Today is Mother's Day, 12 May 2013. My mother passed on at the age of 72, on 10 September 2007. Years before she passed, I began addressing her Mother's Day cards to Ethel M. Roberts, "The Greatest Mother in the World!"
Mom loved reading those words! I think she felt proud knowing that her mail carrier must have seen and read those words written about her too!
I didn't write that declaration upon her envelopes just to make her feel good about herself. I wrote that statement because, to me, it was true! She was, "The Greatest Mother in the World!" She was, possibly, "The Greatest Mother who has ever lived!" At least, that’s my opinion.
There's a scripture written in The Holy Bible that reads, "No greater love has anyone than this, that he, or she, would lay down their life for another. There must have been no greater love than that of my mother's then, because that's exactly what she did, for not only me, but for her entire family.
I could sit here for hours and tell you story after story of the amazing love my mother consistently showed towards myself and the rest of our family. It wouldn't even skim the surface of what a wonderful mother and person she really was. I will mention a couple of particular instances that I will never forget.
One day I had prepared myself to move away from my home state and relocate to the state of Florida, which was about twelve hundred miles from where my mother lived. I knew mom wasn't going to be happy to hear about the decision I made, but it was something I was going to have to tell her. I called her home and told she entered hospital earlier that morning. That was the last thing I wanted or needed to know at that moment. I was already feeling guilty enough about having to leave her.
I walked into her hospital room and saw here laying there. She looked so weak and tired. I wasn't even sure that she would make it out of the hospital this time. I wasn't sure that I would ever even see her again after I left her that day. I told her the news. At first, she looked a little sad and then she smiled.
She didn't want to spoil my happiness about moving on to what I believed was going to improve the circumstances. She told me to come over and give her a hug, and as I was hugging her, she motioned for her husband, Virgil, to bring her purse to her.
I looked at her in astonishment and said, "Mom, what are you doing? I don't want anything from you! I'm fine! I've prepared myself for this trip! I will be more than ok! Please, put your purse away!"
Mother opened up her nearly empty wallet and pulled out every single dollar she had in it. She seemed embarrassed that all she had to offer me was thirteen dollars. She handed it to me and said, "Here, take this. I know it's not much. I wish I had more I could give you but this is every penny I have until the first of the month. I want you to have it."
I refused! "No way, Mom," I said. "I don't want your money! I have plenty of money! You need that! Please, put it back in your purse! Really, I'll be fine."
Mother insisted. She would not take no for an answer. She forced the money into my hand and said, "You never know, you might run into some hard times out there and this thirteen dollars might be just what you need to get you through. I insist you take it. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Now go and make all your dreams come true!
That was just one example of the hundreds of times my mother completely sacrificed her own well-being for that of her families. There's one more thing about my mom that I will tell you before I close this letter. Every single time I called her on the phone, or visited her at her home, she would always shout my name out in pure delight whenever she saw my face or heard my voice on the phone. "Mark!" She would say. I could immediately sense that seeing me, or hearing my voice over the line had just made her day. There wasn't ever a doubt in my mind that my mother did not love me dearly. I was her life, and so was the rest of her family. She lived for our happiness and success. Her own she hardly ever gave any thought to. We were her success. We were her happiness.
I know the whole world is full of many amazing and wonderful mothers. I hope each of you have been blessed with one as spectacular as mine was. I know many of you might have to disagree with me as to whether my mother was the greatest of all time or not. You might have to insist that your mother was. If so, I might be willing to call it a draw. Still, in my heart, I know that my mother was the best that any mother on earth ever could've possibly been.
At my mother's funeral, I give a short testimony as to what kind of mother and person she had been in her life. After pouring my heart out to the audience that she was the best of the best, I asked everyone to please stand and offer my mother a standing ovation for the incredible life of love and self-sacrifice that she had lived. The whole audience stood to their feet and began to applaud the life of my mom! She deserved nothing less. It was all we had left to send off into eternity. I'm sure it made her smile, down on us, approvingly.
Tears rolled from all of our eyes as we bid her farewell. At that moment, I felt so proud to have been her son. We, I, sorely missed her and will never forget her.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I wrote this letter of love and appreciation, for you, mom.
M Adam Roberts lives and writes from Clearwater, Florida.
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