My mama unexpectedly passed away (way too young) February 2, 2006. Hard to believe it’s been 6 years already.
Of course, few of us ever realize how important our mothers are to us, until they’re gone. Then we do lots of looking back and wishing we would’ve done or said things differently. And in that light, I wanted to post an encouraging word to some of us who will be experiencing a Motherless Mother’s Day.
When my mama died, a piece of me died along with her. And I would say that’s probably true for most any of us who’ve lost our moms. Particularly for boys. Boys have a special something with mamas that’s just different (sorry girls). In general, boys just bond more emotionally with their mothers than their dads. But so it is with girls and daddys. If we admit it, men, most of us are mama’s boys, at heart, aren’t we? :)
I say that “a piece of me died”, but maybe not like you might think. It isn’t that I slumped into depression, or cried for a solid week, or had some emotional epiphany that changed the course of my life. Honestly, whatever it was in me that died…I didn’t even know it, myself, at the time.
It was probably…three years later…right around the time Jude was born, that it happened for me. About then, it began to sink in that my mom wasn’t only gone…but she was no longer available. I mean, I knew she was gone, of course, but only later did it just almost blind-side me that I could not pick up the phone and call her. Something that simple.
And it was then that I started to understand how much I'd taken her being here, for granted. I guess you’d say, I finally noticed the heaviness of this dead weight in me. And when I did, it was like losing her all over again…only worse. It was the worst feeling I can ever remember having, and I now know what it feels like to miss someone so much that it actually hurts. Even now, when I get that far away "glaze" going on and Cretia say's "What's wrong?", although I'll always say "Oh, nothing.", the truth is, sometimes I guess it's my grief (or regret or memories) gnawing on me.
Of course, I couldn’t neglect to tell you, if you still have your mother…don’t you dare let this Mother’s Day come, without putting everything on hold, and catering to her, at least for that one day. Talk to her. Sit with her. Take her to church. To lunch. To the park. She will love it, probably more than you can imagine. Make the most of what you have, because when it’s gone, you will yearn to have it back. I promise.
But if, like me, your mom is already gone, there’s still light for you. (And not just you men!) The possible scenarios are endless, but here’s one…
For me, my mama may be gone, but my wife is also a mother! (Imagine that!) And in her, I get the chance to not only honor my best friend as a mom, but I now have the opportunity (and the responsibility) to show my kids how a mother should always be treated.
We cannot go back. That’s a fact. But if you’re like me…if you’ve lost your mom already, and you have a wife and kids, wow…what a gift we’ve been given. Now, we not only have our kids to teach and shape and mold and guide into an example of Godliness and respect, but we also have perspective. And true perspective is never gotten, cheaply, is it? The price that comes with gaining a genuine perspective on your life…it only seems to come (and stick) when you gain it through pain or hardship, doesn't it?
But what a valuable resource God gives us, when we finally have it!
I encourage you to use your loss AND your perspective and let God lead you and your family into a time of renewal and joy, this holiday. Teach your children all you can about honoring their mother. Reach into your memories and your knowledge and do all you can to help your kids do all they can do for their moms. It’s a gift that will pay immeasurable dividends!
Remember the words of King Lemuel (actually, inspired by the words of his mother) speaking of “a wife of noble character” in Proverbs 31:28 – “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” (Really, that entire 31st chapter is a fantastic passage for all Mothers.) Mothers are made to be praised! So get to it! :)
Andif this Sunday brings a Motherless Mother’s Day to you, it’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to remember. It’s even OK to mourn. But let’s not allow this day be overcome with despair. Let’s determine in our hearts, to continue to honor our mothers by passing on the examples of love and respect that they gave us.
From one child to another…Have a Happy Mother’s Day!
For more on the music and ministry work of Ricky Fitzpatrick, go to www.rickyfitzpatrick.com or for Worship info visit Corner-Stone Church at www.corner-stone.org.