December 22, 2010

Excellence in Mothering Award Goes to ...

{ circa 1981 in maryland }
My mom who turns 59 today.

I love this woman with all my heart and consider myself amazingly blessed, not only to have her in my life, but to have been raised and nurtured by her.  She has been a beautiful example of a woman who embodies and breathes Christ in her humility, her honesty, her integrity, and her servitude.

When I was a junior in college, I suffered major injuries from a skiing accident that nearly required me to have my leg amputated.  But thanks to good surgeons, several operations and lots of prayers, my leg healed (although not 100%) and I was eventually able to walk again 6 months after the accident.

It left me with huge scars that cover most of my left calf and part of the thigh.  A few weeks ago, my 2.5-year-old saw my leg and stared at the scar for a while.  He wasn't sure what to make of it but finally said, "Mommy has owie."  He then leaned over and gently kissed the scar.  It was the absolute sweetest and most touching moment ever.

But I digress.  Back to my mom.

{ circa 1986 in south dakota }
After being released from the hospital, I was stuck in a wheelchair for months.  My mom flew out from Texas (where my parents were at the time) and set aside her responsibilities at church to stay with me in Virginia for two weeks.  In that time, she cared for me by preparing meals, assisting me from the wheelchair to either the bed or toilet, and even with bathing me. 

I was mortified. 

You have to understand I prided myself on being self-sufficient and independent, not needing anyone to do anything for me.  And here I was a grown woman at 20-years-old, barely able to scratch my back much less go to the potty or bathe myself.  So every other day, my mother would take a wet sponge, lather it with soap, and gently wash my body as I sat feeling helpless in the wheelchair, swallowing every ounce of pride I had.  But she did it with such incredible tenderness, humility, and love that it melted away my shame and embarrassment.

This is the kind of stuff mothers don't get recognized for.  No one hands out a trophy or writes a headline that reads "Excellent Mom Award For Bathing Your Daughter" or "Achievement Recognition for Feeding Your Child".

{ circa 2008:
with my mom and her mom -
 women who inspire me to be a good mom }
But these are the simple acts, generally unnoticed and unrecognized, that stand out the greatest in my mind and have left such a tremendous impression on what I envision a mother to be.  Most days, mothers care for their children's very basic needs and receive no accolades, no achievement awards, no pat on the back or a simple "hey, good job today."

So on her birthday, I recognize my mom for all her selfless, loving deeds and for all that she sacrificed to raise and nurture us.  You are the most beautiful woman in my life. 

Happy birthday, amma.

Is there a mother you'd like to recognize for her achievement and character?  I'd love to hear about them.


  1. I haven't met your mother, but I absolutely love her! There really is a 'sisterhood' amongst mothers!

  2. Donna - You and my mom would totally hit it off. :)


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