To mothers, with love

Today we celebrate mothers, the women in our lives who mold us, care for us, fight for us and admonish us, all in an effort to help us become the best we can possibly be.

And we thank them.

Even on this page, where words are used to motivate and inspire, it is hard to find just the right way to show our deep appreciation for mothers and to define what they mean in our lives.

Perhaps award-winning author Jamie McGuire said it best: “A mother’s love is everything. It is what brings a child into this world. It is what molds their entire being. … A mother’s love is the strongest energy known to man.”

And so this weekend we celebrate them, especially tomorrow, on the day set aside each year to honor our mothers.

From the beginning of time, mothers have held a special place in the hearts and minds of all. The Bible speaks of mothers as blessed and, indeed, they are.

Abraham Lincoln was once quoted as saying, “All that I am or hope to be is because of my mother.”

And perhaps more profoundly, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

Such is the impact that a mother has on the life of her child.

Today, mothers come in myriad forms. Many are working women, professionals who juggle jobs and households, getting the children to school, feeding the family at night and transporting them to ball games, dance recitals and a bevy of other activities on any given afternoon or evening. Sometimes they are the only bread winner in the family, often mom and dad to the children. In some cases, mothers are actually grandmothers, aunts and, on occasion, dads, who are thrust into nurturing roles for one reason or another.

Moms also come in the form of those special people who teach us life lessons, who help us to understand ourselves a little better and, in so doing, help us to understand others. They are the ones who are there in the worst and best of times, standing beside us no matter what.

Those we view as mothers, whether by birth or a friendship born out of something far more special, are the ones who willingly put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of their own, teach the hard lessons and try to do the right thing even when they aren’t sure what the right thing is. The unselfishness comes from a love that is deep and hard to fathom.

We salute them all today for their efforts, for their undying love, for their loyalty and their ever-abiding concern. For behind every child is a caring mother; behind every confident smile is the love of one who has been a teacher, a nurse, a disciplinarian and a friend; and behind every adult who understands right, who gives to others and who loves with all their heart, is a person who has been a mother.

The gentle hands, the sweet smile, the warm and inviting hugs, the shining eyes filled with pride, they all belong to those we call mom.

Today we offer our thanks to them for everything they’ve given us and for all they will continue to give us no matter what form that giving takes — no matter who we are or who we have become.

A mother is perhaps the one person in our lives who will always love us, no matter the road we take, the times we stumble or the lives we live. They will always be there whether we’re young or old, healthy or sick, loving and nurturing us until they take their very last breath.

Sometimes we take them for granted. We expect them simply to be there when we take time to stop in for a quick visit and to understand when life gets so busy that we can’t bother to give them much of our own time.

But give of that time we should. Really, it’s the most precious gift we can give those who have been there for us time after time after time.

Just ask someone who has lost their mother and they’ll quickly remind us how precious the moments are, and how fleeting. They’ll tell us how often they wish now they’d spent even a little more time with their moms. And they’ll urge the rest of us to be there, to share in every single moment we can, to love our mothers, or those we think of in that way, and to burn each second into our memory, cherishing what we have while we still have it.

Sunday is their special day. We should stop to hug them, tell them we love them and thank them for who they are and for who they’ve helped us become, and we should commit ourselves to showing our love and gratitude to them more than once a year.