Tomorrow is Mother's Day. A day celebrated around the world, for there is no other person in the world whose relationship affects us more than the one we have with our maternal units.
Whatever we choose to call her, the role she plays in her children's lives is that of nursemaid, nurturer, educator, mental health professional, cosmetologist, teacher, judge, jury, correctional officer and warden all wrapped into one, head chef, bottle washer, diaper changer, nanny, referee, physician, seamstress, party planner, coach, ump, encourager...and the list goes on and on.
Our mothers are our mothers, but as I was reminded earlier today from a reading in "Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul", we seldom know them as the great, great ladies they are. My mom was one such lady. Born Dorthy Mae Carroll, people always misspelled her name thinking surely it was Dorothy, but no, it was Dorthy and many folks called her Dot. That 'Dot' is also another word for period or so be it... or dot, dot, dot...the continuation of a thought. Both are correct in the case of my mom. She was fierce. PERIOD. She was kind. PERIOD. She was a fantastic cook. PERIOD. She had a heart easily pricked. PERIOD. She always heard my side of a story and gave me another chance. Dot, Dot, Dot.
I remember her best sitting at our Kimball spinet piano playing "All God's Children Need Someone to Love". As a child, I thought hearing her play and sing was the best thing since peanut butter (and if you know me well, you know how I love my peanut butter!!). It was from her that I got my love for music. When I began piano lessons in the third grade, I practiced hour after hour and if I sounded anything like my son did when he began taking saxophone lessons, she had to have been grinding her teeth or screaming into a pillow sometimes. All I can say about that is God love her! Because all those lessons led to a life filled with the love and joy of music. (As a side note, my son actually won his age group at the Denver Jazz Festival when he was in the 10th grade....so all my screaming into pillows and the literal crawling of my skin paid off, too.)
My mom taught Sunday School for as long as I can remember during her time on Planet Earth. Seems to me she taught Adult Women's classes and they always seemed to love her. I recall getting out of bed every morning, early, and getting ready for school only to find her just where she'd been the morning before: at the kitchen table studying her lesson for the following Sunday morning. I never told her, but I was impressed by her stick-to-it-ive-ness, her allegiance to the women she taught, and her love for the Lord of whom she taught.
Mother loved to sew. She made clothes, but the thing I most remember are these 17th Century dolls she used to make. The were hand sewn and the faces hand embroidered with yarn hair she sewed on. The dresses they wore were beautiful and they even had little pantelettes. My niece, Pam, my eldest sister's daughter, named them Toots, because that's what all the grandkids called mother. Pam said they looked like Toots. And they did! And to this day, I think it's safe to say we all have a Toots doll proudly displayed somewhere in our homes. Mine is wearing a dress made from fabric she used for a dress sewed for me in high school. No one is allowed to touch my Toots doll. She's almost 40 years old now and if she's like me has brittle bone disease. She's a prized possession, made with love from my mother...a great, great lady. As a matter of fact, when Mother had the coronary that sent her to the Great Beyond, she was working on a Toots doll for someone who never received it. The fabric and the pattern was neatly laid out on the sewing machine table right where she left it when she fell ill.
So to my mother, now in the arms of Jesus, I say, "Mother, you are a great, great lady and I am thankful you were my maternal unit on Planet Earth.