My 71 year-old Mom is traveling with my Dad to Afghanistan for a month-long mission to help the Afghans. I aspire to be a warrior at her age like she is. I wrote my mom a Mother’s Day letter two years ago. Nobody invests more in us than our moms and no one is more deserving of our thanks. Here are some things I said in the letter:
I guess I want to pay a son’s homage to the years you toiled in the obscurity of our homes in Guilford, Silver Spring, and Columbia. You labored under the stewardship of my young, unformed life. I wasn’t born with a sense of unlimited possibilities – you and Dad gave that to me. You gave me lots of great gifts: Our kids have grown up hearing your stories; the education I’ve been afforded has opened so many doors for me; and the cosmopolitan experiences of my childhood were good training for my career. But, it’s the values like this one which are dearest. People know what I look like, but they identify me by the way I act, the way I treat them, the direction I’m going in life.
Values, character, heart – it takes years to form such wispy things. It takes the patience, love, and vision of a mom. It takes a commitment to the anonymity of motherhood. The people of Palenque will probably never meet you, but you have touched their lives. The thread that links you to them may be invisible, but its reality is one that they can testify to in the abundance of their lives and even their hope of salvation.
It’s sad that I don’t slow my life down often enough to reflect on such matters (another inheritance!), but when I do, I’m filled with an appreciation for how you’ve invested in my life. I’m thankful, not only for the sheer fact of your investment, but also for the sacrifice that it required. You’ve passed the best part of yourself on to Liz, Christy, Nat, and I, and we not only have that, we have a model for how to share it with others.
If your mom is still alive, have you ever written her a heart-felt letter of thanks? Pull out a pen or a keyboard and do it (you’ve got a couple of weeks to send it now). Don’t do it for her – do it for yourself; there’s something in us that needs to make a proportional acknowledgement, if not response, to great sacrifice. You’ll be glad you did.