I sometimes have thoughts about my mother dropping dead.
A massive heart attack. Maybe a brain aneurysm. Perhaps she's diagnosed with one of the particularly icky kinds of cancer. The types that kill you in no time flat. These are relatively ridiculous thoughts because she's a healthy 56-year-old woman. She exercises more than I do. She eats well and I have no reason to suspect imminent death. Still, on occasion, I will suddenly think about what it would be like to answer the ringing phone only to hear the words on the other end of the phone that she's gone.
I don't even think I would understand the concept of putting one foot in front of the other, let alone have the capability of accomplishing the simple task of walking. I think breathing would feel the way it does when I'm nearing the end of a run--my lungs burning as though they are being stabbed by a red-hot pitch fork that was previously dipped in acid. Beyond the initial shock and pain, past the ugly grieving, would be the hours turning into days and, eventually, years without being able to pick up the phone and call her.
Because some kid did something funny.
Because I want to make sure I've got the ingredients right on a recipe.
Because I'm bored.
Because my right ovary is more than twice the size of the left one and WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN I AM PROBABLY DYING RIGHT QUICK. RIGHT?
Because I'd need her to say, "No, you're probably not dying."
Because someone hurt my feelings in ministry and DOESN'T THAT PERSON KNOW I AM DOING MY VERY BEST?
Because I need her to say, "Don't worry about it. You're doing your best. You're being a wife and a mom to little kids and working part time and leading ministry and that person needs to stop putting one more expectation on you."
Because I'll still lose sleep over it but at least I'll know that my mama's in my corner.
Because I spend a lot of time worrying about how I'm not something more. But the truth is, it was my mom who taught me--is teaching me--that it's okay to want my life's work to be about my children. It's okay to say that my career (or lack thereof) is not my legacy. My popularity is not my legacy. My children (and, more specifically, raising my children into godly men) are my legacy.
I have no earthly idea what I'd do without my mom. I would learn to put one foot in front of the other. I would, once again, resume normal breathing without pain. But someone would always, always be missing.
Thank you, Mom. Thank you for molding me, teaching me, loving me, accepting me, and being there for me. I am who I am today because of you. And while, on the outside, what I am may not look like much, I hope you're proud of your legacy.
Happy Mother's Day. I feel sorry for all the other kids because, clearly, I got the best.