Proverbs 31: 28 Her children stand and bless her. This is my attempt to honor my two brave moms!
This coming week end in the US is our special day dedicated to Mother’s Day. A day to honor our mothers for birthing us–but for many of us sooo much more. I have two moms. My birth mother, who through no fault of her own and the intervention of the state of Washington, had to relinquish her rights due to mental illness and other issues in our family of origin. I want stand and honor her. With no prenatal care and having birthed five previous, precious children she gave birth to my sisters and I (triplets). Our birth story is unique. We were born in a two room mining camp cabin. My biological father was an assayer for Holden Mines on Lake Chelan. This place was accessible by boat or seaplane. One of the stories we have been told is that she told our dad she thought she was pregnant, and his response was “no you are just getting fat!” She was 40 at the time, so I’m sure it was just difficult to comprehend another child. Because they lived up the lake, she would have had to purchase a ticket on the Lady of the Lake boat that connected the other towns to the main city, Chelan where the doctors and hospital was located. With meager funds and five mouths to feed money was tight. Two of my older siblings were living elsewhere at the time. Our mother did have diagnosed mental illness in which she had been in and out of different mental hospitals. I wonder if my father just did not want her taken away again, so just tried to keep a low profile. She gave birth to us in that cabin with the doctor arriving in time to deliver the last one of us. Then he put us in the seaplane which had brought him and flew us to the Chelan hospital, without her. I can only imagine how hard and brave she must have been to entrust us (we weighed just around 3 lbs. each) to this doctor. I don’t know if she ever saw us again until we were in our late 20’s (another story). She never forgot her “three gems”–she had planned on calling us Ruby, Opal and Pearl. I am sure God heard and answered her prayers for us.
After some months, our perspective adopted parents received a phone call from Medina Children’s home saying they had 11 month old triplet girls who needed a home. Would they agree to bring them into their hearts and lives? They had to answer quickly! One day I asked my mom–how/what did you do after that phone call? She said, “I fell against the fireplace mantel and hung on so I wouldn’t faint!”. My mom was a strong woman, not given to fainting, so that must have been quite a challenge. They said yes and drove the 90 miles to Seattle, where they picked two of us up–my sister Marie was in the hospital at the time. It was such a quick turn around that they had no beds for us–and called the local furniture store at 11:00 p.m. to bring cribs!
My two brave moms–one who trusted God and prayed for us, even though she didn’t see us, hold us or instruct us. One who willingly chose to take us on against the advice of family and friends and taught us so many life skills. (Amazingly, both our moms are named Bertha!) Bio Bertha knew Jesus–and prayed a lot even in the midst of her mental struggles. My Adopted mom came to know Jesus much later in life, but did her best to raise us to be capable wives and mothers. Adopted mom, incidentally was also 40 when she became a mother of three eleven month old lively girls. We’ve all turned out well. I rise today to bless them. They weren’t perfect and that is OK. My adopted mother passed away in 1990, Bio Mom 1991. I live in adopted moms house–so her presence and memories are all around. I am grateful. It has taken me time to appreciate all she taught me, for we struggled in our relationship–but as I grew up and saw the bigger picture of her life, I can only marvel at the woman she was. She was brave to take on three babies, late in life and do it well. She focused on what she felt she lacked as a child. Making sure we were equipped to cook, clean and run a home. These were things she missed learning as she hoed and picked cotton with her father. I miss her. I think we could be good friends if she were still here–I’ve grown up Mother. I thought I appreciated you before–but as the years go by, it is more so. Thank you brave mom 1 and brave mom 2 you shaped my life well.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you brave moms who are still writing your stories. Take a deep breath to continue on–for your efforts will not be in vain.
Proverbs 31: 28 Her children stand and bless her. (NLT)