Harvest Magazine Contributor
“To one who bears the sweetest name and adds a luster to the same, long life to her for there’s no other who takes the place of my dear mother.”
That poem was on a small wooden plaque that hung in the hallway upstairs in my grandmother’s home. The author unknown to me as a child and still unknown now, captured how most people feel about their mothers. This poem was true for me as a little girl and I feel the same way as an adult. I pray my mother has long life. She is not only one of the best mother’s this world has ever seen, but she is also one of my closest friends, my prayer partner, advisor, counselor and of course my cheerleader.
I cannot imagine my life without her. As a little girl, I tried to imitate her. I would slip on her high heels and try to walk around the house, nearly falling because her shoes were too big for me. I wanted to be a great cook like my mom, so I begged her to let me help in the kitchen. I asked if I could make recipes from the cookbook and after much convincing, she let me use the stove.
I thought my mom was strong, spiritual and beautiful. I wanted to be strong, spiritual, and beautiful. That was over 30 years ago and now at 37, I am a wife and mother. When I was pregnant, I prayed that I would be the kind of mother to my daughter that my mom was to me. I prayed that my daughter would look up to me and be inspired. I also prayed that I would model the Proverbs 31 woman.
We recently celebrated my daughter’s first birthday and as we helped her blow out the huge candle on her cake, I realized that I may never be my mom. After pondering my life, I also realized I would never be like my grandmother either, another woman I admire and love.
My mom always looked perfect when I was a child. Her makeup was flawless and her short haircut was always feathered, not one strand out of place. I, on the other hand struggle to keep a semi-neat ponytail. I occasionally wear makeup and I wear jeans a lot. My mother only wore jeans on the weekend or when we attended an outdoor event like an Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards.
My mom worked 40 plus hours a week. I work part-time, go to school part-time, and write part-time.
My mom cleaned our house religiously every week. I, on the other hand, would really like a housekeeping service to deep clean once a month.
My mom sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school and made home-cooked meals every day. It was so rare to eat fast food that my brother and I begged our parents to let us eat out as a treat.
In society we are overwhelmed with necessity and I fear foundations are being chipped away slowly. Maybe if I was not always on my smartphone I could make more time for home-cooked meals and makeup.
I am me. A woman who knows God for myself. I love to cook and I think I am quite good, but I do not and I will not cook every day. I do not think it is practical so I cook twice a week. We eat fast food at least once a week. I know, do not report me to the mom police. I go to the beauty salon when I can and I put effort into my appearance most of the time, though I do not wear makeup every day. I wear it more like once a week. I love my husband and daughter and show them that with my time. I tell them I love them. I do the laundry and all the other household chores, but I “deep clean” when it is warranted.
I scratch my head and wonder how my grandmother raised seven children, made her meals from scratch, tended her garden, made communion bread for her church, visited the sick, cleaned her house, baked from scratch, wrote special notes to her loved-ones, and always attended the funerals of every single person she knew until she passed several years ago. She did all of this without driving, as she never learned to drive. She was never sick. And in her eighties, many people thought she was twenty years younger. She did all of this without the Internet. What? She made homemade remedies and baked from scratch without looking anything up on google.
She was and still is and inspiration. She inspired my mother. She taught my mother how to love and care for me. My mom was not exactly like her mother, but she is still great. And I am not exactly like her, but I am still great.
God gave them to me. He gave me to my daughter. He makes no mistakes and when he made the woman, I have to agree, He did his best work.
Long life to her for there is no other who takes the place of my dear mother. I will always cherish what she taught me growing up and I will pass on those lessons, though they may be a more modern version, to my daughter. When I look at my mom, my grandmother, myself and my daughter, there is one thing that is the same, and that is love.