A Tribute to Mothers

Posted on May 11th, 2013 by Denise | No Comments

A Tribute to Mothers

In Honor of Mother’s Day


Denise Koonce OTR


 “Don’t poets know it better than others?  God can’t be always everywhere: and, so, invented Mothers.”

                                                                                Quote by Sir Edwin Arnold

When I was reflecting on the significance of Mother’s Day, I of course, thought of my own mother.  My mother turned 90 this past December and is still the one who looks after “the elderly and the sick.”  She was born in 1922 in “small town Texas” to parents who farmed cotton, owned cattle and grew their own food.  She became the oldest of eight brothers and sisters.  At the age of four, she could stand on a stool to wash dishes, cook beans, and biscuits for the family.  By seven or eight years of age, she was working in the fields pulling cotton and toting a heavy burlap bag.   She has outlived all but two of her siblings losing them to war and illnesses.  She lived through the Great Depression, the Dust Storms of the 30’s and WWII.  When women did not tend to own businesses, she began her own private kindergarten in the 50’s and continued to teach for over 30 years.  At the age of 45, I came along.  Having a child at that age was also uncommon and even a bit risky.  Along with my father, she raised two other girls, older than I and helped to instill the desire and provide the means for all of us to have the opportunity to attend college.  She then cared tirelessly for my father during his battle with cancer and after a couple of short years she sadly had to let him go.  When I think back on what kind of women she has portrayed, I think courageous, enduring, hard working and as a mother she was thoughtful, giving, and loving.  What a gift I was given, in my mother.     

 I left work one day, to run an errand, and on the way I spotted a mom with two small children walking down the street.  As I approached them I realized who they were and that one of the children had been receiving therapy at the clinic.  I pulled over to ask where they were going.  She explained that they were walking to the Metrorail station to catch the train to their bus stop and then home.  She had been bringing her child into the clinic for a few weeks already and the child had been making progress.  No one realized what diligent efforts she had been making in order to bring her child in for therapy because she never complained or mentioned what steps were necessary in order for her child to receive services.  I was taken aback and stood in awe of her and the love she showed towards her child through her actions.  Coming to therapy twice a week was anything but easy, yet she managed to accomplish it because that was what was best for her child.  The actions of this mother, to me, are the essence of why we celebrate Mother’s Day.     

They say a mother’s job is never done and that it is a thankless job.  The first part of this statement I agree with but the second part I do not!  I agree with the first part because a mother’s duties can consists of endless reminders, bath times, piano practice, soccer games, time keeper, loads of laundry, 3 meals a day, car pool, wardrobe police, doctors appointments, and so on.  They are up to their elbows in mismatched socks, Mickey Mouse, critters in the house, sleepovers, Dr. Seuss, non matching toy parts, hair bows, items left in pockets at wash time and lost Lego, puzzle, and Polly Pocket pieces.  Many things change once a women becomes a mother, for instance, a woman tends to sleep less after becoming a mother for these reasons:  they lose sleep when their children are young and become ill or when the kids become older and has a curfew; by staying up to sew badges on a sash, or check that day’s homework.  Mothers have to be advocates, caregivers, consolers, cheerleaders, and chauffeurs.  They help light the paths which their child may take, brush them off and kiss them when they hit a rough spot and redirect with forward momentum them when they make a mistake.   They do all of these things selflessly, over and over, without complaint, because of love.  As far as a mother’s job being thankless, I disagree!  Every time I receive a smile, a hug, a compliment, a tickle fest, a special drawing, a snuggle, or an inclusion into their world I am being thanked and that is what makes being a mother so wonderfully worth it.  I believe Sir Edwin Arnold’s short, sweet, and to the point description of Mother’s sums it all up.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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