Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Mother's Journey

This is me: 6 months old
I have a calendar on my nightstand that displays an inspirational quote about motherhood for each day of the year. It was a gift from my sister-in-law on my first Mother's Day and I still enjoy turning the page every day to read the new quote. I agree with many of them and disagree with many others, but all of them are equally thought-provoking. One of the recent ones said, "A mother is not a person to lean on, but rather a person to make leaning unnecessary." While I adamantly disagree with the former phrase of that sentence, the latter prompted me to write one of my favorite pieces of poetry to date. 

High School Senior Pictures 2001
On a brief side note... it may (or may not) surprise you to hear that I dabble in poetry a bit. It started as a cathartic release of teenage angst, a phase during which I realized that a well-written poem can be the most beautiful way to relay a story, evoke emotion, and deepen a message. I rarely share my poetry (the one I wrote on Mother's Day is the only other poem that appears here thus far). It's mostly because of an intense fear of rejection, but I guess six months of opening myself and my life on the internet is hardening me a bit and boosting my courage. 

My Wedding Day 2008
Ok, back to today's message... after the above quote came up on my calendar, I realized that I had not yet fully considered the true level of the sacrifice that mothers make for their children - a sacrifice that goes beyond labor pains and midnight feedings. It's a lifelong sacrifice of ourselves for children who are actually not ours at all - children who will someday tie their own shoes, make their own meals, and live their own lives; children who will lean on us less and less as they grow in confidence and independence. It begins with the literal cutting of the cord and as our children venture further into the world - from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of college and from high school dances to wedding day - each milestone cuts the metaphorical cord away just that much more. Without speaking from direct experience, I can only imagine the mixture of pride and joy and sadness and loss that dwells in our hearts on those momentous days. 

I wrote this poem in an attempt to put a beautifully bittersweet journey into words and to remind all of the moms with grown up children that even though you may succeed at making certain kinds of "leaning" unnecessary, you will always have an irreplaceable role in the lives of your children. Once a mommy, always a mommy!  

A Mother’s Journey
My mother’s journey starts today
In this tiny room where we both lay.
My mom is just so very proud
As she picks out the perfect gown
To take me home on my first day,
And show the world the life she made.
She lifts her chin and smiles wide
As we head toward the world outside.
She'll pause and bow her head to pray
For God to guide us on our way.

Those 18 years will fly so fast.
Her little girl will grow at last,
And she will be so very proud
As she fits my graduation gown
And matching cap for my big day.
She’ll be sad but she won’t say.
Instead she’ll give a happy smile
As I make my journey down the aisle.
And she will bow her head to pray
As life leads her baby girl away.

Someday a man will come around
Who sweeps my feet up off the ground.
And she will be so very proud
As she fits me for the perfect gown
And matching shoes for my big day.
She’ll be sad but she won’t say.
Instead she’ll give a happy smile
As I make my journey down the aisle.
And she will bow her head to pray
As she gives her baby girl away.

And someday when we both are gone,
And our daughters still are living on,
I know she will be so proud
As she fits me for my final gown
And matching wings for my big day.
Her baby girl is Home to stay.
On the other side she’ll stand and wait
As I make my journey through the gate.
As we bow down at Jesus’ feet,
My mother’s journey is complete.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa this is so beautiful. Thank you so very much!