She was just a poor little Polish girl of 7 with one brother and four sisters. This little girl’s father was an alcoholic and he was not home much. By the time she was in the 2nd grade, her mother had left the family; shortly thereafter her father did, too. This little girl and her siblings stayed in the rundown house without a parent until a neighbor saw what was happening and intervened. She was sent to live with her grandparents, her mother’s parents, who showed her love and acceptance. Her mother did eventually return with a new husband and then left again. Her mother managed to stop by again, though, just to throw the children’s clothes on the front lawn. This little girl grew up, married my father, and became my wonderful mother. “Wonderful?” you may be thinking. How could this be? She came from a broken home and had a horrible example of a mother! Yes, wonderful. For when my mother lived with her grandparents, they showed her the love of God, and my mother received Christ as her Savior.
Knowing my mother’s sad background helps me to appreciate even more the mother I have. My mother is a very kind woman. When she was a little girl, she was nicknamed, “Grandma Booty.” Her sisters called her that because my mom was concerned that the neighborhood kittens would be cold during the winter months, so she knitted booties for their little paws. I often think of that nickname and smile. That is exactly like my mother. She is very concerned about little things like tiny kitten paws, and strangers, and people whom no one really takes notice of.
My mother has never raised her voice at me –ever– even when I was going through my difficult teen years. I didn’t realize how significant this was until I had children of my own and saw that it was quite easy to raise my voice at them –often. I never remember her ever saying an unkind word to me. To my mother I was the smartest, most beautiful, thoughtful girl in the world (I have since learned that she was just looking at me through her rose-colored glasses of love.) I never wanted to disappoint her.
Last, and most important, my mother has a forgiving heart. She held bitterness in her heart toward her mother, but after hearing a long-ago sermon at church on forgiveness, she realized that she was wrong. And so without her mother ever seeking forgiveness, my mother granted it anyway. I actually grew up knowing (and loving) this grandmother who had abandoned my mother, simply because my mother chose the path of forgiveness.
The longer I experience the mother-daughter relationship with my own two, the more and more I appreciate these fine qualities in my mother. Appreciation is by definition the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value. For the entirety of my life, I have observed and experienced the kindness, gentleness, and forgiveness of my mother, and I truly realize that these qualities are worth far more than gold. Thanks, Mom. I consider it a special blessing from God to have you as my mother.
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Article by Dina Hoskinson. Dina has been a member of Valley Forge Baptist for 25 years and has three children of her own. Dina currently serves as Pastor Scott Wendal’s administrative assistant and has done so for 23 years.