Column: Have you hit the mother lode?

Mark my words
Father Mark Goldasich is the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of the Leaven since 1989.

by Father Mark Goldasich

“Thanks for everything! You do too much for me!”

I hear these words from my mom several times each week. The “too much” includes being her chauffeur to various appointments, taking her out for lunch after Sunday Mass (as long as the place has chicken fingers and fries), paying her bills and, most importantly, keeping her supplied with life’s essentials: cookies, chocolates, chips and Diet Pepsi — lots and lots of Diet Pepsi.

I tell Mom that she doesn’t need to thank me because I’m just paying her back a fraction for all the times she changed my diapers, sat up with me when I was sick, encouraged me in tough times at school and beyond, fed me, prayed for me, wiped away my tears . . . and the list could go on and on. I can never hope to repay her!

With Mother’s Day weekend upon us, here’s a little meditation on moms that I recently came across. I searched for the author, but the best I could do is: Anonymous. So, whoever wrote this piece, called “Somebody Said,” I’m indebted to you.

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby. . . . Somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, “normal” is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct. . . .  Somebody never took a 3-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring. . . . Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a learner’s permit.

Somebody said if you’re a “good” mother, your child will “turn out good.”. . . Somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said “good” mothers never raise their voices. . . . Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor’s kitchen window.

Somebody said you don’t need an education to be a mother. . . . Somebody never helped a fourth-grader with his math.

Somebody said you can’t love the fifth child as much as you love the first. . . . Somebody doesn’t have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her childrearing questions in a book or online. . . . Somebody never had a child stuff beans up her nose.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery. . . . Somebody never watched her “baby” get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten.

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back. . . . Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married. . . . Somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son- or daughter-in-law to a mother’s heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother’s job is done when her last child leaves home. . . . Somebody never had grandchildren.

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don’t need to tell her. . . . Somebody isn’t a mother.

I feel very blessed to have my mom around. She just turned 98 a few weeks ago, but that hasn’t stopped her one iota from bossing — whoops, I mean, guiding — me to be a better person and better priest. Even though I’m 60, she still worries about me and has me call when I’ve arrived safely at home after visiting her (even though I just live about three minutes away). And she’s just as energetic teaching me valuable lessons in life, like, “Give from your heart.”

Apparently, my mom has a big heart, since her generosity knows no bounds. Staff members at Vintage Park, her assisted living community, regularly blame me for their weight gain. Whenever they pop in to assist her, Mom insists that they take “some energy” (aka chocolates) before they leave. And taking just one piece is never, never enough!

This Mother’s Day, don’t be a “somebody.” Let your Mom, or those who are like a mom to you, know how much they are loved . . . to the moon and back.

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