Mothers’ Day is joyous for many of people. They have much to celebrate when their relationship with a mom or as a mother is good. Usually food, good memories and remembering to express thanks and love is part of the day.
But Mother’s day can also be difficult reminder. Some of our mothers have long been gone due to death or family difficulties. Others may have more recently lost their mom and hearts still ache. Maybe the only gift you have from your mom is a life long legacy of hurt. Some women are not mothers, many not by choice and this holiday stings and burns.
No matter how you approach, ignore or celebrate this holiday – let’s take a moment to honor the legacy of women in our lives. Even if that woman isn’t a mother or even related to you, most of us have had women who encouraged us, cared and inspired us and generally made a difference for us.
My mom has been gone for 38 years. Wow, I gasped when I realized how long ago she died – in some ways a lifetime and in others, just yesterday. But her “momisms of wisdom” continue to guide me today. Her love lives in my heart.
And there are other women I want to honor that helped to shape me as I am today.
The fourth grade teacher who gave me a book of poetry at the end of the school year and told me to keep writing.
The Dominican nun who stretches me and opens my eyes spiritually.
My spiritual director whose quiet and simple questions nurture my prayers and bring me closer to God.
My eyes swell up in gratefulness when thinking of my own three daughters, Valerie, Katie and Mandy. All women I am proud of as I see their love and kindness showed to others.
My gal pals – life long friends from sixth grade always near to my heart. Others who I share deep spiritual moments with and ones who started out “just a fellow writers” and now are sisters. I hold in my heart special friends who travel with us locally to eat out and far and wide in fun and exciting adventures.
I can’t forget my blogger friends I never met, but encourage and remind me we are all companions on this journey together.
Then there are the female speakers at conferences who stretch my mind and fill my heart.
Women from the past surround us like a great crowd of witnesses. – Eve, Hagar, Esther, Ruth, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Hildegard, Julian of Norwich, Dorothy Day. My great aunt Anna whose legacy transformed and formed my fledgling legacy.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.
A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
~ Shannon L. Alder
So many women who touched my life, many never realizing the impact they left. They taught, inspired and lead. These are the ones I honor this Mothers’ Day and send up prayers of thankfulness for their presence.
What women impacted your life?
Hi Jean! I think I kind of gasped too, reading that you have missed your mother for so long. I am sorry that you didn’t have her more in your life.
But God has certainly sent you amazing women to light you up on the outside and inside too. Women who answer your call and need to grow in love and faith and service. You really are a blessed woman. How kind of you to include your blog-friends in this list! I’m going to say you are including me, and I am really grateful to be connected to you through our blogs. I am blessed by you!
Have a wonderful Mothers Day with your three girls, no matter how far away they are. If they are anything like you, they are amazing women.
Jean Wise says
Both my parents died early on. Those type of events really shape you, don’t they? Yet I have learned to value life and value those mentors around me. Thank you for your kind words. I am blessed by you too, Blessings!
Nancy Ruegg says
I agree with Lisa–I enjoyed very much reading about the women who influenced your life. With each category I was thinking of the corresponding women in my life.
My Grandma Rachel impacts my life to this day, even though she’s been in heaven over forty years. Grandma was a rare example of quiet courage, deep faith, perseverance through trauma, wisdom, grace, and love-in-action, I, too, send up a prayer of thankfulness for her example, that lives on in my heart.
Jean Wise says
How cool you have a great memory from Grandma Rachel. My grandparents died when I was young and that is one relationship I really missed. One reason why I treasure being a grandma, “Ammie” so much now.
Lisa notes... says
I love reading your list of influential women. This is so true:
“Even if that woman isn’t a mother or even related to you, most of us
have had women who encouraged us, cared and inspired us and generally
made a difference for us.”
I’ve had many, too, not counting family: from Bible class teachers, my mother’s friends, my childhood friends, etc. I’ve been blessed in abundance with godly women surrounding me.
Jean Wise says
Thanks Lisa. I think it is a good practice to be grateful for those positive influences in our lives. What a way to honor Mothers Day.
My mother was my greatest influence and my Aunt Opal who lived with us and was like a sister to me. Many women of the congregation I have been a part of for 60 years.Mary Stephens, Ruby Clark, Iva Speece and I could go on. Thanks for making me take a look at this.
Jean Wise says
Isn’t it fun to take a moment and think of the wonderful women in our lives? I know that eases the painful side of Mothers Day for me and for others.