It is funny how one moment can completely change your perspective. From here on, Mother’s Day will never have quite the same meaning for me or probably for my children.
The morning began just as a it should for a mother of eight children…not exactly breakfast in bed, but I didn’t have to get up and make breakfast or head out to the barn to muck stalls and turn out horses…because the first gift they were giving me was a day off. Husband was in charge of breakfast and the kids still living at home handled the stable chores….Life seemed quiet as I lingered over a cup of coffee while husband clanged in the kitchen making my favorite, French toast. Kids speedily got through the chores and soon enough we were sitting down at the table to a hot breakfast, all six of us together. Then came the gifts, my children know me so well, gift certificates to my favorite nursery and nic nacs for my garden. After breakfast, husband and youngest son headed off to the store to “pick up something” and saying they will meet the rest of us at church. The rest headed to their rooms to get cleaned up.
Usually church mornings are a rushed affair, with time in short supply. My thoughts as we loaded into the car and began the drive to church was how quiet and nice this morning was, how good to have just time to do my own thing, When the kids were younger, Mother’s Day was always orchestrated by my husband, and he would jokingly grumble “she is not my mother” as he would herd the little ones around. Some of my best Mother’s Days were the ones where I was just given the gift of time…time to myself, time to putter in my flower beds or vegetable garden, time to take a nap or read a book. Time seems to be what every mother needs or wants for Mother’s Day and what is usually in very short supply when children are still living in the house. As I headed the direction of our church and the road stretched out before me, I felt the best gift my family was giving me was just that, time. Life was good.
Then came that moment I was talking about. My phone rang and on it the voice of the youngest son…serious and stern. “Where are you? You need to get to church as soon as possible, Dad is not feeling good” This child is my more serious one, the one who’s dry sense of humor is often misunderstood and I have learned to not overreact to it but when his second call came and all he said was “YOU NEED TO HURRY”, my little car became a Indy 500 vehicle as I raced to church.
But our family has always handled strain with a plan and I saw my kids at their best…husband and son were parked and waiting in the car of our church parking lot…the other children began to discuss who at church would have medical background or first responder experience and would they be at the late service. Pulling into the parking lot next to husband’s truck, it only took one look at my husband’s pale face, lack of breath as he grasped his chest and they sprang into action. Within minutes we had a crowd of experienced people getting my husband on the ground, and the ambulance was called. All I could do was stand back and watch as all of my perspective changed.
No longer was my Mother’s Day wish for time for myself…time to putter alone in my gardens, time to be left alone and have no one ask anything of me. All I wanted was more time, more time with the man I had already spent 34 years with, more time with the father of the children who called me mom. Time is a funny thing. It happens without us doing anything about it. It marches on whether we are workaholics or hermits we cannot escape or hold time back…it is a force that no one can manipulate in the end. Time is in God’s hands.
As I stared at my husband, God reminded me that our time here on this earth does have limits and that the moments we have with those we love will someday cease. My selfish wish for time for myself completely vanished and all I could wish was for more time to walk through life on this earth with this man. For him to see our youngest two graduate from high school and college, for him to hold his soon to arrive first grandchild, to grow more older and more grayer together. Suddenly my wish for Mother’s Day didn’t matter and all I could think of was the time I wanted was time with him…more time
Praise God, things ended well, no signs of heart damage and in the end his symptoms were more stressed induced (which maybe being married to me is the cause), but he came home after a nice ambulance ride and a few hours in the emergency room. Changes will need to be made, but the perspective has already been changed.
Momma’s, I remember how hard those days can be with the little ones demanding and the husbands busy…but I want to tell you to savor those moments. They are the things you will treasure most in the end…Time with those who have made you a momma…That is the best mother’s day gift you can receive.