Monday, October 1, 2012

Reflecting on the Day of my Mother's Birth

On this day more than sixty years ago, my grandmother went into labor with her first child.  She and my grandfather drove their truck to the nearest small Saskatchewan town with a hospital.  Unfortunately, when the doctor arrived, she smelled alcohol on his breath.  And then he gave her something (ether? chloroform?) to knock her out before he delivered her baby.  So it is likely that no one but a half-there doctor and a nurse actually witnessed the amazing moment that my mother was born.

Soon after her birth, my mother was "put on the bottle," my grandmother recalled.  And what was the reason?   Her milk didn't come in soon enough (it usually takes a few days the first time around I've learned).  So my grandmother's chest was wrapped tight instead of being encouraged to nurse her baby.   She told me this story of my mother's birth about ten years ago, when her memories were more lucid than now.  And it is a story I treasure, shocking though it seems to me, that she endured such a rough start into motherhood.

Nevertheless, she and her newborn daughter lived on.  My grandmother cherished children and had four more that after that.  But it was her firstborn that grew up and became my mother.  And so I celebrate my mother's life this day.  My mother is someone who prays, gives generously, stays in close contact with her relatives, and is eager to help others whenever she can.

Earlier this year, my mom came to stay with us for a little while after our fourth child was born.  Neither she nor I knew the extent to which we would need her help.  But God did.  So when our little girl was rushed to Omaha in an ambulance for surgery, we left three sleeping children in my mother's care.  She stayed for three weeks, serving our family and loving my children, while my husband and I took turns with the baby at the hospital.

My mom and my daughter
Thus I marvel that the same God who watched over my mother's birth here in Canada kept her in his care and knew she would one day become my mother.  I am impressed by her example that I should also pray for the children He has given me to raise.  And I must rely more on His love, that my children may know they are deeply loved, and grow up with the same assurance of their mother's love that I had.

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