Proverbs 23:25 reads, “Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.”
We were in the hospital. My little brother was just born. I was almost seven years older than him. I peered through the glass windows of the room where my mum lay. I can still see it in my mind’s eye.
I can still smell the hospital smell. As we approached, my head just reached the bed where she was. I was told that she bled a lot. My mum looked tired. She was evidently really weak. They must have seen how worried I looked. They told me everything was ok.
And there he lay. My little brother. The little fella was just lying there. Freshly born from mum’s womb. Dad picked me up. I stretched my hand. The tiny fingers curled round my forefinger. There it was –brotherhood.
As I grew up, I was reminded that it was me who wanted a little brother. If I knew it would have cost my mum so much pain, I would have kept my mouth shut. Just one of those things a mother would do for their children.
Life passed in a hazy way and it’s difficult to remember some of the details of what it was really like back in those days. But one thing I definitely remember was that we did not have a washing machine. Nowadays, people might have a dishwasher. But in those days, mums generally were the dishwashers as well as the washing machine.
Looking at my wife now as a mother helps me fill in the missing gaps in memory about my own mother. It’s a different generation, a different culture, but the same heart. Her children are her life. Mothers have this amazing God-given ability to care for the whole person, from the physical well-being to the spiritual development.
As I grew up, I remember asking my mother: I know we should pray, but what should I pray about? What should I ask? She gave me the simplest of prayers: pray for wisdom. At that time I did not know what wisdom was. I didn’t even care to ask. I just said those words given to me. Then I got a little bored and asked, what else should I say in my prayers? My mum pointed me to go ask a deacon. There I got my answer to recite the Lord’s prayer in my prayer. What she could not give, she directed me where I could receive.
Mothers should be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
One thing about mothers is that they have this weakness where they feel they have not done enough for their children. Whatever happens, some mothers seem to have this inclination to blame themselves for things that happen to the child when that child is no longer a child. A mother needs reassurance that they had done the best they could given the circumstances. No mother was born with a handbook that said, “This is what your child’s character is like and this is how you should bring him/her up.” Mothers do their best. That’s why it’s right to honour them whilst they are alive.
These are some of my fond memories. How about yours? May they lead us to make our mothers glad and rejoice in this short life.