Forgive me for seeing you only as “Mom” and missing the essence of who you were apart from being a mother to me—to all seven of us. You did an exceptional job in the “Mom” role. You put up with all our shenanigans of those early years (and the later years, too) with a patience beyond belief. I remember you “yelling” at us in frustration, and “taking up the switch cut from the lilac bush” to straighten us out when we disobeyed or went astray. As I think of those moments, I also remember how you sang to lull me into sleep, even though you could not carry a tune. Sometimes, I hear you singing still, and in that singing now, as then, I never hear a discordant note!
As the years went by, you (along with Dad) were there, always there for us in all our pursuits, our struggles, and our joys. As parents you allowed us to plow our own furrows in the garden of life—not judging, not advising, not trying to direct (well, maybe sometimes) but simply watching patiently to see how straight our furrows might be. If they turned out to be crooked, you did not badger us with an “I told you so,” but rather supported us in whatever circumstance or situation we had created for ourselves. We always knew we were loved “just as we were” at any given moment.
But, Mom, you were more than a mother and I was blind not see it. You had a “life” apart from motherhood, apart from your seven children, and even apart from Dad. You had dreams and aspirations and I did not and do not know, even now, what they were. You experienced your own struggles, your own hopes, your own difficulties, and I never knew or paid much attention to what they were. You had your circle of friends, a personal faith, a life of your own, that I did not know. You were my Mom, our Mom, and we were blind to the beauty of the person you were outside of that role. Forgive me for seeing you only as “Mom.” I see now that you had value because you were a Person, not just “Mom!”