God knew what He was doing when He put a Mom and a Dad as directors of a family. Father is the head and Mom is the heart. I can see that played out so well in our household. My parents loved each other and worked as a team in raising us kids.
I remember the suppers we shared together each evening. Mom cooked great meals every day and we sat down at the table each night as a family. Conversations varied, but we sat around that table, together. I believe there is binding power when gathered around a table, and Mom instinctively knew that.
Mom did the gardening and beautiful flowers decorated the outside of our house. I remember marigolds down beside the driveway. In the Fall she would harvest the seeds for more gold and orange to cheerily greet us the next year. She cared about the interior of our home too, and always kept it neat and clean. Yes, we were the helpers as she trained us how to clean and keep house.
When we were small, I remember that each day before Dad got home, Mom would change out of her work dress and put on a fresh dress to greet Dad after work. I remember her perfume when Dad would take her out, and most of all, I recall her polished nails. Part of her ritual of preparation for a date was to do her nails. Sometimes they were still wet, so we would kiss goodbye being very careful not to mess her shiny nails.
Mom always had a love and respect for God. As kids she would take us to early mass and communion during Lent in preparation for Easter. Imagine getting 4 kids ready early in the morning to go to church each day; and we walked to church, as she did not drive in those days.
She also herded the 4 of us on a bus to “make the steps” on Good Friday. That was a ritual where a place in town had many steps going up a hill to a cathedral. We would say a Hail Mary on each step and an Our Father on each landing. I remember the steps going on forever and days as being really cold. At the top we looked forward to having hot cross buns and hot drinks served at the church.
Mom grew in her relationship with her Lord. She believed in giving and had a heart for the children. At one time she taught religion classes to kids in the projects. She loved those kids and worked to help them learn good principles of life. Later she worked in a nursing home helping the patients work with clay and pottery. I recall she also took painting classes and did well. At one time she joined the lay division of the Order of St Francis. Clearly I'm now aware that Mom was ever seeking to deepen her relationship with God. Even at the end with Alzheimer's, her hunger for God was evident.
I am so thankful and blessed that God put an extraordinary woman as my Mom in my life. I’m sure that much of who I am today came from her influence. Can you see the influence of your mom in your life too?