I wanted to thank Barry Paschal for his Mothers Day column, Mothers toil with mo love. The image of mothers tending to the lawn started out as rather different, but was one of the best analogies for a mothers love I've ever read. I could just see our mothers stepping in when the weeds get out of hand in our lives, and pulling them out or killing them. When we get too tall for our own good, they find a gentle (and sometimes not-so-gentle) means of cutting us back down to an acceptable level. Fertilizing us with their understanding, experience and love, they see to it that we are as green and strong as we can be. That was an unusual, but very effective bit of imagery.
It reminded me in so many ways of my own mother. She, like all of our moms, fulfilled many different roles: commandant of the house, chauffeur, teacher and psychologist. She never read Benjamin Spocks books but somehow knew enough about child psychology. I never received a spanking from my mom, but one disappointed look from that lady, and the simple phrase Denny, you know that wasnt right of you, was more punishment than I could withstand. It caused me to think about whatever I had done for hours or sometimes days until I finally came to her and apologized after making sure I had rectified the wrong I had committed. Rest assured, I never forgot the lesson learned.
When the lesson to learn was a little more harsh because I was the person being wronged, she was just as effective. When my first marriage failed, and I was at a loss as to why it had collapsed, I left the courthouse and drove straight to my mothers house. With a gentle look on her face, and tears running down her cheeks, she simply said I dont know what went wrong, but all things work out for the best; youll see. Once again, my mother was right. Twenty years later I met the love of my life and have been happily married ever since.
So, thanks to Paschal for reminding this old married man, and father, that he is not too old to see the beauty of a mothers love. Thanks for reminding us all that we owe our world as we know it to the mothers who took time to tend the lawn.
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