I think we all know what today is—Mother's Day. I imagine that today must bring joy and sadness to many, depending on their experiences with mothers, or as mothers, or as not getting to be mothers. I have enjoyed today as a mother, and I enjoyed talking to my mother and spending time with my mother-in-law. I missed my grandmother today. It is near the anniversary of her death, and it is hard not to miss her, but I do know she is happier where she is. My other grandmother I don't have to miss yet, and I am grateful for that.
Among those feelings of love and some sadness, I also feel another sentiment profoundly—that of gratitude. When I was younger, I thought that girls grew up, became women, and then blessedly got to become wives and mothers. Then I actually grew up and realized that the journey to becoming a woman is long and varied. And then some women never get to be wives, or get to be wives and then don't get to be mothers. And that some women don't actually want to be wives or mothers. So many things just never occurred to me as possible when I was younger.
Every day I look at Jill and am grateful that she is my daughter and I am her mother. Every time she sleeps longer than I think she should, I worry that she has slipped away and gone back to heaven. It's actually somewhat stressful, but I never ever take for granted that I have been blessed with the awesome responsibility of nurturing and rearing this sweet little soul.
I am not sure yet what all Jill will inherit from my mothering, but I have been mentally compiling a list of what I have received from my mothers.
From my mother, I learned acceptance. I learned how to love people, no matter their appearance, education, status, personality, etc. A person should be loved and treated kindly just for being a person. From my mother, I learned sacrifice. I learned putting children first. I learned the importance of going to games and concerts, of being on field trips, of knowing all of my children's friends, of trust.
Next let's discuss my mother's mother. Grandma Homer. Verda. From my grandmother Homer, I have learned how to be strong. I have heard stories of sleeping out with the cows on the prairie. Of serving a mission. Of keeping a family together while moving across the country. Of keeping food on the table and a smile on your face even when times are difficult.
My grandmother Homer taught me to endure and enjoy to the end.
My father's mother comes next in discussion and equal in love. Marcia. Grandma Boling. From her I have learned grace. Sophistication. The art and skill of communication. She is a beautiful, intelligent woman who speaks her mind.
She is valiant in her beliefs and shares them. She is the matriarch of her brood, and she watches over us with love. She is tradition and consistency. She is adventure and tenacity.
One characteristic that my mother and both grandmothers share is supporting your husband and letting him be a man. A man with foibles perhaps, but still the father of your children and a very good man in heart.
I know, I know. How many mothers can one girl have? Well, I have one more "mother" to discuss. I have an older sister, and perhaps as others of you with older sisters can attest to, sometimes older sisters can be like mothers. Amy and I are pretty close in age, so she was not a mother in that aspect, but she has always been my role model of what I wanted to be like, and she got to become a mother before I did. And her example in that department has always shone for me.
I have always hoped to grow up and be a little bit more like Amy.
She is an example to me of conquering fears, of turning weaknesses into strengths. I have fought many battles knowing that she would never stop cheering for me no matter how low I tumbled before I was able to turn around. She has always been there through every step of my journey.
Even though we do not get to share a room any more or even get to live in the same state, I know that she would, for example, drop everything (even when pregnant) to fly across the country just to drive back across it, so I could have some help.
Thank you Mom, Verda, Marcia, Laurie, and Amy for helping to mold me into the mommy I'm becoming.
I really loved a poem that was shared in my ward today, written by a husband to his wife.
There is no day too busy
For a laugh to make a smile.
There is no need too untimely
For a moment to squeeze it in.
There is no crisis too big
For a listening ear to make it bearable.
There is no disappointment too devastating
For a hug to take the sting.
There is no choice too significant
For a nudge to give direction.
There is no chore too mundane
For determination to complete it well.
There is no accolade too lofty
For humility to modestly deny.
There is no honor too majestic
For the mother of my children.
—Dr. Roger Cass