Recently I received a phone call from a dear friend. She said, “Did you see my son?” I said, “Yes, I saw a picture of him on TV as a part of the news.” She then said, “No matter what he has done, he’s still my son and I love him.” We cried together on the phone. Her son chose a different path in life, even after all the love and support given to him by his mother and father.
As I later recapped our conversation, I thought about my three children – two handsome boys and a beautiful girl. Counselor Kristin Taylor said, “At every child’s birth, a mother is born.” At each of their births, I resolved that I would try to be the best mother that I could and would try to give them a solid foundation regardless of the color of skin and all the perception that it brings. I knew I had a lengthy journey ahead of me; and now even more so as a single parent. Our children sometimes march to the beat of a different drummer no matter how much love is shown. My almost twenty year old son sees life differently than I do (tattoos, earrings, dreads, etc.) Yet, as my friend said, “He’s my son and I love him.”
The genuine love of a mother for her child is the same, regardless of economic, racial or social status. My friend happens to be white; yet there certainly is no difference in our roles as mothers. We both want the best for our children. Ironically, as mothers, we don’t know the paths our children will take, even after rearing them to the best of our ability.
I then recalled a front page picture in the newspaper of a well-known mother holding her son’s hand after he was sentenced for the charge of misprision of a felony, meaning he had knowledge of a crime and didn’t report it; and, I saw a picture of a mother as she waited for her son to be executed. Did either mother love their child any less? Of course not.
Educator Johnnetta Cole sums it best in her statement, “No one family form – nuclear, extended, single-parent, matrilineal, fictive, residential, nonresidential – necessarily provides an environment better for humans to live or raise children in.”
Pastor Richard Beal said, “A hush of silence sweeps over us as we breathe the word ‘mother’. Christianity exalts motherhood as no other religion in the history of the world. In His incarnation our Lord entered our humanity through the portals of a woman’s life and thus in a special sense sanctified motherhood. To be a mother is to hold the reins of a nation. A mother’s hand is mightier than a king’s scepter. This being true, every mother is called to utmost consideration of her high office.amp”
So with utmost respect and mindful of the high office of motherhood, I honor mothers:
- Whose children have been successful and have led productive lives; whose children have not been successful;
- Whose child is an alcoholic or addicted to drugs;
- Whose child has gone to prison for a crime, deserved or undeserved;
- Whose child has been disrespectful and disobedient;
- Whose child has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease; or whose child committed suicide, died naturally or tragically.
To the mothers:
- Who lie awake at night praying their child returns home safely;
- Who deal with the issue of a child who dates or marries a person of a different race or nationality;
- Who grapple with a child’s sexuality (lesbian, homosexual, bi-sexual);
- Who has a child with a handicap;
- Who has to raise children all alone; or,
- Who never physically had a child, but is a surrogate to many, and to her pets – I honor you today.
As mothers, we don’t know if what we say, how we act, or if the values we instill in our children will actually make a difference and be effective in their lives. Regardless of the paths our children choose in life, we are still their mothers and we love them with every fiber of our being.
Mothers, have you loved your children unconditionally? Have you stood by them through thick and thin? Have you said, “I love you”? You be the judge. Happy Mother’s Day!
Contact community columnist Juanita Gambrell Floyd at her e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to her in care of P.O. Box 1053, Tupelo, MS 38802.
NEMS Daily Journal