What my mother taught me about love

Happy Mother's Day! to all you mothers and motherly people. (I've always preferred the UK's "Mothering Day" as a better description of what this day ought to encompass) 

As the day draws near I'm thinking about Mum (of course!) and trying to come up with a special way to honor her. (Besides making her favorite chocolate dessert) The question of her greatest assets and her greatest legacy came to mind and one word stood out among the other thoughts in my mind: love. 

I can say without bias that my Mum happens to be one of the most loving people I have ever encountered. (Don't believe me? Ask any of the myriad friends over the years who wished she were their mother, too.) And many of my first lessons about love and friendship were learned by her excellent example:

Love is a choice...
There were probably more times than one can count that my siblings and I were (and still are) unlovely creatures. The teenage years alone would have been enough reason to disown us. She could have chosen to have shouting matches with us as many of my friends' parents were known to do. She could have threatened to throw us out (which we would have deserved). But she didn't. Instead, she chose to respond with love, not giving into our desire for an argument. (Which, admittedly, usually made us feel guilty and apologize.)

Love is selfless...
When you truly love someone, their happiness and best interest comes first without expectation of reciprocation. Never once have I heard "What about me?" or "I gave up so much for you!" from my mother. She did not resent sacrificing with time and finances for her growing children or her husband. Thankfully, now she's an "empty-nester" and can follow her dreams if she wants. (Those dreams, however, seem to include spoiling her grandchildren.)

Love forgives...
Holding a grudge is not in Mum's vocabulary. Even when people are incredibly unpleasant and mean-spirited, she does not bring up past behavior or treat them differently or ignore them. Instead, she is her same, loving-self with everyone no matter who they are or what they have said and done.

Love delights in others' accomplishments...
Jealousy was not tolerated in our house growing up. (Fortunately, we all had such diverse interests!) It was a priority to celebrate and support each other's triumphs even if ours were not so fantastic at the moment.

Love accepts differences...
When you love someone, you don't expect them to be a clone of yourself. Over the years I have seen so many families where children most like the parents or those who do everything exactly as the parents would wish were favored. The environment in our home growing up was of diversity and varied opinions and interests. Mum knew we were not going to grow up and live exactly as she does. In fact, she expected it. She looked forward to it.

Love is faith...
The most lasting impression my mother has made on me is her faith. As believers in God and followers of Christ we believe in the ultimate act of love; the ultimate example of love. This is something Mum lives and emulates.

Love you, Mum!




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Mansfield Park
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I Know What You're Thinking: Using the Four Codes of Reading People to Improve Your Life
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