“What do girls do who haven’t any mothers
to help them through their troubles?”
~Louisa May Alcott
I lost my mother when I was at the very vulnerable age of 14. Throughout the rest of my tumultuous and painful teenage years and on into young adulthood, I had to find my own way through the maze without a mother’s tender touch, or her wisdom, or her love, or even her nagging and preaching. I was a lost and sad little soul for so long.
So, to answer the question above from the author of “Little Women,” this girl had a very difficult time without anybody there to help me through my troubles. I was actually jealous of my friends who had their moms, and couldn’t figure out why they complained so much about them!
Several years later, after being a mom for 16 years, my oldest daughter became ill with lupus. I remember asking God “why?” Why did TP have to go through all of this physical and emotional pain? Why did He choose me, out of all of the thousands of adoptive moms out there who could have become TP’s mom, to be THE one?
He answered me in a way which has humbled me ever since. He told me that it was because I had what TP needed the most in a mom—that I was chosen especially for TP because I would be able to help her through that particular storm in her life, and help to make her stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
A few months ago, when my youngest daughter faced turbulent times, I went to the Lord again and asked him why DQ enourmous crosses to bear, and what I could do to help carry the weight on her shoulders Again He replied that all I could do for DQ is to just be the mom that she needs me to be—loving, kind, supportive—and that He’d be right there next to me, giving me the strength to get through the challenges I was facing with all of DQ’s problems.
And now, I am going through what is probably the most difficult trial of all with my oldest daughter refusing to accept my help, my love, my guidance, and turning her back on all that we hold dear in our life—our faith, our values, our family. What hurts so much is that I would have given anything in the world to have had a mom at her age, and now she is so ungrateful for anything and everything I have ever done for her. She is rebelling, she is angry, she deliberately tries to hurt me with her words and actions.
Yet, through it all, I am reminded that I am still HERE to help her with her troubles, if she so chooses. The door is always open for her return. I am reminded of God’s answer that He chose me to be her mom—and that my job isn’t finished yet by any means. This is just another one of the storms of her life which I am supposed to help her through. But I feel so helpless this time around.
I am going through this persecution of sorts because she is still so angry about her illness and how it affected her in her most vulnerable years, she is still so afraid to be alone that she’ll do anything to hang on to things and people which lead her astray, and even though she is healed physically she hasn’t healed emotionally from her illness. And she is taking all of this out on me. I have to stand here with broad shoulders and take it all in, just as Christ did when He was being persecuted, and then I have to forgive. And forgive. And forgive again. And always, love her and be there, just in case she needs me.
So, on this Mother’s Day, I am thinking of my mom, whom I miss so much. I certainly could use some of her motherly loving and comforting and touch. I’m watching my younger girl slowly heal from a ton of pain and blossom into a beautiful young woman. And with pain and anguish in my heart, I’m waiting with bated breath for my Prodigal daughter’s return. Such a myriad of emotions, which I am sure that each mother has gone through at some point in her life, but I happen to be going through all of them at once!
On this Mother’s Day, all I can say is be grateful for your children when they are young and sweet. Be grateful for your children when they are healthy or ill. Be grateful for your children when they are good and virtuous, or when they have taken the wrong path. Our jobs as mothers are to love and let go—and be there when they return.
Eventually, I’m certain, that each of my girls will come to realize why God chose me to be their mom. And maybe they will turn out to be a “mean” mom, just like me. But what I’d really like to know is if, in 30 or 40 years from now, they’ll miss me as much as I miss my mom.
The circle of life is mysterious. And my legacy, I hope, will be one of simply being “my kids’ mom”.
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed”. ~ Proverbs 31:28
I want to especially thank my kids’ birth moms. May you have a blessed day, and know that you are in our prayers everyday.