By Judie Brown
Mother’s Day is Sunday. This is a day that always brings sweet memories to many of us. So for this Mother’s Day I decided to write a personal reflection about my own mother.
I have told so many people that I try to emulate my mother every day of my life. She was a friend to each of her three daughters, a suffering servant, and so much more.
My mother and father actually had four children, the only boy being my brother Mark Alan who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. I recall my parents bringing him home from the hospital and telling us that the doctor who delivered the diagnosis told my mother and dad they might just as well leave Mark at the hospital because he would never survive.
This infuriated my parents. As it turns out, we had this little miracle with us for more than two years. While my mother barely slept that entire time, worrying that something would happen to Mark in his sleep, she never complained. She loved him with every fiber of her being, as she did each of us.
But the day he died my mother was overcome with grief. As time went on she recovered somewhat from it, but his memory was ever a part of our lives from that day forward, including Christmas when, each year, we would travel to Holy Cross Cemetery and place a small tree on his grave. My mother carefully tied a red ribbon bow on each branch because red was Mark’s favorite color.
In addition, my mother experienced all the pain that rheumatoid arthritis could deliver to her slender body, and after my brother’s death that discomfort escalated with each passing year.
But her smile never disappeared for very long. Her sense of humor was always sharp and her dedication to serving my dad and all of us never wavered.
Even though it must have been difficult for my mom to move, Sunday dinners at our house were not to be missed. She always set out a marvelous dinner, usually buffet style, and had all our cousins and their parents in attendance. There are so many joyous memories of those days: the wonderful food, the yummy German breads and Christmas cookies, the homemade ice cream, and so many more delicious treats.
But most of all I remember her guidance, her example of selfless love, her devotion to my father—complete with bringing him coffee every morning until she could not move any longer—and all the little things that made her my mother.
And during the last five years of her life when she was bedridden because of the ravages of the arthritis, she guided us with her words when we asked her for help, no matter what the question.
My mother was not perfect; no human being is. But she was and still is my hero. Funny how, when challenges arise, I can always scan my memory and recall what she might have said or done.
To my mother, Bertha Marie Limbourne, I dedicate this reflection as I thank God for her. I ask the Lord daily to help me be the person she was to me.
Finally it is my hope that this Mother’s Day you will spend some time with your mother or your memories of her and think about all she did for you—including giving you life!
Oh Mary, mother of the Incarnate Word made flesh, pray for our mothers; pray for us who have recourse to you.
Happy Mother’s Day!