I just spent a lovely Thanksgiving celebration with my dear parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my sweet niece and nephew. It was completely delightful. I find myself beyond thankful this year in particular for my sweet mother.
You see, it’s been 20 years since I nearly lost her to advanced, aggressive breast cancer. 20 years! I can still picture myself as a 12 year old girl, visiting the Cleveland Clinic on Thanksgiving to see my mom who was recovering from a bone marrow transplant. The cafeteria was swamped, so we figured we’d get a bite on the way home. But, 20 years ago, nothing was open on Thanksgiving. So, my sweet daddy fixed us PB&J late at night when we got home from the hospital. (So very thankful for him, too!) This is perhaps my most memorable Thanksgiving. Sometimes those hard times are the ones that we remember the most. When I realized that this year marked 20 more years of having my mother rather than living without her, the memories just began to flow.
I’m so thankful that she was able to shop for every fancy dress with me. Every homecoming, every prom.
I’m so thankful that she was there for every important ceremony, graduation, sporting event.
I’m so thankful that she readied me for my wedding.
I’m so thankful that she was there for every baby shower and to see her grand babies just hours after they were born.
I’m so thankful for all the times she has come to stay with me, to serve my family, after babies have come, or when my husband has traveled.
I’m so thankful for every holiday we’ve spent together — 32 Thanksgivings, which could have been 12; 31 Christmases which could have been 11; 32 birthdays which might have been 12.
So many late night conversations.
So many prayers.
So many meals fixed for me, my brother, our friends.
So much nurturing.
What in the world would my life look like without my sweet mother’s nurturing, serving, loving spirit? I can’t even begin to imagine.
As I’ve reflected on the immense, immeasurable impact that my dear mother has had on my life, I have realized the immense, immeasurable value in what it is that I am spending my life doing right now. My mother has poured herself out like a drink offering for her family, for me. She is a huge blessing to me. Her life has been about serving Jesus by serving her family. This is a beautiful way to spend a life, especially one given back, one that was so nearly snatched away. What a gift. I hope that my children will likewise see me as a gift and a servant who poured herself out to help them become something beautiful. I owe so much of who I am to my dear mother. And so I am, this Thanksgiving, so incredibly thankful for her, for the past 20 years of living in her love.
To daughters and sons, don’t ever undervalue your mother and the sacrifice she is making for you every single day. She is sacrificing everything for you.
To mothers, what you are doing matters so much more than it feels like, so much more than you could ever see. Your life as a mother is a beautiful thing.
To my mother, thanks for being there. I simply love you.
And to God, thanks for blessing me with such an awesome woman to be my mother, and for letting me keep her here 20 years ago.