To Mom, With Love.
A love-letter by our contributing writer and her siblings to their mom. a Heartfelt, honest and honouring tribute to be shared with all mothers and their children.
A few days ago, our parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. We have only lived for 23 (Hannah), 19 (Tabitha), and 17 (Jeshaiah) years each, so none of us can fully imagine what it must be like to keep a commitment for 25 years! We’re thankful they chose to stay together through thick and thin, because it’s their committed marriage which has produced and nurtured life in all three of us.
Our mother has always wanted four children, and God blessed her with that. There are now only three of us because our brother, Nathanael, passed away as an infant. Nathanael means “given of God”, and we think that’s really how Mummy sees all of us. Over the last 23 years, she has poured her life into stewarding and nurturing these “gifts”, even when we made things difficult for her.
Mummy gave up her job to take care of us because our brother was often sick as a child. When we were younger, we would tell her go back to work, secretly hoping we’d get to spend more time on computer games without her around. Now we’re grateful that she gave up her career to care for us. Occasionally, our grandma complains that my mum “wasted her education” because her other peers are now highly accomplished in their fields. Realizing that our mum paid this price to stay home makes us appreciate her decision even more.
We sometimes joke that our mother serves as the Minister for Health, Minister for Education, Minister for Transport, and Minister for Home Affairs. Whenever we fall sick, Mummy’s the one who would stay up to nurse us in the wee hours of the morning. Whenever we need anything for school, Mummy’s also the person to ask. However, there was once when she fell sick along with the rest of the family, and so the task of cooking a pot of porridge for lunch became Tabitha’s responsibility. Despite being quite ill, Mummy still woke up early in the morning to guide her in cooking, even though she should have been sleeping, because she loved us and wanted us to be successful.
For many years, Mummy would wake up at 6am each morning to send all of us to school and Daddy to work. Even though we’re now old enough to take public transport to school, Mummy still gets up at the same time to wake Jeshaiah up, and still bails him out when he’s late. Could she have arisen at an earthly hour, and not at the hours of a student? Certainly. But she chose to love us this way, wholeheartedly and without complaint.
Because Mummy manages everything around our house so well, the rest of us don’t have to worry about much. Mummy’s the one who will miraculously fix the Internet connection when it breaks down. She goes to the wet market every week. She keeps track of our changing schedules and remembers who’s coming home for dinner on which days – so that we each have our favourite dishes on the days we’re back!
From the big things to the small, Mummy always seems to be on top of everything. Perhaps that’s what all children think of their mothers! Hannah recalls a time when she was 9 and Mummy replied “I don’t know” to a question she asked. She was horrified. How could Mummy not know?! She always knows! All three of has have since realized that a mother is just like any of us: human, with shortcomings – and not all-knowing. They simply do all they can to love their families, trusting God to do what they cannot.
To every mother reading this: Sometimes we expect you to be superwoman, but we know you’re human too. Take heart that your children are in His good hands even when you fail!
And to our dearest Mummy: We love you very much. Thank you for all you’ve done through the years. To borrow the words of the Psalmist, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.” (Psalm 126:5-6) May your joy be great!