My Mother, Sharon Rose Peterson.

Today is Mother’s day. Though I’ve written quite a bit about my mom in the past, and though this isn’t the first time that I have been away during Mother’s Day, I still want to brag a bit on a Mom that has shown me so many unconditional lessons of love and kindness. Sharon Peterson.

What can I tell you that hasn’t already been said on Mother’s Day mom? I will say that when I was living at home, it wasn’t always easy for you to tell that I enjoyed being around you and Dad. That kind of comes with the territory being nearly thirty years old and living back home for a year. Please know that I felt more love and respect for you in these past years than I ever have. That sounds wrong when you read that, but I think a person’s life is more richly understood when it’s told. In the years leading up to my leaving overseas, in the years away, and in the year I came back home, I feel like you and Dad have become more than parents to me. When I did that interview with you and Dad about your life before having kids, your personalities and your histories were given fresh life in my eyes. The reason I did that interview was to know who you both were as people. You had a life before us. You had friends and passions and hobbies. I loved seeing you talk about those things and understanding more about you.

Also, understanding more about you gave way to understanding more about me. You made me after all. I understand my emotions more clearly than I ever did. I understand my gullibility to sarcastic humor. More importantly, I understand my loud laughter and joy towards life. I understand my kindness to others and often overwhelming empathy for their situations. I understand the pangs of guilt when I have wronged someone and the desperate desire to reconcile. Mostly though I understand the nature of my heart and the lessons you’ve instilled in me after years of never giving up on me and never letting discouragement overtake you. I can only hope that Nicole, Robyn and I have honored your and Dad’s work in us.

I love you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

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Many Mother’s Day

What does it mean to have three incredible mothers in my life? What is the impact of seeing motherhood lived out day in and day out? What is the alternate of this? The impact of a horrible mother, the effects of a neglectful, unloving, absent mother? The scars left by an abusive, overbearing, and insulting mother? This day, like Christmas, Father’s Day, or birthdays, can be a reminder of something we’d rather forget. The pain that is drudged up by the annual forced reminder of this person’s presence, or lack there of, can be more than they would like to deal with. Continue reading “Many Mother’s Day”

Dear Mom

Dear Mom, 

Today in New Zealand, it’s Mother’s Day. For you, that day is tomorrow. Another day, another day I won’t be there. This has been quite the opposite story for you however. For all of my life, in distance and in closeness, you have been a rock. Cleaning my wounds, holding me when crying and when scared. Praying for me every single night, letting “the blood of Jesus wash over [me], and His arms surround [me], like a hedge of protection, keeping [me] safe from all harm and danger,” then tucking me into bed. Rubbing suntan lotion on my extremely white and sensitive skin, then reminding me as I got older to continue doing the same. Taking me to get my haircut by hairdressers who would always run their hands through my thick, red, hair. Cooking meals that would be good for me, but would sometimes leave me at the dinner table for over an hour because I couldn’t leave until it was finished. Teaching me, even after school, because you can’t take the teach out of the teacher. Buying me clothes, taking me to sports games, and cheering me on. When I started going to work for the first time, or waking up for school earlier, I began to notice something else about you. You taught me something without even saying a word. Discipline. Dedication. Devotion. You would wake up in the early hours of the day and talk to God. You would read his book, and you would seek his face. Dear Mom. I take pieces of you with me where ever I go. You are always in my sensitivity and my compassion. You are in my empathy and my ability to feel for other people so deeply. Without a word you have also taught me love. The lesson that although two may fight, they resolve. Though they love so fully, they will fight. You have demonstrated for me a life given so completely for another, and another, and another, and I can speak for my sisters when I say, Thank You. Thank you for being there when other Mothers aren’t. When it was hard enough to quit and easy enough to do so. I am so incredibly in your debt and I can’t wait to see you again in a few weeks. Mom, I love you. So much.

 

Your Son Always,

Er-bear

A Letter to Three Mothers

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This year, I have been extra aware of the mother figures in my life. Reason being, my mother is over 8,000 miles away by sea and by land. In addition to my mother, my two beautiful sisters, who really have this whole motherhood thing down, are also in Chicago. (Seriously, I know no cooler moms). Other than Debbie Elliott, who has been my surrogate mother while being in New Zealand, the three coolest women in my life have been the best, most accurate examples of what God’s love for others truly means. Continue reading “A Letter to Three Mothers”

A Single Mother’s Day

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I want to tell you how much I appreciate mothers. I am not just talking about my mother, for whom I owe more than my life. She is an incredible example of Love and Godliness, for which I have never seen in another. Today, however, I am talking about single mothers. This is why single mothers deserve more.

When some mothers are waiting for their shift to end, after a long day with their kids, and hand them off to their husbands, single mothers are rolling up their sleeves for a long night. When some mothers are tapping their tag-team better halves at three in the morning because the crying becomes too much, single mothers are going on 3 weeks napping in the gaps. When the washer breaks down, the pluming is shot, and the water is filling the room, single mothers get it done. They have to get it done. Single mothers don’t have another option.

When three half-pints are pulling on her jeans, after she just made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, after cleaning up the house, after following the kids around to make sure they’re safe…they know, that this day will repeat until they are old enough to crawl, walk, talk, go to school, and finally leave when they are old enough. Single mothers are soldiers, saints, and martyrs. Daily they die to themselves in order to raise a better tomorrow. Their dedicated resolve, unfurled by life’s attempts to destroy them inspires me. They have no calvary coming to fend off a hard day. They know that they need to be strong, because no one else will. They know one of the many true meanings of “life isn’t fair.” Single mothers need a day like today, hell, they need a year. Today I recognize those women, those self-sacrificing warriors for parenting.

If you know a single mother, recognize them today and everything that they do for their children. They deserve it.