Some of my earliest memories are of riding on the back of a motorcycle, behind my mom. And it wasn’t just for a spin around the block. We were a missionary family and lived in countries where motorcycles were often the most practical or affordable means of transportation. (I grew up in Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau, and Singapore.)
Old-fashioned motherhood never goes out of style because it’s all about love. I made people to need love, and I intended for them to first experience that love through their mothers. Mothers are the embodiment of love and care and tenderness—love that even the tiniest baby can feel and respond to.
While selecting quotes for That Wonderful Thing Called Mother, I came across one from Pam Brown that I instantly knew belonged on this page instead. “You never realize how much your mother loves you till you explore the attic and find every letter you ever sent her, every finger painting, clay pot, bead necklace, Easter chicken, cardboard Santa Claus, paper-lace Mother’s Day card, and school report since day one.”
It was an unseasonably hot, humid June day on the East Coast of the United States. Summer had enfolded us in her sticky arms, and the kids at Calvert Country School had decided that the most appropriate activity of the day was cooling off in the lawn sprinkler system.
To children, no one in the whole world is more beautiful than their own loving mothers. Young children don’t think of their mothers in terms of fashion sense, great taste in jewelry, or perfect hair and nails. They also don’t notice stretch marks or gray hairs. Their little minds are oblivious to those things that tend to skew adults’ perceptions and expectations regarding beauty, so they’re actually better judges of what makes a woman truly beautiful.
The greatest gifts my mother ever gave me were the gifts of courage and faith.
Some parents teach their children courage, determination, or any of a number of other virtues by reading to them of the great deeds done by great men and women of the past, in the hope that it will motivate them to find such things on their own.
But not my mother.
Mothers give so much. Their entire lives are a gift of love to their families. We journey far from our beginnings, and then something tugs at our heartstrings and draws us home to rediscover who we are and where we came from.
I sat down with my mother a few months before she passed away and asked her some questions about her life. If you haven’t ever done that, I suggest you do. It’s sure to help you appreciate your mother even more.