Hubs and I went to spend some time with my momma this weekend. I felt bad having to leave her on Mother’s Day morning. But we live about five hours away, and our son wanted to bring his family to visit us. So, off we drove. My main consoling thought was that my two youngest sisters would be visiting later; one already on her way. Plus, my mom always has an abundance of visitors. And so, I was delighted later in the day to receive photos from my youngest sister, who always brings the cake. It looked as beautiful as I knew it would taste, and my momma was as beautiful as ever.
Every time I visit with my momma I am reminded of her beginnings. She grew up in a farming family, the sixth of seven children. By the time she was five years old, she was working in the fields. Today that would be called child labor and would not be acceptable. But back in the day, it was a way of life and, many times, the only way for a family to survive.
When my momma was thirteen years old, she was married off to my dad. He was thirty-one years old and the son of one of the landowners her father did farming for. This seems quite dramatic and unreal at the same time. But it happened a lot back then, and still occurs today in certain cultures and communities. The interesting part to me is that she was considered by her family and their community too old and should have been married off younger.
My momma remained married to my dad for twenty years until his death from black melanoma cancer in 1980. I had just finished the eleventh grade by then. I was the oldest of six girls and two boys. My parents relied heavily on me to help with chores and laundry and with the care of “the youngers.” It wasn’t long before I resolved that I wouldn’t be getting married until “later,” if at all.
As you know from my earlier posts on marriage, I did not marry until my mid-twenties, almost giving up entirely on wedded bliss. That is, until hubs walked into my life. I married at 24 years old rather than thirteen and had my son at almost 27 years of age, rather than like my mom who had me at almost fifteen years old. I consider myself truly blessed to have had the foresight to wait to marry, even if it meant not marrying at all.
My own marriage, like many others, has had its ups and downs. I kid you not, marriage, in my opinion, is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of compromise, faith, endurance, reconciliation, communication, and the desire to let love win, even if it means rethinking personal goals or ideas so that the marriage can survive. Always, from day one, I kept in mind during the hard times the reason I married at all – and that was for love. I loved my husband. And I had faith that he loved me even when times were their most difficult.
Love is the Answer
My momma did not marry for love like I did. Yet she sustained a twenty year marriage for love. The love of her children. She would not leave us, nor would she take us away from their father, a man who remained mostly a stranger to her for much of their married life. During the tough times in my own marriage, I remembered and valued the sacrifices my momma made to keep us together. I realized that much of my difficulty in my own marriage was really a war within myself. And so, taking my cue from her, I too refused to take my son from his dad just because I was having a meltdown.
Now that my momma and I are where we are in our life journey together, we are good friends. We sit and talk about our food allergies. We dream about the day she is fully recovered from her back surgery, and we can go flea-market shopping. We discuss how I am doing in my book writing, publishing, and marketing. We can watch a movie or discuss a good book together. And we can even sit in silence enjoying our relationship that has survived the years of many misunderstandings. Each in our own way, we have grown up together, and apart then together again, by letting love lead the way.
Weekly blogs on marriage are posted on the second Sunday of each month, then shared on other platforms, including but not limited to Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Next scheduled topic will be on social media on the fourth Sunday of this month.
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Thank you for reading and continue to keep safe out there. Happy Mother’s Day!