The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Mother…

is a two-syllable word that means so much to so many people. But that one little word has the ultimate importance once the person that owns that name is gone.

Sue Burden and I were talking after she had lost her mother in January of 2007. She stated, I am now an orphan. Imagine that, being an orphan when you are our age. I did not comprehend the profoundness of that statement at the time. We had both already lost our fathers and that was hard, mighty hard. Hard. I. Say. She went on to state that losing Daddy was hard, but losing her mother seemed harder; she questioned if it was harder because now she felt like an orphan. She said she no longer ‘belonged’ to someone; there was no one left that ‘had’ to love her no matter what. Others could choose to love her, but they were not commanded or required to do so, like a Mother.

Mother

A handmade gift from my daughter

I did not learn the aptness of the statement until just nine months later, I too would be an orphan. Mothers have such power and do not even know it. Think about it. A child can divorce a spouse; but a child can not ‘divorce’ a mother. Mother is the first to hold a child at birth. Mother is the one that mends broken hearts. Mother is someone a daughter looks up to when little; someone she just can not get along with in the tween and teen years; someone who is a built-in babysitter when the daughter becomes a mother herself; and the one the daughter strives not to become like, until at a certain age the daughter decides that she is her mother after all. And, hopefully, does not feel that to be a bad thing. It is then that a daughter and mother become best friends forever.

But then comes the time when Mother does not exist anymore except in the hearts of the ones she loved and sacrificed for most of her life. And, yes, Sue was right; is right. Maybe it is because we both lost our fathers first, but for some reason at the loss of our Mothers we both have the ‘orphan’ syndrome. Or maybe it is because Mother could take little pieces of nothing and make something to be cherished out of it – like the pillow she cross-stitched for my daughter about how a Grandchild is special. Before she gave it to my daughter, her first great-grandchild was born and she added to the cross-stitch “and Great-grandchildren, too.”  Maybe it is because as my colleague said, you KNOW who your mother is and that creates a bond stronger than steel. Afterall, it is a scientific fact that when soldiers fall on the battlefield, the one they cry out for is Mother. As an aside, could that be why the military forces the servicemen/women to write back home to Mother first?  And losing Mother is not easy to get through. Maybe it is not something you get through but something you have to endure. Either way, it is hard.

The cross-stitched Mother with flowers and butterfly was stitched just for me by my daughter. I have kept it for a lot of years now. I think that little item, along with a little white satin heart-shaped pillow that had Mothers are Special stitched on it are my best-loved treasures from her; with the exception of the diplomas and degrees that she earned and the obvious exception of  my grandson.

Now I understand Roy Acuff‘s song from long ago titled “Will the Circle be Unbroken“.  I believe that Sue would agree with me that Roy Acuff felt like an ‘orphan’ on that day, at least he conveyed it in his strong presentations of the song. The lyrics make this lonesome plea…

I was standing by my window on a cold and cloudy day
When I saw the hearse come rolling to carry mother away
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

I said to the undertaker undertaker please drive slow
For this lady you are hauling oh I hate to see her go                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

I will follow close behind her try to hold up and be brave
But I could not hide my sorrow when they laid her in her grave
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

Went back home and home was lonesome since my mather she had gone
Found my brothers sisters crying what a home so sad and lone
Will the circle be unbroken by and by Lord by and by
There’s a better home awaiting in the sky Lord in the sky

On the next article, there will be a photo of my mother and Sue’s mother to honor them. They were best of friends just as Sue and I are best of friends now – and have been all our lives.

This poem was given to me many years ago by my daughter as well:

God made Mothers 
God knows that children always need someone to show them the way;
A special  someone warm and kind to care for them each day...
He knew that children need someone compassionate and wise
to teach them how to walk and talk and sing them lullabies...
God knew that children always need a love beyond compare
tohelp them in so many ways, to understand and care 
- and that is why  
God made Mothers. 

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: “I am now an orphan.” | Fodder4Thought

  2. Pingback: Mother… « Remembering the Shoals

  3. Pingback: Why God Made Mothers | Fodder4Thought

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