Mother & child

[By George P. Hatsatouris]

This weekend is Mothering Sunday – so called because, back in the 16th century, on the fourth sunday of lent, people returned to their “mother church”, often the local cathedral, for a special service there. In more recent years servants and the like were given this sunday off to go to visit their mothers and other family members, so with both word associations to do with mothers, its unsurprising that it became, in modern times, “Mothering Sunday”.

However, I’d like to pay tribute here to the mothers in my family: my own mother, and my grandmothers, (and by extension other mothers – aunts and others). Being a mother, i understand, is a rewarding job, but a hard and often thankless one (particularly from bratty teenagers).. full of pain, full of love, full of sorrow, full of joy. My own relationship with mom has seen ups and downs, there are times when we’ve both deeply hurt each other. But for all that, she is my mom – someone i know will be there when i need her, no matter what, she may not like me terribly much but i know she’ll always love me. She’s a caring woman, in personality, very selfless. She loves to explore beauty: whether singing, art, reading, or the natural beauty in the world around her. She’s innocent, in a wonderful way: thinking first of people’s better natures rather than instinctively leaping to bad conclusions. She’s definetly a cup half full person.

My maternal grandmother is in many ways quite different. Mom takes after her father much more, i think. Grannie is a teacher – not just by profession (at least till she retired), i mean, she’s one of life’s natural teachers. it was she who taught me to paint, to flower arrange. My love for gardening comes from both her and my grandfather – in fact, many of her attitudes towards life shape how i choose to live my life now, not because she lectured.. “you must do this!”, but because they both led by example, and as a mature adult i’ve come to appreicate the attitudes they had, which in many ways were both desperately oldfashioned and ahead of their time (Grandpa was a new man before the term was ever bandied about, for example). I’ve always been very close to Grannie – we write each other a lot – and if i could have one wish in this life, it would be that we lived closer to her, so i could see her in person more.

Nannie (my paternal grandmother) on the other hand is a very very different woman. She’s not someone i know very well: we struggle to communicate, sadly, because of my deafness. She’s an intensely private person, who has worked hard all her life, made many sacrifices for the sake of her children, and who has a large and loving family around her. She’s very much a matriarch – and i don’t mean that in the sense of a soap bossy matriarch. I mean it in the sense of being head of the family, respected and loved by them all. She’s sadly not very well these days, i just hope she manages to pull through the problems that are besetting her now.

All three women have been present through my life, shaping my life in ways both spoken and unspoken, teaching, if not directly, through example, about what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a mother. And i hope, one day, when its my turn to be a mother, that i live up to their example. I could really do no less.

I found this little story on the net and it touched me deeply, and i wanted to share, but before i do..

Happy Mothering Sunday, Mom, Grannie, Nannie. I love you. xx

A Mother’s Tears

“Why are you crying”, a young boy asked his Mom.
“Because I’m a woman,” she told him.
“I don’t understand,” he said.

His Mom just hugged him and said,
“And you never will, but that’s O.K.”…….

Later the little boy asked his father,
“Why does Mom seem to cry for no reason?”.
“All women cry for no reason,” was all his Dad could say……

The little boy grew up and became a man,
still wondering why women cry.
Finally he put in a call to God and when God got back to him, he asked “God, why do women cry so easily?”

GOD answered……

“When I made woman, I decided she had to be special. I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world, yet, made her arms gentle enough to give comfort…

I gave her the inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times will come
even from her own children.

I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going and take care of her family and friends,
even when everyone else gives up, through sickness and fatigue without complaining….

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances. Even when her child has hurt her badly….

She has the very special power to make a child’s boo-boo feel better and to quell a teenager’s anxieties and fears….

I gave her strength to care for her husband, despite faults and I fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart….

I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly….

For all of this hard work,I also gave her a tear to shed. It is hers to use whenever needed and
it is her only weakness…. When you see her cry, tell her how much you love her, and all she does for everyone, and even though she may still cry, you will have made her heart feel good. “