The Gift of a Mother’s Love


On this Mother’s Day we celebrate the gift of a mother’s love.  I hope everyone had a good Mother’s day. It is a time to celebrate the gift of a mother’s love whose job is one that shapes the world as William Ross Wallace (1819-1881) portrayed in his poem:

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Is the Hand That Rules the World

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace.
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

 Infancy’s the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

 Woman, how divine your mission,
Here upon our natal sod;
Keep—oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

 Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky—
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

However, Mother’s day can be difficult for me because I never felt my mother’s love. I believe she loved me in her own way. She did not show this love to me by supporting me, encouraging me, holding me, hugging me, kissing me or even telling me that she loved me.

Instead she neglected me and ignored me.  She criticized me  and discouraged me which she said she did because she loved me. Because someone needed to tell me what my faults, flaws and shortcomings were otherwise how would I know. This she told me once when I was a child when I asked her why she never complimented me.

I worked hard at telling myself that all this doesn’t bother me, that I stopped letting it bother me years ago. But the void is there. Whenever I hear someone say, “My mother is my best friend.” or “My mother is always there for me” or read poems like Wallace’s,  I shut down so as not to feel that aching emptiness. I can give love and comfort to myself now that I am an adult, and I have learned to do that, but I will never be able to know or understand how it feels to have a mother’s love as a child.

My mother died 19 years ago and with it the hope that she would show me the love I wanted, needed and because I didn’t get it, craved. I will never know if she would have changed. If she would be interested in me, my life, my kids lives. If she would share in my successes. More than likely not but then I will never know.

I only hope that I was able to extend the gift of a mother’s love to my children. I think in many ways I have. I know I loved my children from the moment they came into my life, those I gave birth to and those who came to me through marriage.  Now that they are adults, I continue to let them know I love them and am here for them when they need or want me. I did what I could to atone for mistakes I made. I keep them in my heart and wish them all the joy that life can offer.

To those of you who mother’s showed you the love that nourishes, embraces and comforts, I hope your mother’s day was one filled with joyful remembrances and some time spent with your mother. For those of you whose mother’s love was not available for what ever reason, I hope you were able to nurture your inner child with the universal archetypical mother love that is expressed in the video below.

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6 responses to “The Gift of a Mother’s Love

  1. This was very honest and moving! And I loved the Jim Brickman video. Thank you. Jeanie

  2. Thank you for giving me your card today. My heart aches for you and the loss of your mother’s love. How wonderful that you could turn into a good Mom. None of us are made perfectly and it takes time to be better but as long as we always strive to improve; What else can we expect. I read several of your blogs and agree with Linda that you should be a writer. It’s never too late. I enjoyed working side by side with the hostas today.

    • I am happy you stopped by and checked out my blog. Thank you for the kind complements. Your words of wisdom regarding accepting imperfection and then always striving to improve are so true. The trick is to not get caught up in striving for perfectionism. It is a fine line for me and one I watch carefully.

      What I enjoyed about planting hostas with you is the unexpected spontaneity of it. It was such a pleasant surprise to find you out there planting and then inviting me to take some hostas for myself. The back of our yard is really shaping up. Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Thank you Janice. Mother’s Day is always a challenging day, lonely day. I have tried to pretend it isn’t. Your writing reminds me to tell the truth about this day. My mother died when I was twenty-one. Over fifty years ago. I have often said that it has been a long time without a mother. And not having children, a daughter, I am not sure what to do with the day. Except to tell the truth. I am motherless and childless.
    I don’t remember much about my mother. I do have an overall senses and awareness of her. She was beautiful, talented and became lost in my father and raising nine children. Sometimes I wonder if she meant more to me than I could be to her. How big can a heart be? All I know is that when I left home at eighteen to go into the convent, she cried so hard all the way home my father had to stop the car. So maybe I had a special place in her heart.
    Strange too, I can still feel the ache in my heart when I think of her death.
    Maybe we were/are deeply soul connected. Cathy

    • Thank you Cathy for your moving heart-felt comment. From what you say I believe that you and your Mom :were/are deeply soul connected. I am glad that you had a place to tell your truth around Mother’s Day. In spite of being motherless and childless, I feel you carry the mother archetype in you with the work you do for and with others. Love janice

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