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May
08

My Mother, My Friend

By

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln

And God said let there be woman – and she will be your mother and your best friend!

Nothing  compares to the pure love and true friendship that is provided by a mother for her child. 

Not even when the child spurns her, or goes forth into adulthood without a backward glance at the many tears and sacrifices that have been made in exchange for their success and happiness in life.

We have all been blessed with having been born to a mother.

 I have been twice blessed – once to have had the perfect friend in my own mother who passed on too early and once again to enjoy the bonds of deep affection and laughter with my mother in law.

Both born on different continents, but both with a strong faith , a great sense of humour and the simplicity of a wisdom that is led from the heart.

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.  ~Oprah Winfrey

Not all of us have been lucky enough to share the same wonderful and perfect relationship with our mothers. But we long for it and are forever seeking it in our relationships with other people’s mothers.  Some of us, girls,  have then gone on to become mothers and have understood the miracle of that bond in a new light.

Still other women, who are childless, have been called to be mothers in different ways – to give birth to ideas and nurture  orphans and animals and even communities.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.  ~Washington Irving

The miracle is still the same.  Mothers are the only person who continue to love us unconditionally, despite all our flaws and failures. When the whole world walks out, our mothers stay rooted in their belief in us.

I miss thee, my Mother!  Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
~Eliza Cook

The cynics talk about Motherhood  with a sneer – as though it is an overrated virtue. But I have seen mothers make super-human sacrifices to cheerfully stay the course , despite all manner of obstacles, to ensure their children’s welfare. This is met sometimes with extreme ingratitude and forgetfulness by the children, but the love a mother feels for her offspring does not waver.

Who else but a mother, would save us from our worst fears, run a gourmet kitchen to please our tastes, tenderly care for us when we are sick and in need of comfort, go without in order to provide us with the little things our hearts desire. This is the only full time job and it is not up to the children to evaluate the quality of the service that is given from the heart.

Mothers give up their own ambitions in order to raise and nurture her children’s ambitions.  She prays for their good with unflagging faith- that they be spared the hurts that the world might inflict upon them. 

The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks.  ~Carrie Latet

I have enjoyed long conversations with my mother, and now with my mum-in-law, on topics ranging from the mundane (grocery lists, what’s for dinner, what the neighbour said) to the sublime (the meaning of love, how to forgive, how not to quit and soldier on, how to hold on when all seems lost). And then there are those moments when we cannot utter a word, and she still understands from the depths of her loving heart.

My heart goes out to all the young ones deprived by tragedy of a mother’s love, for it is in the early formative years that we need our mothers the most.  When a parent is not available – either by physical presence or by a lack of attention because they are trying to earn a living, or just emotionally not available to their young ones, can have a profound and detrimental effect on their children”s emotional health and long term chances of success.

Research has proved that a large majority of adults with acute emotional illnesses have one thing in common- an absent mother by virtue of divorce, death, a time demanding career or some other reason for separation. Children of absentee mothers , who spend long periods of time in day care or with babysitters , exhibit a higher level of behavioural problems, and struggle academically, with a predominant effect on language skills development.

Family experts have observed that mothers who are themselves supported and cared for , are able to instill a high degree of values, confidence and their interaction with their children form the very foundation of human emotions and intelligence.

So while we can  not take over the roles of mothers with their children, we can support and honour their efforts. They can take the main responsibility, but they cannot do it alone. It does take a village to raise the child, because mothers cannot be there all the time and they cannot be there everywhere we go.

It is time we put an end to the cynics and their motherhood rants and give mothers the praise they deserve. If it were not for them, the nation would cease to exist.  Happy Mothers Day to all nurturing women everywhere!

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Categories : Personal Stories

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