Friday, May 13, 2011

Why Me?

   When things go wrong an expression often heard is, "Why Me?" Whether we had it coming or not makes little difference. We may question in self pity many times, as if saying "What have I done to deserve this?" The attitude may often be that of "I deserve better". Well, I'd like to take on a different approach to this commonly used phrase, and here's a reason why.

   Yesterday I was feeling worn out and extremely exhausted. Perhaps to a great degree the lack of sufficient sleep was the culprit. A poor diet coupled with the long errands of that day only made matters worse. Sometime around 6:00 in the afternoon I was finally free, and ready for a much awaited nap. I turned my TV on to drown out the noise and nestled in my bed. Shortly after this, my 16-year-old walks in with a bowl of food for me. Of course I was pleased and grateful, but I told her I was too tired to eat and all I wanted was to get some rest. Not long after my daughter came, in walked my 10-year-old son with what else, but a bowl of food for mom. I thanked him as well and explained that I'd gladly eat later after taking a nap. Before I went to sleep, I had one more visitor; and of course he was not empty-handed. This time it was my two-year-old. With the sweetest tone and baby voice he called to me, "Here Ima, for you," and handed me a bowl with food. Oh how sweet it is to have such thoughtful children. It fills me with great joy and gratitude.

   As I reflect on things I wonder, "Why me? L-rd why are you so kind to me. I know I don't deserve it." There are so many excellent mothers out there. Some moms are very organized, some are very sweet, other are so much fun to be around, and others excellent cooks or home managers. I don't feel adequate in any of these areas I don't consider myself the virtuous woman I ought to be, though I truly want to be. Yet I'm constantly showered with love and kindness. So much so, that it makes me feel unworthy. At times like this all I can say is, "Thank you L-rd for the many blessings; for the love with which you've surrounded me." I'll always cherish moments like this, and my heart will be full of joy and gratitude.

Friday, May 6, 2011

An Excellent Daughter, the Greatest Mother

     When my mother was around 18 years old her life was turned up-side down, due to a terrible occurrence. Her mother had a tragic accident, which brought on an unexpectedly early death; shortly thereafter, her father's health quickly declined leaving him in a bed-ridden state, which required constant care. While yet grieving the loss of her mother, my mother found herself caring for her father as his health abruptly deteriorated. Despite the fact that she was not the oldest, she stepped into the role of taking responsibility for her father. For months, she would tend to him night after night, while having to adjust to the move, to her grandmother's house.

     It was during this difficult time that she would meet the man, who would soon be her future husband. While staying at her grandmother's house, she met a young man, who was a close friend of the family. He was very much welcomed there, as her grandmother recognized and valued the character traits this young man possessed. The idea of her granddaughter marrying this young man was set in her mind. However, my mother was not the granddaughter she had in mind for him, since she had another granddaughter close to her at the time. The grief caused by her father's health was too much for her to bear, let alone have time to think of other things. It was during this distressing time that her loving kindness and the way in which she honored her father, won this young man over. Sometime later, after my mom's father passed away, my father asked her to marry him. My mother at times jokingly has said that he just felt sorry for her and all she went through. Contrary to this idea, is the fact that my father always had a great reverence for his own parents, and highly esteemed these types of values. My mother was not a woman that spoke beautiful things about her ideals. She was not looking to be noticed. She was not even someone who was looking for a relationship. She was only being herself. Not a lot of talk, just action. She lovingly served her father to his very last breath.

     Many years later she once again found herself in a similar situation; this time it was her husband in his deathbed. Also due to an accident, this in his case happened at work. She cared for him throughout many difficult months, day and night there by his side until the day he too passed away. When she found herself on her own, and facing all the needs of her family, she did all she could to become the sole provider and head of the family. This meant two jobs, in order to get my older sister through college, while supporting four more children. By this time, two of my siblings were married and living in their new homes. My mother's life was basically dedicated to serving others and sacrificing herself. Although she had the opportunity to remarry, she decided her family was more important and without giving it a second thought, denied herself the possibility of remarrying. My mother, always a hardworking woman, only decided to quit her second job after many years, and after speaking to our pastor, who urged her to attend services with her whole family. Her strong character, dedication, loving kindness and the way she sacrificed herself without hesitation are things I highly admire in her. I will never be able to thank her enough for all she's done and for setting such a high standard of both an excellent daughter and mother. May the L-rd give her many more years of life to see the fruit of her labor, and to give me the opportunity to show her how much I love and admire her.

     There are many other things in her life, that I could write about, so much so, that I could fill a whole book's worth, only- I selected this short description instead, in her honor, as Mother's day approaches, though I strongly believe everyday should be Mother's day.

                                Still grieving over her father's death at the time of the wedding.