lost and don’t need to go find yourself; I know right where you are.” We also learned to control our attitude and effort because “those two things are in our constant control.” And just like her classroom and school settings as a teacher and principal, mom set the bar extremely high, but she also provided a loving cushion when we stumbled along the way. Our mom was our first and most important teacher, advocate, and disciplinarian; she set the rules and we followed them, well, mostly (except for riding the laundry basket down the stairs, dropping each other into the laundry hamper, that whole chandelier disaster…).
While mom’s physical voice is now silent, the echos of her lessons and expectations ring clearly inside my soul. I’m humbly grateful and thankful for the example of my mom. I was so busy growing up and then raising two little women of my own, I often forgot she was growing older. Even in her final hours with us, Mom was showing us how to hold on and then to bravely let go on her journey. If she were with us during this most extraordinary life in the time of COVID-19, I have no doubt she would have much to contribute to the conversation.
Thanks, Momma, for demonstrating the courage, hope, JOY, and unconditional love so I could one day be a mom to the two extraordinary miracles who shower my world and Momma-soul in JOY! I miss you so…
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!