“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
— Washington Irving
Mom, Mommy, Mama. I have called her all of these at any given time depending on the circumstance. Aside from the name Jesus, just speaking some variation of this name fills me with pride, peace, and gratefulness. I may be biased, but my mother is truly an amazing woman. There are so many things that I have learned from her in my twenty-nine years, and I know I will continue to benefit from her “Love Lessons.” I call them that because even if it is something I don’t want to hear, I know she tells me out of love. As I sit here three months from giving birth to my first child, I am realizing the depth of love a mother can have for her child, even before they meet.
Growing up, I can remember my mom always having more than one job. She put herself through nursing school, graduate school, and set a standard of excellence for my siblings and me through her determination to accomplish her goals. When I was younger, I did not understand how hard she worked. Now looking back, I am inspired by her sacrifices. I still call on her the same way I did as a child, just with different requests and needs.
One very pivotal lesson I learned from my mom is the love of God, as well as the importance of having a relationship with Him and how to nurture the relationship. I can remember being about eight years old and my mom would keep Yolanda Adams’ “The Battle is Not Yours” on repeat. Hearing this song helped me come to the realization, even at that age, that God is in control of all, even in the midst of trials. My mom’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4: 13, which states, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” This has been a verse of comfort for many years and one I will always carry and look to in times of trial.
I have watched this woman, a teenage mother, face adversity with a fighting spirit and chase dreams until they became a reality. She has taught me so much about the necessity of hard work, patience, and forgiveness. My mom has also spent a lot of time in prayer for each one of her kids. There are times when I look back on circumstances in my past, and I know her prayers went before me and followed me through. I have learned how to respect and treat others and myself. Watching her be a wife has shown me the importance of nurturing your family’s foundation through nurturing your relationship with your spouse.
I have learned under Mom’s guidance, perseverance, and determination; I was never allowed to give up or make excuses. Watching her set goals and accomplish them opened up my world to possibilities. I am so blessed by her wisdom, gracefulness, and classy approach to opposition. I am thankful for the privilege to also call her my friend. She has shown by example the type of mom I want to be for Gabriel and whoever comes after. I want him to know he always has my support, discipline, unconditional love, and wisdom. I want him to be able to look back and see how much he means to me in every interaction and conversation. I hope he sees God in me and the way I live my life. I want him to see strength, dignity, and God’s grace. I want to be a mother he can be proud of, and thanks to my mom, I have a pretty good idea of how to start.
This article is dedicated to Kimetha Smith.