Courtesy of All Posters
With Mother's Day right around the corner, I would like to pay homage not just to my own mother (who is now deceased) or even to my own role as a mother to my children, but, rather to the sweet women who have acted as mothers to me thoughout my life.
Despite the beautiful ideal of motherhood which we honor in the church, many of us have struggled with less that ideal cirumstances growing up. I personally was blessed with what felt like a near-perfect mother in my early years, but as the years wore on and troubles came, my mother was deeply overwhelmed and not always emotionally available to me. I was not raised in an LDS family, but, later, it was within the church that I have been nurtured by older women during important times in my life.
The stand-out example of this would be my friend, Holly. When my husband, Mark, and I were newly married and completing his education at the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, I became pregnant with our first child. All was fine at first, as I combined outside employment with preparations to eventually become a full-time mother. However at 14 weeks, my left side swelled up and I began experiencing discomfort. A quick trip to the OB resulted in my being admitted to the hospital with a congenitally obstructed kidney. That's when the problems started. The doctors rigged me up to get me through my pregnancy without surgery, but in doing so I found that I could not continue my fast-paced job, I was in a lot of discomfort and had difficulty getting around, and would require major surgery soon after my baby was born. With my husband a full-time student and also working full-time, what in the world was I going to do for help and support when the baby came? My mother, who lived in neighboring Virginia, was disabled and could not be there for me, as much as she would have like to do.
In walked Holly H. to my life, an older woman in my ward with no dependent children. She had barely known me up to this point, but when she heard of my need, she immediately made me her business. She helped with household chores, brought food, and most important, became my friend. When the baby was born, she treated me as her daughter and my baby as her grand-child. When I went into surgery, she took my baby in for the weeks when I could not care for her and often cared for me, too.
The most wonderful part of all, though was that once I was well and could care for my daughter by myself, the relationship not only continued but flourished. My daughter, Sarah, and I had become a part of Holly's family. We are close to this day, 14 years later.
I am sure that I am not alone in my experience. Older women play such a wonderful role in the lives of younger women. They teach, love, support and inspire by example. And what a wonderful opportunity Mother's Day provides for us to extend our appreciation beyond family bounds to the other women who have nurtured us.
What can we do to make them feel appreciated?
Make a phone call.
If you have the resources, send an unexpected bouquet of flowers
Send a card or a letter
Spend a some time with them
Find a way to express your love
One never knows how long a beloved older friend will be with us. Remembering them at Mother's Day is the perfect way to express one's gratitude for they have done!