A Mother's Day Tribute

One of my favorite pictures of Mom -happy,with a smile that lit up her face

Mother's Day is this upcoming Sunday. As I spent the past weekend choosing special gifts for my grandmother and mother-in-law, my thoughts naturally turned to Mom. This year marks the ten-year anniversary of her return to Heaven.

Like any child who's lost a parent, there are moments when I still miss her, but my mother's love, strength, and grace are what I most remember. So this year, I want to joyfully honor her memory by sharing her cheerful smile with the world.

The following is an excerpt from a tribute I wrote for my mother years ago. There was little she loved more than making a difference in the lives of children. I will always remember the impact she had on me and the lessons she had to teach on life.

My mother was a teacher. She taught me lessons in growing up, respecting others, and conducting myself in ways that would make us both proud. Each new day she would greet me with a smile. It didn't matter if she was feeling under the weather or if I had misbehaved the day before. We always started fresh.  She didn't get recess from me, but she didn't mind. "That's what it's like to be a mother," she often said.

My mother was reassuring in that way. She had a persistent strength. Nothing could break the bond between us. Being a child, I sometimes worried about bad things happening, but she comforted me. "If I die tomorrow, I don't want you to worry. Go on with your life. I'll be smiling down on you from Heaven. You make me proud."

Until her last days on earth, my mother continued to be the guardian of her family. I heard from my aunt and uncles that when she was younger, it was best not to get on her bad side. I say, that was her protective side. Though she was ill in the last years, she never complained or failed to let her family know that they were her chief concerns. If anyone needed help, she was there.

I will forever be amazed by her humility, self-sacrifice, and unassuming grace. How fitting that my grandparents named my mother Patricia, a name that comes from the Latin word for "noble".

I take comfort in my mother's smile that shone through in her quiet dignity. One of the purposes in life is to learn. In my mother's walk through life, she taught me what it truly means to be noble.

Yes, Mom, you were my first teacher.

Whether it's your mother or a special lady that nurtures and cares for all who cross her path, take time to honor one of God's precious creations this Sunday and all days. Have a blessed Mother's Day!