So it's Mother's Day... No I haven't called my mom yet but don't worry I will do that before the day is over. But right now I'm sitting in Starbucks listening to some unknown music artist that I don't recognize and half singing a Grateful Dead song in my head (Scarlet Begonias) and trying to put my epiphanous (not even sure that's a word) thought into words, not as easy as I thought it was going to be.
When I got up this morning I started thinking of the past year. I do that a lot, think of the past. I don't dwell on it but contemplate and reminisce. Maybe that was a better word, reminisce. Let me begin again...
When I got up this morning I started to contemplate and reminisce over the past year. If you know me and my family, you know that it has not been an easy year. I/we still deal with the heartaches from those events. But that isn't what this blog is about.
As I thought about the last year it led from one thing into the other and I started to think about the word "Mom" and its connotations in the confines of my own life. I sat on the end of my bed this morning getting dressed and playing/petting the Coco (my Dog) having what felt like was an epiphany (my mom would be proud I used that word). Here's the epiphany, "Everyone has a mother. Not everyone has a mother that is a mom."
Here's what I mean by that statement. Mother, to me at least, is a word that denotes biology. It points to the woman from which we are born. We all have mothers. But a mom, mommy, mama, whatever she is called by you is a gift. You don't have to be related to her. I have a few moms. But this is about my Mother/Mom.
I have been called a mama's boy several times in my adult life and the first time it happened I remember taking offense to it. Being a full grown man, there was a spark that sent me into an internal reaction to that statement that was nothing short of being offended. However, after hearing it a couple of more times my reaction to being called a "mama's boy" changed. I think about some the great men of history and how they spoke fondly of their moms. John and Charles Wesley, the brothers credited with the founding of Methodism, spoke highly of their mom, Susanna. These are just the two that come to mind.
So why does having a mom versus just a mother even matter. Because a mom encourages, a mom heals and a mom disciplines.
When I was getting ready to apply to Auburn for my Master's of Brewing Science I called my mom to let her know that I was doing such a thing at the age of 31. She not only encouraged me to go for it but also in that moment I believe that she started praying that God would orchestrate my acceptance to that program and provide a way for me to pursue my passion. I didn't tell her that I was applying late. It's funny to me now that her encouragement comes in that she brings friends to Cannon to eat and does a flight of beer with them and will get me to do a small tour with the group. She's even gotten to the point where she will just tell people to stop by when they are in Columbus.
A mom will also heal. Remember being small and falling off your bike? Maybe you scraped a knee or elbow and your mom would not only kiss it to make it better and put a bandaid on it, but also she would tell you get back on the bike in a round about way, "Ok, you're all better now. Go play some more."
Now as an adult it comes in different ways. After my divorce it came as phone calls and books being mailed to me. She even encouraged me to begin writing again both poetry and prose to help me deal with things. It's now been a year since my divorce was final and she will ask if I have been on any dates. Trust me when I tell you that it's no more awkward as an adult than as a teenager to get asked that question. But I will talk about some of the funny things that have taken place. Like the time my debit card wouldn't run because of a bank issue on their end. It was a first date. I was not thrilled. She had to pay. The best story is how I asked a bartender friend of mine about the "beautiful girl at the end of the bar" and said, "I'd like to buy her beer." It was his girlfriend. I know that part of Mom asking me about the ladies is her way of keeping tabs on me but I take it as a "You're all better now".
A mom will also show discipline. As children she was not afraid to show my brother, sister and I discipline whether it was a scolding or a spanking. Yes we were spanked as children and we are all the better for it. It taught us to respect others and ourselves.
If you read Mom's blog, nancys-ordinarymoments.blogspot.com, you will know that she is a disciplined person. She spends her mornings with a cup of tea, a book, Bible, and Jesus. She's usually in the sun room or on the back porch in good weather. Through that she has taught me to look for God in the moments and how to enjoy those moments. She has taught me to look at things in a different way and be ok with it. She use to say to me, "You are not a normal student pastor." I never understood her reason for that statement but I became ok with not being a "normal student pastor". It made me discipline myself to be me and be ok with it. In retrospect that statement made it ok for me to start running down my dream and my passion of brewing.
So Happy Mother's, Mom's, Mama's, Mommy's, G-ma's, G-nan's, Mimi's, Day! May you hear from your children and grandchildren no matter the distance, no matter the time and know that you have been a blessing and a love to and for them!
Now if you will excuse me... I'm going to call my mom... You probably should that too.