It is not uncommon for women to look in the mirror and say, “I’m becoming my mother!” There is something profoundly mysterious in the way that we begin to take on the resemblance and personality traits of our parents as we mature.
Every time someone tells me how much I look like my mother, DeJuana, I receive that as a compliment. Truly, she is a beautiful woman. But more than anything, I want my heart to be as beautiful as hers—the heart of a loving and generous woman who sees the needs of others as far greater than her own.
As I have matured in my walk with the Lord and witnessed my mother’s spiritual growth through the years, I have grown to love her more with each passing day. We have always shared a special bond, and I consider my greatest blessing in life to have grown up as her child.
Mother taught me so much about caring for other people. As a teenager and young adult, I accompanied her on weekly trips to buy groceries for Mary, our maid, who became a well-loved member of our family. Mary’s needs became great as she aged. When she was no longer able to ride the city bus to our home, Mother would drive across Memphis to pick her up and take her back home, often stopping to buy Mary’s groceries on the way. She also saw that Mary received needed medical care—trips to the doctor, the pharmacy, and occasionally the hospital—up until the day Mary passed away at a ripe old age.
Several years ago, Mom received a letter from my brother’s former girlfriend, who wrote to tell her what a positive influence she had been in her life. We had not seen this young lady in many years; her letter came out of the blue. Mom’s love, humor, and heart for those in need has touched so many lives. I don’t think she realizes how great her impact has been.
After my dad died, Mom moved my grandmother in to live with her when she was no longer able to live alone. My grandmother fell and broke a hip, suffered from dementia, and required much care. Despite the demands of a full-time job, Mom was faithful to care for her own mother, with the assistance of caregivers, never complaining that the task was too hard. Putting my grandmother in a nursing home was never an option.
The thing I appreciate most about my mom, though, is her commitment to pray for her six children, especially when we wandered away from the faith and into self-indulgent, sinful lives of our own. I wandered so far away from my upbringing, yet Mom never criticized or chastised me for the choices I made. Instead, she loved me unconditionally, prayed for me fervently, and rejoiced when I turned back to God.
My greatest aspiration in life is to be the kind of woman my mother is, and to teach my children that a life lived from the heart will forever change the lives of others.
Copyright © 2009 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com
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