When I became a mother I didn't realize I'd end up feeling the way my own mom seemed to feel. She probably didn't realize she wore her heart on her sleeve (or maybe she did), but when I observed her I could tell how she was feeling, even if I didn't understand the depth or complexity of her emotions. When we are young it is easy to assume that we'll be different (and somehow in our naive minds: better) than our parents. And of course we do end up different, because this is the nature of life, isn't it? But I guess what has baffled me most is how similar I've found myself to be. I think part of it is that I can now empathize, in some small way, with the love of a parent.
As I've grown and had children of my own I see first-hand how deep the love of a mother is. And not just because I have my own children, but because I see what my mom still does for all of her own, even though they are grown. I've always thought of my mom as having a simple, beautiful, and fragile soul. And I've loved that about her. But as I see her now she is one of the strongest women I've ever met and I respect her for fiercely loving her children. She shows this daily by taking care of them in ways I don't know if I could handle. She takes care of my dad who is sick a lot of the time. She takes care of her parents, running their errands, taking them to doctor's appointments, etc. She faithfully serves in church and is a good neighbor. And she doesn't complain aloud. I'm certain she feels very overwhelmed at times. I'm certain she wonders how long she can keep up. And I'm certain she'll do it as long as she needs to, because she has a mother's love.
The other day was her birthday, so I took the kids out to visit for a little bit. She asked me if I'd be willing to take a picture of her for my dad to put on his desk at work. I had my camera with me, and we were rushing to get into the car to get home in time for my oldest to get back from school, so we didn't have time to do anything great, but I still love this picture of my mom. I can see so much when I look at her. I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is always willing to listen and love me.