Am I the only one getting countless ‘Just in Time of Mother’s Day’ emails? I didn’t think so. As Mother’s Day approaches and mothers around the globe are celebrated, this is for all of you – just in time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I do not feel extraordinary”. I believe everyone has victories and challenges that are equal on the high and low scale. I also believe, with every fiber of my being, that I was chosen to be Jacob’s mother.
The following, titled The Special Mother, was written by Erma Bombeck over 30 years ago. My reactions to this poem are in blue.
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.
This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth; son. Patron saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”
“Forrest, Marjorie; daughter. Patron saint, Cecelia.”
“Rutledge, Carrie; twins. Patron saint, Matthew.”
Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God, “Could I give a handicapped child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.” A piece of advice to engaged or newlywed couples—laugh with your spouse! In my opinion, my man is still the funniest person on earth. I knew laughter well when Jacob was born.
“But has she patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it.” Patience is at the top of the list of things I’ve learned, and will continue to learn, parenting Jacob.
“I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own world. She has to make him live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.” Being first-born gave me a degree of independence, believing I could. We share our world, sometimes he is in mine and sometimes I am in his.
“But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.” I was a believer, when Jacob was born, but my belief has been tested more than a few times.
God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect -she has just enough selfishness.” No one likes to admit they are selfish. But at my core, it’s the truth.
The angel gasps – “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods, “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive.” Thankfully, I learned the value of time away with my spouse and with friends. But, even though I understand how very valuable ‘me time’ is, I’m guilty of needing to be back with him soon.
“Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. And bless me, God did! Note: we are all less than perfect!
She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a “spoken word”. I’m looking forward to that day in heaven.
She will never consider a “step” ordinary. After the neurologist told us Jacob might never walk, you better believe, watching him take a step was miraculous.
When her child says “Mummy” for the first time, she will be present at a miracle, and will know it!” Another heaven moment.
“I will permit her to see clearly the things I see…ignorance, cruelty, prejudice….and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My Work as surely as if she is here by my side”. I’ve seen those things and could only face the next day because I know that God is in me, with me, and for me.
“And what about her Patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air. God smiles, “A mirror will suffice.” When I look in the mirror, I see the woman God made me to be. Preparing me through my life to parent two boys. Knowing I would make it my life’s work to be there for them, guide them, protect them, and love deeply with my whole heart.
May God bless you today,
And keep you all year through.
May God give you all the faith it takes,
To make your dreams come true.
May His love and wisdom always help,
To guide you on your way.
May His light shine down upon you now,
To bless your every day.
I was chosen. And so were you.