Someone forwarded me a news clip from USA Today that ran recently. It was about an obituary a group of siblings wrote for their mom. Typically, an obituary of any kind is never going to make headlines in a national newspaper – unless it was for a celebrity. This mom was far from a celebrity but the obituary her kids wrote definitely jumps out at you.
It read in part, “On behalf of her children who she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children…” You can read more about it here if you’d like.
Man – when I read that, I just felt this terrible feeling in my gut. First, what hell had this mom exposed her kids to?!? Second, the realization creeps in that unfortunately this would not be an isolated case of children being mistreated/abused/neglected/injured or worse by their parent(s). FInally, a sadness about it all… sadness certainly for what these children, turned adults, endured in their lives and all of the kids who all are still in the same situation… But a sadness too – that this is the story worthy of a headline vs. the stories of the millions and millions of caring, loving moms who are so missed when they are gone.
I realize that news-worthy stories are the ones that tell an important out of the ordinary story. I realize that is actually why I watch the news at night… I want to know what’s gone wrong in the world to add to the multitude of other things I already know. I realize that if every night when I turned on the news if every story was about rainbows and butterflies – I wouldn’t watch the news anymore. I know all of these things but it just brings a sadness to know that the expectation is every time I pick up a news paper (what’s that?!?) or turn on the nightly news… I am expecting the stories to be worse today than they were yesterday. Our world is so broken.
But in response to this sadness… I decided to write something today for all of the moms that should be winning awards… should be recognized daily for their capacity to love and to nurture.
Moms… thank you for always putting the needs of everyone else ahead of your own. Simple things – like the fact that you’ve never eaten a hot meal in your life because by the time you’ve fixed everyone else’s plates they are ready for seconds before you even sit down for your first bite… Or watching Winnie The Pooh for the 137th time instead of doing something you want/need because your little one far prefers your lap to the perfectly good couch… Or getting up for the midnight, 3am and 6 am feeding because your husband is too sleep challenged to figure out a baby bottle… Or rocking that scared little boy or girl back to sleep through the wee hours after a bone chilling nightmare. (Philippians 2:3)
Moms… thank you for teaching our kids what love is. Simple things – like kissing a boo boo after a fall to magically erase the hurt… Or cheering at the sideline of every game from age 2 to age 18… Or just giving that little hug that only moms can give. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)
Moms… thank you for taking on the toughest job in the world while making it look so easy. Let’s face it guys… If it was up to us to be the mom – the human race would have been doomed long ago. The first time anyone explained to us what child birth would look like – we’d have run far, far away… very fast. There is something special about a mom… something we just don’t possess. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
If we were hiring a mom on monster.com… the job description would look like this… “Seeking a hard working individual for the position of Director of Child Development and Home Management (aka Domestic Goddess.) Qualifications include (not in order of importance or frequency because they will change almost daily): event planning, nursing (RN not required but experience equivalent), teaching – all ages, cooking, psychology – for both kids and men and organization. Must be willing to train, and re-train, and re-re-train children (and men) in most everything in life from simple hygiene skills, to seemingly simple tasks such as picking things up off the floor and cleaning up own messes. Must have a strong stomach being able to handle vomiting, diarrhea, snot, blood and the foulest diaper changes of unimaginable evil (know that this will always be a solo job as a man will never be present when needed at these times). Additional skills include ability to work longest hours of any job anyone anywhere will ever have for no pay and usually little thanks. Must be thick skinned and able to absorb unfair attacks… from both children and men. Pay and benefits are woefully low but hopefully the intangibles of the rewards of raising a loving family will offset this ridiculous oversight.
The reality is that this job description would be inadequate. The job is just too big to describe. But I hope and pray that if you are a mom… someone is telling you how much they love and appreciate all you do.
To my mom… and my beautiful wife who is the mommy to our 2 beautiful kids… I love you and appreciate all you do and have done for me…
While I can’t possibly write about every great mom I know… here are just a few moms that mean so much to me and my family… and that I think could use some encouragement!
S.B. – You are raising an awesome little guy… One of the best kids I know. So proud of you and how much you take care of…
B.G. – Your girls are going to be world changers! They are confident, caring, sweet, intelligent…
M.B. – A cool mommy with New York style and incredible determination = very blessed kids…
P.B. – Even though yours are grown and on their own, you are the surrogate mom that everyone loves and wishes they had…
N.P. – Same thing … yours may be adults now but you are an amazing mom and I am so glad you are in our life and how you care for us every day…
So tell all the moms in your life that you love them and that you are thankful for them. They’ll appreciate hearing it and you’ll feel good doing it.
Jason Rehmel is the Lead Pastor at Eastside Christian Church on the east side of Cincinnati. If you are someone who has had a terrible experience(s) at a church or churches – stop by some weekend and give it one more shot with Eastside. Whether you have felt judged, or dismissed, or unwanted – wherever it has been – Eastside is different.