That term conjures up, believe it or not, mixed emotions in the human mind. Why, you say? Partly because of misconceptions surrounding women in modern society and partly because of the unspoken pride of gender it connotes. Only a “real” woman can produce a child. I was raised with the Biblical exhortation to “Honor thy mother and father to the end of thy days.” Somewhere in the back of my mind, I unconsciously weighed each woman’s value based on her attitude towards motherhood. The better the attitude, the higher her perceived value. I often struggled with the concept of woman as a sexual plaything, a disposable erotic trinket. Consciously, in every relationship with females I’ve had, their behavior and attitudes have been compared to my mother’s. Whatever she found acceptable was OK with me, whether I understood the reason or not. “Honor thy mother” was the one insurmountable decree I dared not violate.
Why I wrote this poem
In 2008, I was involved in a romantic relationship with a young woman who upheld a similar attitude towards her mother. No matter how uncomfortable the task, if mom requested it, it was fulfilled. As a result, I became involved with customary events like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s day and other traditional holidays. At the time, I was discovering my poetic talents. As Mother’s Day was approaching, I turned my attention to the little but essential things that made mothers so special. The results were the basis of the following poem.
What do You Say To A Mother
You nurtured the children
And watched them grow up
From tots to teens to adults,
You taught them more than they’ll ever know
While smiling thru their insults.
You soothed their pride
And praised their hopes
Thru all the thick and thin,
Their failures you helped brush aside
You taught them how to win.
You watched them as they made a mess,
You helped to clean them up.
You cheered at their every success,
You pushed them to the top.
Sometimes you cried in silence
When times were not too good,
But like a queen upon her throne
You watched over your brood.
You nursed them thru each illness,
You brought them back to health,
You invested in their future
A great portion of your wealth.
So now that they are all grown up,
You’ve given of your best.
It now is time for you to stop
And have yourself some rest
Take time to smell the roses,
Reflect sunshine from your eyes,
Inhale the sweet, fresh morning breeze,
Greet each day with surprise.
Sit back and hear the music
Of the setting of the sun.
Look back thru your life with pride
At the wonders you have done.
For you have held a job
That can’t be done by any other
Than God’s most blessed and trusted friend,
The person we call “mother”.
God’s Peace and Blessing be upon you forever
My Mother’s Story
My own mother died shortly after I had written that poem. Those of you who have experienced similar tragedies, know the lack of acceptable words to say on such occasions. I was honored to read this poem to my mother, expressing all the pent up emotions inside of me, letting her know I had noted her silent struggles, even though she had thought she was alone and unappreciated. My main motivation was that I did not want her to leave earth’s environs without at least saying a “Thank You” to her for her efforts. I am one of ten children that my deceased mother nurtured and raised to adulthood on a maid’s salary. I needed to let her know that I was thankful and appreciative of her accomplishment.
Sometimes I am relieved that my mother did not live to experience today’s changing times, times in which men and women are increasingly concerned with discovering their purpose to human society. In these times of casual sex and temporary relations, where the qualities and values of parenthood are as volatile as the stock market, I am thankful that I experienced her expression of motherhood. And although I did not realize it then, I know enough to realize today that the era of motherhood is irretrievably ended. The attempts at parenthood and its regulation by the political state today cannot produce the discipline and respect that ancient mothers could generate in the most indisciplined child with a passing glance. Current child welfare programs, institutions and laws are outclassed by the sense of comforting protection achieved by a simple hug from yesteryear’s mother. Yep, times have certainly changed.
To Every Mother
This poem is in honor of every mother in society who struggles in silence to recreate the nurturing environment that nourishes a child’s soul. It is a beacon of encouragement that your struggle, too, will always be respected and appreciated by those children who will one day proudly acclaim: “I am who I am because of my mother who cherished me!”
If you like this poem, leave a comment below.