• Nathaniel G. Sands

The Love of a Mother

Another Mother's day has come and gone, but is one day a year enough to honor the most important person of our lives? No card can express, no brunch can suffice; it is impossible to show our mother's the appreciation they deserve... Especially when they become Grandma's!

Since starting this blog I have yet to write specifically on my mother; not that I haven't mentioned her, but as it seems for most mothers, none will ever get the amount of recognition that they give-out themselves. Of all the people in my life, no one has been consistently there for me and supported me the way my mother has. My hope is that this is also true for all of you, although I do realize my mother is something very wonderful and unique, even through I may not have always recognized it...

16 years old, in Germany with mom

My mom had her three children very young. My older sister Erin was born when my mom was only 19 years old. My memories consistently reveal a mother who was there for me whenever I was in need, but I can't remember even my most needy years. My dad was young as well, and was continuing to go to school while my young mother took care of her infant children. Although I don't remember this time, my mother has told me of how difficult it was for her. But her strength proved true, and she did a wonderful job of learning, teaching and loving all at once.

The three children in birth order

Many memories I have of my mom are of her on the phone. Being a child, before cell phones, I remember my mom lived in the kitchen. We had an extra long chord attached to out phone, and I remember it being stretched all over the place as she cleaned, cooked and chatted all at once. I even remember getting a cordless phone, and how excited she was for that. I thought of how much her neck must have hurt, always being cranked to the side to hold that phone to her head. She was a very influential woman nd ad lots of friends. I didn't quite comprehend how other women in the community needed her as much as I did. Often she had women over for lunches, parties and prayer meetings. I couldn't speculate as to how many women have been in need of my mom, and how grateful they are this wonderful women was there when they needed her.

Yesterday, Leah and I parked on the side of the road to look at some horses. There were three young ones, obviously recently born, sticking close to their mothers. It is so cool to see that innate relationship, the love of a mother and offspring.

Leah is in love with horses. Any opportunity she has to ride them she jumps on it! (literally!) Last weekend for mother's day I went across the border to Black Mountain Ranch, where my mom and her new husband, Chris take Leah each weekend for a riding club she is a part of. I am so grateful to my mom for supporting me growing up in pursuing the things that I loved, and now I'm grateful for her to be doing the same for my child.

It is bitter sweet watching my mom so involved with my daughter's life. The bitterness comes from the fact that a few short years ago she couldn't be so involved. It's obvious to me how much love she pours into those around her who need it most, and for a few years all that energy had to be put into taking care of my father. As he suffered from ALS, my mother took care of him the way I'm sure she took care of me as an infant. Helping him eat, sleep and go to the bathroom, I knew how grateful my dad was to have such an amazing mom he got to call is wife.

Life is a beautiful but fragile thing. It would be naïve for us to look at the one's we love and to pretend that we will be with them forever. We all know a day will come when we are separated, and we either say goodbye to the one's we love or they have to say goodbye to us. Is it better to love and lose, than to never have loved at all? It must! And we all inherently accept this. I'm just so grateful to have a mom who can have her heart broken by a fatal illness, and to be able to pick up the pieces; moving on for the sake of so many others who need her help in picking up theirs.

To hear more from her about this story, and the challenges her and my dad faced with ALS, check out her blog or pick up a copy of her book!

It seems to me that most mom's are burdened with bearing more responsibilities than they deserve. I am just so grateful for a mom who can bear so much responsibility, continue to take on more, and exude so much love and joy as she does it.

I'm so thankful to call her mom, and will love her and appreciate her until the day we also must say goodbye. But for now, we will continue to be there for each other, whether were crying or smiling. And no matter where any of us are right now, whether in love or in loss, let's remember that a smile is just around the corner, even if it must find its way through the tears.

That is the beautiful thing about life - even through tragedy, love will always be there waiting for us to discover it.

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