Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”        – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Growing up I was a very obedient child, followed the rules, and tried to be pleasing to my parents.   However, as a young adult in my early 20’s, I started making bad choices that gave my parents cause for concern and disapproval.  The worst mistake I made was moving into an apartment with my boyfriend. 

Dad was furious and my mother was very upset.  Dad gave Mom strict instructions not to do anything for me or help me in any way.  Mom and I have always been very close, so that must have been very hard for her and she likely felt caught in the middle between us. 

It was during this time of imposed separation that I left work one day to find Mom waiting for me.  She took me out to my car, and to my surprise I found that she had stuffed ‘Bugsy’, my VW Bug, with boxes and bundles of houseware items that she and a friend had found at garage sales that day.  I couldn’t believe it!   

As I recall, we were both a little emotional, but it wasn’t just about all the stuff.  It was about her wanting to be there for me even though dad had forbidden her from doing so.  The moment didn’t end there, though.  Mom spoke lovingly but firmly when she said, “I do not condone what you are doing, but I love you and want to support you.”  

Of all the moments we’ve shared and all the wonderful things she’s done for me, that offering of love is the one that stands out the most.  She made it clear that she did not approve of my actions or choices (and that hurt, but I understood), but despite her disapproval she wanted me to know that she loved me and would be there for me – no matter what.  Even as I write this more than 20 years later, my heart is touched deeply by what she did and what it meant to me. 

Another memorable demostraion of her love came one Christmas Eve just days before she married someone else following her divorce from my dad.  I had graduated from college, left my hometown in Indiana, and was living on my own in Florida.  At Mom’s request I took few days off from work to go back and spend Christmas with her. 

Mom had asked me to stand up with her in her wedding, but at the time I was upset about the marriage.   I knew I’d be emotional and didn’t want to ruin her wedding.  Looking back, I’m ashamed that I was too selfish about my own feelings to be happy for hers.  She deserved for me to say, “I don’t condone what you’re doing, but I love you and want to support you.” 

My rejection of her invitation to be with her at her wedding must have hurt, but still she wanted to show her love for me.  We had a quiet exchange of gifts that Christmas Eve night – just the two of us – and she had a very special gift waiting for me.  Wanting to assure me of her love and our relationship, Mom gave me a pretty opal ring.  As she gave it to me she told me that things would change when she remarried, but that she would always love me and I would always have a place in her life.  The ring was to be a symbol of our love and a reminder that she would always love me – no matter what.  I still cherish that ring and what it represents.  I wore it today. 

Most importantly, I still love and cherish my mom.

Before closing, please know that my dad is a wonderful man and was a very loving father.  His reaction to my behavior was deserved.  We later made amends and got back to having the loving relationship that we’d shared through the years.  

 There’s a happy ending with Mom and her husband, too.  She married a man that I’ve come to respect and admire.  I love him as a parent and am thankful that he and mom are together.   He is a loving grandfather to our sons and a very special part of our family. 

And this all came about because of my mother’s love. 

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