Honor Thy Mother….?

Today is Mother’s Day.  I love being a mother.  My four adult sons are so good to me.  I feel honored and blessed.  But the downside of Mother’s Day is how to honor my mother. My mother is an alcoholic and it was rough growing up with someone who was so self consumed.  I don’t remember her saying she loved me and I remember getting a hug once when a boyfriend broke up with me in high school.  But on the other side she did make my lunch for me everyday for school from elementary school through high school, she prepared meals at home and we ate together as a family although tension was usually high during meals.  I had a home, clothing, food …I was loved but it would have been nice to hear the words.  So that brings me to a few days before Mother’s Day as I stand at the greeting card counter to find the perfect card for my mother.  It is painful as I search through almost every card.  They all refer to a loving mother who was always there, sacrificed much, and did so much with the child.  I feel it would be hypcritical of me to buy one of those.  I’m looking for a card that just says, “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Finally after searching through almost every card I find one with a generic loving message that isn’t too over the top that will work.  I love my mother and want to honor her but I just can’t send the mushy stuff that isn’t true.

Today in church I was challenged by the Pastor’s message about honoring our mother’s even if they weren’t there for us as kids.  I was encouraged because I do honor my mother but could probably do better at it.  She lives in a different state so it has been easy to be absent from her life and communicate by email and a few phone calls.  She is in assisted living now and hasn’t had a drink (as far as I know) in almost 3 years, although she has never gotten any help for why she was an alcoholic so her manipulative behaviors are still present.

So this year I mailed the card.  Then I called her today to wish her a happy mother’s Day.  She was glad to hear from me and we chatted for 35 minutes.  She talked about her life there and didn’t ask much about mine.  When she started to complain about my brothers, which is a ploy she uses to pit us against each other I gently steered the conversation in a different direction.  I ended the conversation by saying, “I love you”.  She responded, “I love you too”.  It would have been nice for her to say it first but you know it is what it is.  It is a start in the right direction.  I honored my mother.