In preparation for Mother's Day, I will attempt to undo all the snotty teenage things I ever said to my mother in a completely grateful post dedicated to my own Mama. She has born the brunt of four daughters and their critical opinions for far too long, so here goes...Seven things Mom did RIGHT.
1. She read us bible stories at bedtime. My foundational catechesis came straight from my mother. She always explained more than what the story told, and took the time to answer our questions. I am certain that this is what insulated me against the fluffy touchy-feely catechesis of the eighties, but I can still cut out one heck of a butterfly!
2. She prayed for our future husbands. I don't presume to know the inner-workings of the Holy Spirit, but let's just say that I know two things: a) my mom prayed, and b) I have an awesome husband who is dedicated to Christ and His Church, to me and our children.
3. She always went the extra mile for us. I'm talking crazy extra...like pulling all-nighters because she worked 12-hour shifts at the hospital and would come home to realize that we needed help with a school project.
4. She ran background checks on our boyfriends. Ok, not formal ones, but she did call her friends in other parishes to give her the "low down" on the guys we were dating. Nothing very interesting ever surfaced, but she was on top of it.
5. She wrote us letters. In this age of computer everything, I fondly remember my mother's handwritten notes. Sometimes she would write an "I love you" on our napkin that she placed in our sack lunches. Sometimes she wrote us a letter expressing her gratitude for having us as her daughters. I've kept many of these, and I don't know if I've ever told her that.
6. She rejected the "wisdom" of her culture. As a young Catholic mom in the early seventies, she went against the grain and followed the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church regarding family planning instead of getting caught up in the tidal wave of contraceptive propaganda. I learned from her about the effectiveness of NFP and the natural spacing that often occurs as the result of breastfeeding. These are lifelong habits of fidelity which I am looking forward to passing on to my own children.
7. She taught us to pray. Every night, we prayed as a family. Every Sunday we attended Mass together. She taught us how to say the Rosary and continues to promote a life of prayer in devotion to Our Lord through Eucharistic adoration. These are the vital tools I continue to use everyday. Prayer is the life of Christ that flows through our daily activities.
Thanks Mom, for these and all the gifts you continue to share with our family. I know we don't say it enough. We love you, we appreciate you, and we thank God for the gift of you! Happy Mother's Day!