This week my siblings and I get to celebrate both parents, Mom on Mother’s Day and Dad on his birthday. With the knowledge that I can never do justice to the amount of honor they deserve, I offer the following tribute.
My Mother- the love and affection she gives is second to none. From the beginning she chose to enter motherhood and to excel at it. Taking the task of raising us as her central role and giving herself to that task wholeheartedly. She was the mom that planned the extra snack when she knew we would need it, or wrapped our sodas so they stayed cold until lunch. Capable of squeezing a nickel into two dimes she taught us the value of things we have and the responsibility to care for it. Even today, in everything she consumes she is thinking of others, evidenced by the large stack of magazine and newspaper clippings that made her think of us. Though her strength of mind may waver at times, in her very soul is a woman who lives poured out to others, except perhaps when it comes to leftovers on your plate.
My Father- the strength of our family. His mostly quiet, stoic manner hints at a man of men. Strong, regimented, intelligent, capable yet kind, patient and caring, he is thoughtful of situations in a way that values the individuals involved. He too lives serving others, pouring out his generosity on those around him with no expectation of power over that person. He is a wealth of knowledge yet never imposing his views, or even interjecting them into a situation. He watches and prays and loves unconditionally.
Together- they are known for the joy they share, the consistency they give, and the love they bring to any situation. They are true servants of God, praying together, serving together, giving together.
God could have put my soul in any family, but He put us together. Sometimes I forget that my mom and dad are individuals with struggles and pains, loves and passions. Maybe that’s because selfishly I think of them only as examples placed here for my own benefit. Maybe it’s because they are so good at living for the sake of others that it’s natural to feel that way. Either way, so many of the core ideals I have deep in my psyche are directly from their examples. Many of those ideals I have not emulated, but the knowledge is there… the example is there… the picture of Christ is there.
Thank you both for the lives you gave us, the foundations you laid. Thank you for your daily prayers for us during good times or bad. Words can’t express the love that I have for you and yet that seems just a dim reflection of the love you have for us. I don’t know what it’s like to confront the waning part of life, but I can imagine that this week it’s particularly potent. And though we expect many more years of magazine clippings and “I’m fine” phone calls, know that you have run well. You have and are making a difference. Thank you.