It's been a nice day and since I'm getting old, I tend to reflect on the past as well as appreciate the present. That's what I've been doing today.
On Mother's Day, I think about my birth mother. Those first ten years of my life have a few good and too many not-so-good memories. But as I have done family history and learned more about her life, I now know how much she wanted me and how truly sad she must have been when she realized her life was so out of control that she could no longer care for me, my brothers and my sister. I've learned some of the reasons why her life became a tailspin of self-destruction and thus I've been able to forgive and even look forward to meeting her again in a life beyond.
I think about my other mother, who married my father and then took us in, adding to her own four children. I know how hard that must have been, but I am eternally grateful for all she taught me so I could break the cycle that might have been passed on to my own children. A large family on a teacher's salary didn't allow for much of what the world might value, but the intangible gifts she gave were so much more important.
I think of my mother-in-law. I couldn't have hand picked a better one. She too was a role model that helped me decide what would be important in raising my own children. Her advice was always right on target and she was always quietly, steadfastly there when we needed her. She was also the mother of my husband and is a large part of the reason he is such a wonderful and devoted husband and father.
I think about my daughters and daughters-in-law. They are all now mothers of the almost 26 most beautiful, bright and wonderful grandchildren in the world. (All grandmothers are allowed that prejudice.) I love to watch them mother. They are patient, kind and loving in the way of all good mothers. Each has special gifts and traits that will be a legacy to their children. They all give their children the gift of time and have created in their homes havens of learning and love.
So today my heart is full of gratitude for the gift of all these mothers in my life. I love each of them more than I am able to express in words and my life is richer for having had each of them be a part of my life. I am deeply grateful for a Heavenly Father who has allowed my path to cross with so many wonderful mothers.