A Reflection from the Bedside
I once read a poem drawn from a personal reflection. I managed to find it online this week. This is what it says:
“Stages of Motherhood”
4 years of age: My mommy can do anything!
8 years of age: My mom knows a whole lot!
12 years of age: My mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 years of age: Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that either.
16 years of age: Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 years of age: That woman? She’s way out of date!
25 years of age: Well, she might know a little bit about it.
35 years of age: Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion.
45 years of age: I wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 years of age: I wish I could talk it over with Mom.
I’ve had the honor of being at the bedside of several dying patients, in my role as a professional chaplain for hospice and hospital settings. What I’ve learned from the beautiful souls who have allowed me to enter the sacred space of their dying process is that many were once little humans that were loved by a biological mother, adopted mother, or mother-like figure in their lives. Many often miss that person and wish that person was at their bedside. They know that, somehow, that person could provide the care that is needed at that moment.
I’ve often asked the question, “What do you think your mother would say if she were here next to you?” The response is always different and unique to the relationship that the individual had with their mother figure. Some have told me that their mother would sing to them or simply caress and embrace them. Sometimes, the gentle embrace of a mother is all we need to make everything alright.
The mother figures who raised us leave a lasting impression that, for many, continues to comfort even during death and dying. I’ve learned that motherhood is special and sacred - - regardless of shape or form that mother role may look like.
It’s a privilege to worship together with the many mothers of South Coast Church. May we all honor them during this special Mother’s Day Holiday.