I think I would have been happier had I accepted reality. Right to the end, I continued to hope that even though she had a long and difficult life, my mother would suddenly become the warm, nurturing mother that I needed. But just as I would not ask a person who had no money to repay a debt, I could not have expected my mother to give me what she simply did not have to give. As I think and pray about it, I understand that her shortcomings were filled in over the years by other people God sent my way–friends, mentors, counselors, family members. Because of them, I’m healthier than she was. And I hope my children are healthier than I.
I never would have had a Mother’s Day mom–not if she’d lived to 190. But I am ready to put that fantasy away. I can accept and forgive my real mother. For I am one, myself.
This message is adapted from “A Mother’s Day Mom–Or a Real One?” written by Wynne Gillis in the May 1998 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. Today on this sixth Sunday of Easter, we honor mothers of all kinds, and we remember Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, renewer of the church, hymn writer, who died in 1760.