Recently, a dear friend and fellow mother passed away. Her Facebook wall is full of people talking about the incredible person she was. She was the kind of person that loved her children selflessly, even in midst of her battle with cancer. She found humor in the direst of situations. One of the last things she posted was this:
"So there's more cancer. [I'm] still in a lot of pain. [The] breath has been knocked out of us a bit, but life goes on and we're still potty training two 3 year olds and trying to get an almost 2 year old to stop dropping the F-bomb 40 times a day as she experiments with her consonants."
The breath has been knocked out of all of us at some point, and yet, life must go on, and we must continue to care for the little humans entrusted to us. And while we may not be battling cancer, we've all got some kind of suffering we must endure whether it be the never-ending to-do list of the overwhelmed working mom or the struggle to meet a child's constant demands for the stay- at-home mom, or the tired, misunderstood work-from-home mom.
But what kind of people do we want to be to our children in the midst of these roles? When our motherhood journey is complete, what would we want our children to say about us? These questions are important because they enable us to keep our focus and to have perspective in the day to day moments that are seemingly insignificant. Knowing who we are grounds us as we change dirty diapers, prepare meal after meal, tackle the epic pile of laundry, and clean-up endless messes.
The death of my friend inspired me to think about how I'd want to be remembered as a mother. What would I want my kids to say about me one day?
She listened to me. She was really there for me.
She encouraged me. I felt like such a worthy person around her.
She was kind and compassionate. She taught me to care for the hurting.
She was generous. She taught me to give to those in need.
I felt safe around her. I always knew I could trust her.
She gave the best hugs. She always knew when I needed one.
She took the time to really know me. She appreciated me as a person.
She was peaceful. I felt at peace when I was with her.
She taught me how to pray. She introduced me to God.
She was patient. She knew how to wait for the things she hoped for.
She loved our dad. Her love for him knew no boundaries.
She loved to laugh. She was not afraid of the future.
She was hospitable. Her house is where we all loved to be.
She was full of grace. I knew that no matter what I did, she would always love me.
In the end, I'd want my children to say I loved them well, and I taught them how to love others well. Nothing is more powerful than love, and that is what I believe we are all here for.
To Julie. May I love others as well as you did. And may your 2-year-old finally learn how to say "duck".