Happy Mother’s Day! We are all either the son or the daughter of a mother. So in that capacity all of us fit into a Mother’s Day Celebration.
As a Mother myself, I have had a difficult time with some of the sermons I have heard on Mother's Day, They make us all …all mothers “angels.” One would get the idea that to become a mother is to become a saint.
Erma Bombeck said, “The easiest part of being a mother is giving birth. The hardest part is showing up on the job every day." And I might add it is showing up 24/7.
We all know there are loving, hard working, good mothers and there are also selfish and neglectful and not so good mothers. Most of us as mothers find our place somewhere in between.
At the same time, there is something about motherhood that tends to bring out the best in us. The seemingly endless nausea, misery and pain of pregnancy and childbirth mixed with that incredible love that we have for that helpless and amazingly beautiful baby when it is finally born is awesome.
It is awesome to be a mother. No wonder so many of us feel so inadequate we fall on our knees and seek the wisdom of God.
Many of us, probably most of us as adults have an emotional attachment and love for our mother. And in cases where the mother has such personal problems as to neglect, abuse or abandon the child there is always unbelievable sorrow. In case where the mother dies while the child is young, there is a great feeling of loss.
Just the thought of "mother" brings about great emotion in many of us. I remember one morning a few days before Mothers Day when I was sitting in the sanctuary at Grantville with our church music director.
We were discussion the music for Mother’s Day and got into conversation about some of the old time songs about mother. She mentioned two of the old gospel songs from her childhood, "That Silver Haired Mother of Mine" and "If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again," and we both choked up with tears in our eyes.
Mother seems to see possibilities in us that other people seem to not notice. Just as God sees possibilities in us that we do not see in ourselves and others fail to see.
My father died when i was nine so i was raised by a bright, loving and hard working widow in the 1930 depression years.
Neighbors were an important part of life in the twenties and thirties. My mother used the term "We were neighbor to..." instead of saying "We lived near ... the So and So's."
We did not locked our doors even at night when I was a child. Neighbors were in and out of our home all the time; often to borrow a cup of sugar or flour or an egg to finish out a recipe for a cake. Often a neighbor would stop in to share vegetables or cookies.
Sometimes the visits were just to sit and talk. Our house was usually the gathering place after dinner at night on our front porch. Our porch had several rocking chairs as well as a swing that seated two or three.
While the adults were talking, the children played "hide and seek" or "kick the can" out in the front yard or on the unpaved road in front of our house.
I have fond memories as a child of being in and out of the homes of the Finchers, the Parnells, the Moores, the Hornings. And they visited with us daily.
Then there was a quaint lady from out of town, who, with her children, would visit us overnight and sometimes for two or three days several times a year. I remember sitting on our front porch (along with various friends and neighbors) near sundown one afternoon.
We looked down the street and saw this lady and her children coming toward our house. I said to Mama, "Here comes Mrs. Johnson (I'll call her).
Someone asked Mama why Mrs. Johnson and her children often came to our house. They lived miles away. The answer seemed simply enough to Mama. "We were neighbor to them on the farm," Mama said.
The lady was short and heavy with her dark hair pulled straight back in a bun. Her only daughter and older child was "Mae." Mae was thin and very subdued. She was even more timid than I. Mae walked just a little behind her mother on the sidewalk as they made their way down our street. The three little brothers followed in a procession.
I can visualize them now as they walked toward our house. Mama welcomed them, gave them supper, found a bed for the lady, and put pallets of folded quilts and a feather pillow each on the floor for Mae (and me). Mrs. Johnson sleep in my bed. Mama also put a confortable pallet of quilts on the floor for the three little boys.
I do not remember what, if anything, Mae and I talked about before we fell alsleep side by side on the floor. The lady had a husband but we never saw him. I overheard someone say her husband was "sorry’ and “no account”.
Children were "seen and not heard " in those days. So, of course, I did not ask. But I learned by listening.
In the days before TV, this was a mystery somewhat like a soap opera. The lady would always get up early, and she would come to the place where Mae and I were sleeping on the floor and say, "Rise, Mae." I thought this was "funny."
Incidentally, we sometimes referred to mentally ill people as someone who "acted funny" or had "gone crazy." I thought the Johnsons "acted funny" and we both laughed and cried for them.
Looking back it may have been wife and/or child abuse that caused them to leave home so suddenly, walk four or five miles and show up at our house. As far as I know they came and went without explanation. If Mama knew, she kept her own counsel and always treated Mrs. Johnson and her children with respect, preparing food and bedding for them as respectfully as she did when her own sisters visited.
After all, they had been "neighbor to us" on the farm.