My beautiful mom on her wedding day.

I grew up in a townhouse community with my Mom, older brother,older sister, me, and my little sister.

I knew when my dad walked out on my mom when I was 5 years old that we were what was considered "poor", but my mom never let us know it.

At 36 years old my Mom found herself a divorced, single mother of 4, trying to make ends meet. The phrase robbing Peter to pay Paul was used a lot, but never really made any sense to me. We always had food in the refrigerator and clothes on our backs. I heard her talk about being three months behind on the mortgage and electric a lot but she never let on that we were in any danger of losing anything.

My mother used to work 2 & 3 jobs at a time to support all of us. She would work 18 hours a day and come home and just literally collapse.

One of her jobs was waitressing. A perk to working for the restaurant was that she was allowed to eat one meal a night on the house. I would always ask her to bring me home a California Cheeseburger with mayo and french fries That was my favorite. I felt so happy when she would bring them home for me. What I didn't know at the time was that her bringing it home for me she was giving away her chance of actually having a half decent meal for the day. This is how she was able to help feed us.  She loved me that much! I'm so sorry mom. I didn't know.

Last year I was driving my children through town and they wanted a "dollar" burger from McDonalds. I only had $5.00 left to my name to feed all 4 of us on so each of the children got a dollar burger and I bought them a large fry to share. They asked wasn't I hungry and said that I needed to eat too. I insisted to them that I wasn't hungry, knowing I was lying to them because I was starving and could have eaten all 4 burgers and the fry myself but didn't want them to know because it was more important to me that they ate.

All of the sudden I had a flash back of my childhood. We would beg and beg my mom to take us to McDonalds. The only thing she ever got was a small soda. She always said she wasn't hungry. It hit me. Oh my God, my mom was lying to us all those years. She was hungry and was only saying she wasn't so she would have enough to feed us! I started bawling and called my mom on the telephone. I asked her if this was what she had been doing all those years ago and she confirmed it.

All of those times she would stop at the diner after church and let us get what we wanted but she would only order a soda and two sides of vegetables for herself. A million other instances now flood my mind.

I later learned the reason that we were always behind in mortgage and electric was because our Christmas' were so wonderful and filled with presents, that it would take her 3 months to catch up on the bills from what she spent at Christmas on us children.

You can't imagine how many hours she would spend wrapping our gifts! She would wrap every single present like it was the best present in the world. Each one was neatly wrapped with curling ribbon and bows and shiny paper and gift tags. But looking back now, I realize it has nothing at all to do with what was in those boxes. It was the love. The fact that she gave absolutely every bit of herself into affording each one of them. It was the love that she showed by carefully wrapping each one of them. It was the love in never letting us know we were poor. It was the love that God blessed her with that she poured out to us each and every day and still does.

It is only now, that I am a mom of three beautiful children myself that I am able to look back and learn lessons from my mother that she never kenw she was teaching me. What I learn the older I get is just how absolutely, incredibly AMAZING my mother was and still is, and that she was and still is the rock of our family. She's absolutely the most loving person I know.

I can't put into words what I have put my mother through in the last 35 years. I have probably been a complete disappointment as a daughter. But my mom never treats me like I am. A mother's love is unconditional. I know that because of my own three beautiful children that God has blessed me with. When I work 6 days a week to support my family, It's because of the love that she taught me. When I am so tired all I want to do is cry but I keep going, it's because of the strength God gave me through the strength shown to me by my mom. When all I want to do is throw in the towel and run away from life's problems and everyone around me, I don't ...because of the love that she has taught me. The strength that I find in her. The neverending, neverdying, unmerited love that she has shown me. She is strength, she is wisdom, she is beauty, she is hope, she is blessing, she is honor, she is a lady. She is a woman of power. She loves her children like God loves His children. She is my MOM!!!

I love you so much Mom!! Thank you for always putting us first. Thank you for caring when no one else did. Thank you for never abandoning us children when it would have been so easy to do so. Thank you for working 18 hours a day for 15 years straight to support all of us. Thank you for selflessly giving and giving and giving. You are the most beautiful woman and person I know on this earth. I adore you and if I can be half the woman that you are, I would be so happy.

My beautiful mommy today!

1 comment :

  1. It sounds like we have the same mother, just different houses! Love you Heather!


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