A couple years ago, I remember sitting on the picture perfect Anna Maria Island beach watching my kids walk the shore with their nana, completely delighted to be "picking shells" with her. As I watched them giggle and point and fill the bucket I remembered walking that same shore with the same woman picking older shells. Whole, unbroken ones were the best we decided. She would walk long under the hot sun, sticky with salt, the way mothers are, helping me collect bits of mystery washed up from the deep.
She was like that. She would do that. She didn't mind taking the moment, the one everyone else wanted for themselves, and gladly spending it on me. I didn't know it then, but the deepest mystery I was picking was the time I shared with that woman who gave me all of hers.
And she did that a million times in a million different ways though out my life. When the whole rest of the world carried on with other business I was safe and thriving in her love. When no one would build a snowman with me, my mom would. When no else would break out the glitter and glue and paints to help me create something just for fun, she would. How many times did she stay up late into the night fixing printers and helping put together projects so my assignment wouldn't be late? She wouldn't hesitate to make a midnight run for a pair of tights to perfectly match my dress for the dance. And she cried when I cried and laughed when I laughed and made me feel there was no place I would ever go where her love would not follow.
As mothers we often reflect on how fast the days with our little ones pass. It happens in a blink we all know. But we kids take longer to understand. Not until we're grown do we see that this common relationship, as old as the earth, is the true treasure from the deep well of God's goodness. Young fingers wrap around momma's hand enjoying the day, never knowing that it is that woman who will always hold our hand. She will always sacrifice her day on the beach so we can have ours.
And we grow, and we pick shells, and bits of the world, happy to forget that always isn't forever. Someday, some of us will have to face life with just the memory of her love. Sure, we'll have our pails full of lessons she taught us, moments she gave us, and the beauty she showed us. But it won't be the same - just a shell.
So hug your momma today. Tight. She is a gift. You may find bits of beauty in the sand from time to time but the whole, unbroken love of a mother is a prize to be sure.
Happy Mothers Day! So grateful to have another one!
I love you, Mom.