Never take her for granted
I did. I took her for granted constantly. It was only when I knew she would die, that I realized how much she did for me. And even then, I hoped the cancer wouldn’t end her life, just make her stronger from the fight. But when she died, I ached in the knowledge that I had taken her for granted MY ENTIRE LIFE.
In June, my mother died. It was expected, as she was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer four months earlier, but we hoped for recovery of course.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with honoring and respecting my parents. I have no excuse. I have no reason. No hidden psychological secret that I can use to excuse my behavior. But simply put, I am a sinner who stumbles in certain sin patterns, one of them being disrespect.
For as long as I can remember, I have been this way.
For as long as I can remember, my mother had my best interests at heart, no matter how much I hurt her. Because I did hurt her, even though she didn’t often let it show.
That is the prerogative of mothers. Their work never ends. They are constantly hurt. They rarely show it.
Only after she was gone, did I realize just how much she did for me. Grocery shopping. Laundry. Pep talks. Translating for my dad. Organizing things. Cleaning things. Doing laundry. Washing dishes. Making dinner. Vacuuming. These are all things that she would do on a regular basis. I would help often, or take turns doing things. But, oh how easy it is to start expecting certain things because they have always been. Mom always makes dinner, so it will be ready at the usual time. I took it for granted. I took her for granted. Only after she was gone, did I realize how much she really did for me.
I know that there are many things you could think of right now that involve your mom in some way, whether you consciously realize it or not, because moms are like that. They work behind the scenes, and make the world run smoothly. If mothers were removed, the world as we know it would fall apart.
So, don’t take her for granted like I did.
Before she got sick, when people said I was like her, I would not like it. I didn’t want to be like my mother. Who wants to be like their mother? Most young women you would ask, probably love their mother, but do not want to end up like their mother in her old age, or anything like that.
After she died, I wanted nothing more than to be like her, because I figured her out. My mother was one of the most humble women you’d ever meet. I didn’t see it until after she died.
My mother was one of the wisest women you’d ever meet. I didn’t see it until after he died.
My mother was one of the kindest women you’d ever meet. I didn’t see it until after she died.
She didn’t know those things about herself either, which is why she was so humble. But her friends knew these things about her. Praise God for the women in my mother’s life that could see her godliness when all I could see was a mother trying to embarrass me.
I asked them, and they told me what a blessing she had been. They told me how much they loved different aspects of her personality. Aspects that I took for granted. Aspects that I didn’t even see in her.
My mother was very hard on herself, which was annoying to me. Only after she died did I realize that she was gifted with a humble spirit.
My mother spoke about how she felt let out a lot, like an outcast, which frustrated me. Only after she died did I realize that her ability to minister so well and faithfully to others, came from her experiences of feeling like an outcast.
Now, I would be honored if I could grow up, and be like my mother. I no longer find her character traits annoying. But I wish that I had learned these things before she died. I wish I could have told her just how much I loved and respected her. In my sin and grief after her diagnosis, my responses to her were less than loving.
And now the holiday season approaches. The first one without her. Everything will be very different. Certain traditions will never be the same, as they were her traditions, that we love now because they were hers.
But even though she is gone, we carry on. We must. There is no other choice.
Gradually, we have begun to find a new normal. Slowly, we continue and press on without her. I did not fully realize how big of a part she played on my life until she was gone. She was definitely one of my best friends. But we carry on without her, knowing that she is at home with her Savior, and we will see her again.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Do not take her for granted like I did. Your mother deserves your love, your respect, your attention. Go find her, or call her, and tell you love her. I would give anything for another chance to tell my mother just how much she meant to me.