Thanks Moms!

Today as I was pondering my thoughts for my blog and all the issues of the day… Today for some reason I had this overpowering impression to say something about Mother’s Day… not so much about the day as the person or persons behind the day… those people who make the day a celebration… Moms.

I have to admit… I am proud to admit that I have been very fortunate to have had the love and guidance, mercy and grace of many ladies… many mother figures… in my life. My own mother, Laura Frances Melvin Martin gave us the love, guidance, grace and mercy of a loving Christian home. She made sure that my brother and I stood on a solid foundation and tradition of faith and charity. She taught us to say our prayers and what that meant. She would read scripture to us and made sure that we had a good (for our ages) understanding of what she believed that scripture was attempting to convey. She taught us about forgiveness and being our brother’s keeper. She taught us to respect all people and never to put anyone down. I always knew that I was loved and that no matter what there was always a soft place for me to land… a place called home… a place called Faith… a person known as Jesus… a person I called mom. Thank you mom, for all you did for me… the stuff I knew and the sacrifices I did not have a clue about. You gave us your best and for that we are thankful. I do miss you very much each day.

Another lady in my life that was a mother figure was my nanny, Susie Coletrane, who stayed with us until I was about 4 or 5 years old. Susie came to us to help out while mom was going through some illness. She cared for me. I knew her as my mom. She would say often to my mother, I am told, “I believe my child is getting about as bad as your child?” Well, we knew that would never be, but I loved this lady. When I asked Shirley to marry me, we went to Madison to introduce Shirley to Susie and get Suzie’s approval. Susie told Shirley: “You treat my boy right or I’ll come get you.” Susie taught me much simply by her presence and her love. She cared for me and it didn’t matter who I was. I cared for her like my mother. I still miss her even today.

My wife’s mother, Margie McGehee Bruce, cared for me in a “You better take care of my baby daughter kind of way.” That meant she always had her eyes on me from the “I’m not sure about you” days through the days of “I guess she is going to stay with him” and finally to the “I think I’ll keep him… he has turned out ok” days. I went through many stages with Margie but I loved her through each one… in fact my love grew through each one. She taught me the long lasting element of faithfulness which she exhibited in her life. She taught me love for grandchildren through the sparkle in her eyes and the tenacious mama saber-tooth tiger protection sphere she placed around her grandchildren. She stayed with us several years due to poor health and memory issues. We laughed and cried together, but I think we knew we really loved each other. I still miss her even today.

There is a group of other ladies who cared for me and expressed a mother’s care in their daily living. In this group were my aunts, church school teachers, some of my school teachers, college professors, and members of churches I served, all of whom lived exemplary lives before me and through their living taught me valuable lessons on how to care for and love others, how to carry myself and be a man of God and family. There is an old African Proverb that says: “It takes a village to raise a child.” I benefited greatly from being in the midst of this village. Thank you ladies for sharing your life and faith with me over all these years. I will forever be thankful for you and the gifts you gave me.

Whether you birthed a child or not… if you cared for a child, expressed the life of Christ in the love for a child, you are an example of what a mother was intended to be. Thank you for all the love given admist all the pain that may have been given by people who did not know that you really were a mom in your living. Many recognize you as mom. They may not call you that, but when they search for a word to describe what you mean to them they say: “Mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Grace and Peace

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