Archive for May 2015
A Mother’s Day story dedicated to my amazing wife and mother of our four children and to my mom, a woman my feeble words cannot adequately describe. I love them both more than words can express.
You came into this world in a rush amid a chaotic scramble to usher in your first breath. The heart monitor was strapped around your mother’s stomach. We watched blips on a screen and listened to the rhythm of the beats, but that was the cause of our concern. There wasn’t any rhythm to it. “No heart beat… there’s no heartbeat,” the words sent doctors and nurses scrambling, taking your mother with them they quickly disappeared from view. Unlike your other siblings, your father wouldn’t witness this delivery nor would your mother for this time she would be sedated to allow the scalpel to do its necessarily swift job. Minutes passed but felt like days. Finally, a smiling nurse and doctor appeared. All is well. You are here, healthy, and in the arms of a groggy, but smiling, mom.
This Sunday started out like any other. A mother works to get her six little ducklings ready for church. The weekly process consists of a combination of skirmishes and diplomacy but eventually all eight are in route to the meeting-house. You are still little, the youngest of the brood, and today you are very fussy. Not like you. As the worship service progresses you become ever more agitated and increasingly warm. Your mother feels impressed to take you home leaving the rest of the family at church. By the time you get home you are burning with fever. 100, 101, 102 and climbing. A telephone call to the doctor results in another trip, this time to the local children’s hospital. When you arrive your temperature is over 104 and pushing 105. The nurses immediately take you and wrap you in cool wet towels to try to bring the fever down. The doctor can find no other symptoms of illness, only the high fever. He requests a procedure known as a spinal tap and your mom is asked to leave the room. In anguish, she tearfully obeys. — Spinal meningitis. The words fall heavy from the doctors lips onto the ears of a distraught and panicking mother. A deadly disease in 1971. If death did not occur in the first few days the patient was sure to have severe complications, from blindness and deafness to mental disabilities. The doctor’s prognosis left hope dangling by a thread, seemingly out of reach, but not all hope. You spent a number of days in a hospital room under the watchful eye of your mother, each day showing signs of improvement. You made it past those initial, crucial stages with your life. Your continued improvement encouraged doctors to allow your parents to take you home, but it would be weeks, even months, before anyone would know the toll the prolonged fever would take. Six months later, you were pronounced healthy with no ill effects.
Another night at football practice. The nightly scrimmage was like any other. Repetitions. Lots of repetitions. You run each play over and over until assignments and execution become second nature. The play was a pass play. You took the snap from center and dropped back, eyes darting about the field for an open receiver. You never saw it coming. The blitzing linebacker from your blind-side. He lunged at your legs, the crown of his helmet striking just above the ankle. Your mom was there in an instant hearing your screams of pain, rushing to your side trying to calm you and provide comfort, when someone said, “ankles aren’t supposed to bend that way.” She never left your side. There was no separating you. She was there assuring you that everything would be alright.
And for the most part, things have been alright.
Oh you’ve made some poor choices, dealing with the consequences, suffering more pain along the way, physical, emotional, and spiritual. And every hurt, every heartache, every painful experience has been shared by your mother and will continue to be for as long as her life is connected with yours. Because the bond between mother and child is unlike any other relationship human beings are blessed to experience in this life — for a mother’s arms encircle a child both literally and figuratively throughout his or her life with tender restraint, security, and love. There to protect against fear, harm, and evil.
Motherhood is the highest, holiest service assumed by humankind. It’s the definition of selfless service. It’s both a daunting responsibility and a glorious opportunity. The divine role of motherhood is a gift from God, and key to His plan of happiness for all His children.
When she heard the words, “there is no heartbeat”, a mother prayed.
When she heard the diagnosis of spinal meningitis, a mother prayed.
When she heard the agonizing cries of her son in pain, a mother prayed.
A man of great knowledge and wisdom once said, “There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother.” I believe motherhood is a divine and appointed calling enabling them to receive help from above in times of need. Through sleepless nights, dark days, and seemingly impossible and difficult circumstances, the prayers of mothers have been a source of unparalleled divine power in homes, communities, and nations.
That power has been exercised in your behalf countless times through your life. Do you know what the truly amazing thing is? She asks nothing in return. She just wants you to be happy.
On this Mother’s Day and any day you get the chance, tell your mom how happy you are because she is your mom.
It will be an answer to a mother’s prayer.