Yesterday, my friend Lynn Abbott at inkandimage sent me a comment that inspired me to write this post today.
When we think of mothers, we tend to visualize women with small children – struggling to get through sleepless nights, no time for themselves, laundry sorting, changing diapers, colic, fevers, etc. We picture a sleep deprived, haggard mother, rocking her wide awake child.
As time goes by, we imagine a more experienced mom, bussing her children off to school, to extra curricular activities and then off to a job to help meet the needs of those kids. She grows as a mother right along with her children – inspiring, encouraging, sacrificing, praying for and loving them through thick and thin. Once the kids are out on their own and starting their own families a new breed of mother is emerging – she’s called SUPER GRANDMA!
Imagine a woman with greying, thinning hair – still sparkling eyes amidst deep crevices and puffy eyelids – an ample figure with everything in the wrong place. Her energy is spent, her joints don’t work, but she still knows how to love children. She doesn’t wear the typical super hero costume, because the “S” on her chest would now be down around her knees. The Spandex leotards are out of the question, because she couldn’t get them past her ankles. The cape is a possibility, but chances are she’d be using it to warm herself when she wasn’t experiencing a hot flash.
Yet to the next generation, she is a super hero, because she loves her grandchildren with a special kind of love. It’s a love reserved just for them. She has time to play with them, listen to them and when the time is right, she can send them home. These wonderful gifts from God are an extension of her own children and she gets a second chance at doing the parenting thing without all the hassle.
As she continues to age, however, life changes. She may forget things, fall down occasionally, not be able to get the lid off a jar. Her strength is sapped and her fingers are crippled with arthritis. As she reaches her final years of life, she may be placed in a nursing home for her own safety and forgotten. There will be mandatory visits for birthdays and holidays, but in her mind she feels forsaken and alone. Still, in her heart, she will always remain a mother.
Mothers are not all the same. We come in all sizes, shapes and personalities, but one thing is common to all of us. We will always be moms. Even when we grow old, our instinct leads us to be nurturers. Whether we are or not, depends totally upon us.