I remember the day I woke up and realized I had become my mother, it was sometime after the birth of my second child. With sleepless nights, due to her many ear infections, I suddenly realized one night watch, with her on my shoulder in the only rocking chair I could sleep in, that I had become my mother. She was up nights with me, her first child, as I had asthma from the time I was born, and she held me on her shoulder so I could breathe. She then, after a night in a chair, would rise about 4am to go help my dad milk the cows in the dairy they operated for a few years.
I have heard many say that they did not want to become like their mother, but for me, I knew that developing her skills, her love of family and God, her service in our local Baptist church, her wise use of money, and endless hours helping my father ranch (he came to his senses and went back to cattle ranching, leaving the dairy hours to others), that my mother was a Proverbs 31 woman. This passage of scriptures about an industrious smart woman was the epitome of my mother.
My mother fell in her fourth month of pregnancy with her second child, my brother. He was born a whopping 10 pounder and despite his physical prowess and beautiful skin and curly blonde hair, he was diagnosed at about two years of age, as an autistic child. The expert doctors in the mid-1950’s did as so many of their era, and blamed my mother for his autism. That she didn’t rip their eyes out is a testimony of her ability to grace. She never got over that diagnosis and to this day calls those doctors fools. I agree with her whole heartedly.
She badgered the University of Texas and legislators about developing special education programs for the state of Texas, but when they were not forthcoming, she took correspondence courses from Purdue University to learn how to teach my brother. I never have known how she found out about which universities taught such, as this was the early 1960’s and the Internet was not in use. But she did and each morning she would take my brother out to a unused utility house and work with him two to three hours a morning. She was relentless and untiring and my brother progressed.
When my father would leave our ranch in the hill country to work cattle at our ranch in South Texas, mother would run the ranch without Dad’s presence. She delivered calves, goat kids, fixed fences, and any other task needing done while my dad was gone. She could do anything and did. She could kill a rattlesnake with a baby in her arms and was fearless in everything. Unflinchingly, she raised three children, imparted God’s grace, taught Sunday School classes, saw that my sister and I learned social graces, made sure we understood the value of hard work, and gave us love to carry us through our life’s journey.
When I married a career military officer my mother was clearly not happy because she knew her daughter and her grandchildren would live far away. When we were stationed in Germany for four years my mother wrote me daily. Sometimes, the letters were no more than a few short paragraphs, but I received a letter through the German post nearly everyday. She knew the power a letter from home would have on my heart. Then, to my surprise, she and my father were able to travel to Germany, while my sister lovingly took her place caring for our brother. Three trips away from the ranch were all my mother and father were able to make in their marriage of nearly 60 years. Care of family comes first.
Last week my brother was hospitalized. My mother slept on an uncomfortable chair in his room for the entire time he was in hospital. She never wanted to leave his side. She is tireless in her care giving.
My mother walks using two canes now. She has severe osteoporosis. She has a heart that beats the rhythm of love out for her family still. She rises early and prepares breakfast, my brother’s list of meds, and calls me daily to see how I am. This Mother’s Day we will, as the scriptures say, rise up and call her blessed, for she is.p>So, this mother’s day as my mother approaches her 80th year of life, I’d be proud if someone spoke these words to me, “You are just like your mother”, I’d feel mighty proud!
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?