Love in Any Language
Oil on canvas, 12" x 12" x 1.5"
The following has been "reposted" from Mother's Day last year. I received many lovely comments and personal emails in response to this message, and I would like to share it again.
For many years now, Mother's Day has been a day of mixed feelings for me. My mom passed away when I was 26 - that was a long time ago. I still miss her. I missed her when I married, and when I was raising a family. She loved kids and would have enjoyed being a grandmother. And I would have appreciated her encouragement and advice. But God had other plans, and His plans are always for the best, even when we don't understand them. Mom had a firm, sometimes even fierce faith in God, and I don't remember her ever arguing with Him about anything. And we all know that Heaven is a much better place than earth.
I inherited a love of children from my mother and always planned, or at least hoped, to have a large family. But God had other ideas about that, also. A few years after Mom died, He brought a young widower into my life and I became the instant mother of his two little boys. I loved them as if they were my own, even though there were plenty of people on all sides reminding me that they were not really mine, and that it wasn't really "the same." But I plugged on, and though my mother was no longer with me, God had given me a best friend, named Shary who I could always depend on for moral support. I hadn't been married long when we went out for lunch together and she asked me how I was doing. I chatted on and on about the kids, their activities, the house, Larry's work, and she said, "Della, how are you?" It made me tear up then, as it does now. She never let me forget that, yes, I was a wife, a mother, a housekeeper, but I was also still her friend, a person, an individual. She once told me that I should stop thinking of myself as a second string replacement, a substitute for someone else, but to always remember that I am the one and only "me" and I wasn't a second-best anything. Thank you, Shary, for being there. Best friends are a wonderful gift from God. Right next to mothers.
So, the question is who is the real mother - is it the person who carried the children for nine months and spent hours in labor bringing them into the world, or the one who spent years feeding them, doing mountains of laundry and cleaning, spending sleepless nights worrying and praying, praying, praying that someday when they went out into the world, they would be safe and happy, and that the world would become a better place because of them? The answer can only be BOTH of them! It takes all those things, and more to make a "real" mother. And for some reason, God in His wisdom decided that my boys needed two different women to share this responsibility, instead of just one. That was His decision. Twice as much love, two times the prayers. And, like my mom, I don't have the audacity to argue with God about anything.
I painted this rose last summer. The bush was a Mother's Day gift from my wonderful husband, who never stops reminding me that I am the mother of his children. A husband is also a wonderful gift from God! And I am blessed...
So to all you ladies, those of you who are or have been mothers or daughters and those who have been nurturing, caring people who perhaps don't fit the traditional "mother" mold, to all my friends and mentors, and especially to you, Mom - Happy Mother's Day!!