Sunday was Mother’s Day, and this year it’s a very special one for my family. My mom has always been the driving force in my family. In her prime she was the one that kept my older brothers and I in line, she was the one that chauffeured us to and from our many appointments, and she was the sole disciplinarian of the house. In short, she was the fabric that bound our family together. I cherish my mother because she dedicated her best years to us and honestly, we’re not sure about how many Mother’s Days she has left.
Around 2000, my mom got in a bad car accident and in 2005 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease which has no cure. Although there is medicine that can ease the pain, throughout the years I’ve watched my mother gradually lose the use of her legs, her hands, her ability to take care of herself, and even at times her memory. During my teenage years, there were times where my mother was too sick to do the normal things that most mothers do with their daughters. She couldn’t teach me how to do my makeup or how to do my hair, she couldn’t go shopping with me, and she couldn’t teach me how to cook. But now looking back, I see that my mom had been teaching me lessons all along. Some were blatant lessons that she spoke to me before the illness hit, but most were life lessons that were left unsaid. I think these are the lessons I will cherish the most, the ones that are whispers of experience rather than carefully articulated words.
Here are 3 of the untold lessons I learned my mother.
1. Keep your circle small.
To explain how this was an untold lesson, I have to first say that my mother is the wife of a Pastor. Every week my family was in church without fail, and I was right by my mother’s side observing how she handled the different types of people that came her way. Many people wanted to get close to her simply because she was the Pastor’s wife. They would invite her out with them, try to invite themselves over to our house, and every time they saw her they would drown her in compliments. (You know those people…) If it were me, I would have thought that all those people just wanted to be my best friend, but I noticed that my mother was very observant and selective of who she decided to spend time with, and she was even more protective of who she let into her home. I believe that she could detect that certain people had ulterior motives (which was always revealed sooner or later). It took me awhile to truly understand this lesson as I grew up. Not everyone that smiles in your face is a friend; be cautious of who you let into your inner circle.
2. Keep your business, your business.
As I said before, my mother was very selective about who she spent her time with. She was also very careful of whom she told what. Because my family moved around a lot, my mother always had to make new friends, but she was never so desperate for companionship that she shared all the intimate details of her life. Not everyone needed to know everything. My mother would wait until she knew that she could trust someone before she fully opened up, and even then she knew that there were levels to friendship. Sometimes people will ask about your well-being simply because they are curious. It doesn’t mean that you avoid them completely, you just have to be careful of what you share.
3. No matter what, stay positive.
After my mother was diagnosed with her disease, things became more and more difficult for her. Simple everyday tasks were now cumbersome, and she had to rely heavily on the help of others. However, to this day my mother has still kept a positive outlook on life. She doesn’t blame others, she doesn’t lash out, and she isn’t miserable and draining to be around. Instead, people love to visit her and talk with her because she is always cheerful and positive. I learned from my mom that it’s okay to cry and get upset sometimes about your situation, but at the end of the day everything happens for a reason, and God still has a plan.
I am so extremely thankful and grateful to God for blessing me with the woman I call mom. These are the lessons that I will cherish forever. What are some untold lessons you’ve learned from your mom? I’d love to hear them!