Thanks God for my late mom always being there for me when I’ve needed you. As I think about Mother’s Day, I remember times as a teenager when I felt confused and discouraged about life, and she was there to listen. It is only years later that I realize what a tremendous gift that was to me. There were times as a teenager when I felt embarrassed even to have parents. I remember how uneasy I felt walking with Mom and Dad at the shopping mall, in case any of my high school acquaintances would see me. As a teenager I was so much into proving how independent I was, that I failed to appreciate that one’s family is an irreplaceable gift. Thank God for my mom being so patient and forgiving with my teenage growing pains. I really had very little idea how much she was sacrificing in order to give my sisters and me a loving and secure home. I really did not see mom as a person with her own dreams, fears, and hopes.
It is only years later that I have come to see how much impact children can have on one’s dreams, fears, and hopes. I will always remember meeting with a young couple who were expecting their first child. This couple were avid skiers every weekend up at Whistler. They said to me: “We are thrilled about having a baby, but it’s not going to change anything.” I thought to myself: “Children don’t change anything….they change everything!”
Gary Smalley and John Trent, well-known authors and family counselors, said that one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of honour. Smalley/Trent say that ‘honour’ is a decision we make to place high value, worth, and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect. Thank God for my mom giving me the gift of honour both as a child and an adult. In so many ways, she showed that she valued me and really cared for me.
I am amazed, as I look back, at all the countless sports activities and clubs she drove me to. To be honest, I took all her driving for granted. I just assumed that parents did that kind of thing. Having been a chauffeur to my own three sons, I realize that taking time to get your children involved in various extra-curricular activities is a real act of love. Mom and Dad went to countless plays, school assemblies and pageants: not because we were the most talented children in the world, but because she saw her children as priceless treasures. As a parent, I have been to Christmas school concerts where the concert never seems to start, where every child seems to be playing a different note, and where most spoken communication is muffled and virtually unintelligible. The redeeming feature of those concerts for me was when one of my sons beamed a big smile from the stage and gives me a wave. My sons felt honoured if I was there, and very disappointed if I was too busy. Thank God for my mom never being too busy to come to my concerts.
There were many times that I did not really appreciate my mom’s spirituality…just how important God was to her. As a teenager, I found church boring, unintelligible, and irrelevant. So I went skiing at Mount Seymour on Sunday mornings instead. Thank God for mom not condemning me when I strayed from church. Thank God for mom never failing to pray for me that I would come to discover Jesus Christ for myself. I believe that it was her prayers and the prayers of Nana Allen that softened my heart to let Jesus come in. I have come to believe from personal experience that the persistent prayers of a loving mother are one of the most powerful forces in the universe.
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada
-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
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