When I was a small boy my mother, father and I moved onto a piece of land shared by my grandparents. There were two houses divided by a small yard. As early as four or five years old I would in the middle of the night sneak over to my grandparents’ and crawl in bed with them. My grandfather would complain about my cold feet but my grandmother never let him kick me out, and that started a bond that I still have with her to this day.
My mom was a tiny woman just shy of 5′ so in my mind she was my “little mom” and my grandma was my “big mom”. Those who knew my little mom might argue that while small in stature, she was large in spirit. Though what does a four year old know.
Those early years of my life were some of the greatest. My little mom doted on me as only a young mom can. I have journals of baby books she wrote to me in those first five years of life. She would hardly ever miss a single day. She taught and encouraged me to read and write before I ever got to a school, and never did a day go by that she did not give me her catchphrase, “I love you the universe.”
At the same time, my big mom would take me to her restaurant so I could “work.” Which just meant hanging out by the dishwasher and collecting the money the waitresses would leave in the cups. Occasionally she would get in her “money machine” and take me out for a few toys at the local five and dime. It was an amazing thing to have these two women in my life who always loved and encouraged me.
Later in my dark and troubled youth when I was too much for my little mom and the state to handle it was my big mom who took me in and saw me through to adulthood. During those years she taught me a work ethic, she taught me respect for my elders; she taught me how to be the father I am today.
So in honor of these two very special ladies, today I would like to acknowledge publicly what their lives meant for and to me. As several of my posts lately have been about legacy and raising the next generations many of the lessons that my big and little moms taught me are the lessons my children are learning.
My little mom may have gone on to be with the Lord, but she is still in my heart every day. And my big mom, while many hours from our family, is often discussed to my children. I still have the books my little mom bought me as a small boy, and I loved reading with her. I read them now with her grandchildren. And the wise sayings of my big mom are often recited to her great grandchildren when dealing with a difficult situation. But these women have made me the husband, father, and man that I am today. I will never forget the sacrifices they made so I could have the life I do. Thanks Moms.
So for all you mothers out there, know that the effort is worth it. It truly is the most important job in the world. And for you sons and daughters I caution you this, it is one of the few regrets I have in this life that I did not cherish the gift I had while I was a young man. Love and honor your mother, as there are few things in this life that compare.
I’ll end with a poem I had written for my big and little moms years ago for mother’s day.
They’re there when you need them, and never give out
In all our trials, they share every mile
Ready to hug us, and give us a smile
Chasing the clouds, on the rainiest day,
To fill us with sunshine and soothe every pain
Always protecting, we’re never without
The one to fall back on and vanquish our doubt
If ever I’ve fallen always it seems,
Without hesitation, you’re there next to me
To share in my heartaches, and encourage my dreams
Always beside me in every need
If God I could ask for, of just one desire
The mothers he gave me would never retire
Of course I was smiled upon, yes blessed of the Lord
When handing out mothers, He gave me one more
So instead of one mother like everyone else
I got the two best mothers all to myself
Yes mothers are special within and without
But mine are the greatest of this there’s no doubt