Every layer of being a mother and having a mother.
The whole maternal instinct. Nurturing. Loving. Holding. Soothing. Training. Influencing. Inspiring. Teaching. Heart Pain. Heart Joy.
The privilege of all of that - giving and receiving.
God, the Father, to Israel, His children - "For this is what the Lord says: "I will extend peace to her (Jerusalem) like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem. " God is Mother Love. God is Father Love. He is parent love. He knows and is both.
Remembering Mother, on Mother's Day, 2011.
There's so much I want to say to her, ask her, tell her;
I want to laugh with her, and drink coffee with her and enjoy daily living with her.
I am thankful for my Mother.
But there were my grandmothers who mothered my parents.
and Charlie's mother, who mothered my husband
(here, holding Andrew this most recent Thanksgiving season)
and here, in this portrait, is the mother who mothered my grandfather, who fathered my dad who married my mother.
(and I'm holding Andrew in the winter of 2010)
all of which equipped me
and by the grace of God and with all of His gifts
I was given that incredible gift of birthing my own.
(Katherine Wilkerson Rhodes, February 15, 1988)
(Sarah Edith Rhodes, January 24, 1986)
(Laura Elizabeth Rhodes, August 12, 1982)
(Ann Bailey Rhodes, February 1, 1981)
which led to the blessed gift of grandchildren,
and all of the mothers before me taught me how to embrace that gift,
and all a gift from God.
My blessings. They exhaust me. Can you tell?
"So, Mother, I would tell you about all of this.
I would bring my grandchildren to you,
to watch you love them and be awed by them.
and watch them be loved by you. Then you would hear about Ann and Sarah and Kate and Laura Beth and you would care and it would matter to you, all the while embracing Mary Ann and Me, and still missing Daddy unless, of course he was still here - then loving that he was still here. Yet wanting time for your sisters and needing that friendship connect apart from your children. That maternal heart, it throws out a very large net."
What I didn't know then, now I see more clearly:
Mother never felt old inside, although she tried to tell me that.
She loved Mary Ann and me fiercely and yet with abandon, with the heart of letting go because she had to when she had to.
I don't think I can list all the things that I didn't know then,
but see more clearly now. I'll just stop with those first two.
I miss my mother.