To All The Mothers

I can’t get her off of my mind.

Her short, sweet, power-packed frame perfected with her white permed hair. She rarely put a few sentences together without mentioning “The Lord” or “The Bible” and I can still taste her chicken and rice. I remember her sideline cheers at my ballgames as much as I remember her sweet voice the day she told me, “Matt, it’ll be alright,” as I sat by her bedside in the hospital.

Some called her Eloise. He called her ‘Wheezie’. They called her Momma. I called her, Grandma Ham.

Her round glasses illuminated her bright eyes. She usually wore a gown and paraded around the house in her slippers. A unique, raspy laugh accompanied her ever-present smile. I can still taste her Golden Rod, a breakfast creation of grated, hardboiled eggs sprinkled over toast and gravy. She loved. She cared. No wonder, she was a nurse by trade and a mother by creation.

Some called her Sara. He called her ‘Sug’. They called her Momma. I called her, Grandma Sheneman.

She showed up on my doorstep when I was only five years old. In a way, she was the sister I never had. It didn’t seem right to call her a babysitter because she was so much more: protecting, loving, guiding, helping. The demands of life, kids, and schedules have made it challenging to stay in touch, but she’ll always be a part of my story.

Her given name is Amanda. She is a mommy. But to me, she’s Mandy.

The first time I met her, she offered me a ride which isn’t surprising because genuine generosity is her trademark. Our musical tastes are one in the same (well, except for the Indigo Girls). In college, she nurtured all of us with compassion and her impeccable memory made me feel like the worst friend ever. Pictures, notes, cards, more pictures, encouragement, hugs–she never missed a beat. She still doesn’t. She doesn’t have children of her own, she has hundreds she loves as if they were.

Some call her Rebecca. Some, Becca. I’ve always called her, Bec.

She throws spaghetti on the ceiling to see if its finished and is an advocate for indoor basketball. She’s crazy–in such a beautiful and wonderful way that’s all her own. More than that, she pours herself out as an offering to all she encounters. She constantly gives of herself in every single relationship she’s a part of. She’s a true picture of selfless service.

Most know her as Betty. They’ve called her Beebs. My boys call her Bebe. My mother-in-law, Betty.

She’s the mother I don’t deserve. The one who’s a gift from God–my Godmother. Her kindness, patience, and gentleness are unmatched. She’s been there from the beginning, since I was born, and has walked with me every step of the way. Her willingness to lend an ear without judgement is her trademark. She is the embodiment of what her earthly title proclaims.

She is a godmother. Her name is Susan. I call her, Susu.

She’s forever mine. My partner for life, brought to me by the Father. She’s weathered the storm with me and stands beside me through thick and thin. We’ve walked our road together, as only we could. We love. She’s given me the greatest worldly honor that I can have: she made me a father. She has carried our three beautiful boys, sacrificing her body and her life to hear them cry, “Mommy.” Her dedication to my sons makes me wonder how I could possibly love her enough. I am indebted to my love, to my hero.

She was born Elizabeth. My boys call her Mommy. She is Liz. She is my wife.

And lastly…

She is love, and love does. Love goes to the golf course on Mother’s Day just to be with her boys. Love drives across God’s creation for ballgames, to find wedding decorations, to fill shoeboxes, to plan the perfect vacation. Love takes them, love picks them up. Love stays up late. Love wakes up early. Love lay in their bed when they leave for college. Love counts the minutes until they come home. Love goes to the hospital in the middle of the night to rock her grandchildren. Love is relentless in her pursuit–to show how much it loves. Love does. She is love.

She is Mary Grey. Some call her May May. My boys call her Meme. I call her, Mom.

Walking Mom down the isle at Mark's wedding

Walking Mom down the isle at Mark’s wedding

______________________________

In my life, mothers have come in great variety. Some love children of their own while others have chosen to love those that have been entrusted to them as children. One thing is consistent: Love.

I have been blessed beyond measure with women who have shown me love. They’ve taught me more about this world than I would have ever experienced elsewhere.

I would imagine the same for you.

Who are the mothers in your life?

And if you’re not sure, simply look for love.

This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to love back.

Take a moment to step outside of the box and think of the mothers in your life, maybe some whose bond goes beyond blood. It may be the teacher from your childhood that showed compassion and poured into your education. It may be the great friend that was always there with an ear and a caring heart. Maybe it was an aunt or neighbor.

Do not let a minute go by before telling them how you feel. Pour out your gratitude for their impact in your life.

For some, Mother’s Day may is a painful reminder of the harsh reality that those you love are gone. The love shared seems lost and the pain of their passing weighs heavy on your heart.

My challenge to you today is that you remember them by your love.

Let your thoughts, words, and actions be a reflection of the light they brought into your life. Let their love radiate through you to those around you.

Wherever you are today, I urge you to not let this day end without returning the love.

Because love never fails.

MH

Question: What women in your life need love today? Who is that special ‘mother’ you will be celebrating/remembering today?

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About the Author

headshot-footerMatt Ham is primarily a husband and father to three boys. As an author and speaker, he is dedicated to guiding others toward living a rich life. Through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover fullness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment in both their professional and personal lives.

His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here

You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com

To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking

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  • Al Sheneman

    Beautifully said on all levels

    • Al, what’s the most.memorable thing to you about your mother?

      • Al Sheneman

        Mom was always the mediator and peacemaker in our home. She did not ever want friction between us as siblings and she always stood in the gap between us and daddy

  • Matt, this is such a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Deborah L. Sheneman

    This brought tears. Wonderful tribute to all of these women and you described them perfectly. One of your best yet!

    • Aunt Debbie, my heart is with you today as you are celebrated amongst your children and grandchildren. And I especially think of you as you remember Stevie! Love you!

  • Beautiful!