THE FACE OF MOTHERHOOD By Lori A Alicea

Dear Mom,

For Mother’s Day this year I thought I’d give you something money can’t buy; a letter of words, a page of my heart, a tribute to the mother God blessed me with.

They say it’s always good to start at the beginning, our beginning.

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THE FACE OF A LIFE GIVER

Our story began nine months prior to ever meeting face to face.  Before my existence revealed itself in your radiance and glow, I was your hidden little secret.  You thought of me and pondered me, embracing me with a mother’s touch of your belly.  The hours spent wondering whose eyes and nose I’d take after, praying you’d count ten fingers and ten toes upon my birth.

I know I was there but can’t recall the agony of you giving me life.  The night of endless pain you swore would never end, but it did when I finally made my debut appearance.

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It was love at first sight for both of us.

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THE FACE OF A WARRIOR

Then there were all my firsts.  My first car ride home from the hospital, my first bath, my first night spent in the crib, first steps, first birthday.  All those Hallmark firsts you celebrated in pictures and jotted memories; a recording of my life to remember.

What doesn’t make the scrapbook should make the evening news.  You fought fatigue and sleeplessness from my midnight feedings and every other reason I woke you up.  When we both should have been napping, you stayed up to make sense of the house, cook dinner, maybe fit in a bath for yourself; only to do it all over again the very next day.

As I began to grow you fought my fevers, bandaged by scrapes and kissed whatever hurt as somehow that made if all feel better.  Your day’s work included mounds of laundry, toys finding their way back to the toy box, the fight to keep the scattered messes from taking over the house.

You do all this without awards or accolades, you do it for me.

When eyes fail to notice the hard work of a mother, be sure it’s seen by the eyes of God.

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THE FACE OF LETTING GO

 All you have to do is blink and realize how fast motherhood goes by.  I am sure you didn’t believe it in the beginning when you hadn’t slept in days and thought you never would again.  But when the kindergarten bell rang for the first day of school with me carrying my backpack and lunch box and found my assigned seat, mere sadness begged the question “Where did the time go?”  The walk back to the car without me surely stirred a few tears, as I am certain you left behind a crying child.

Kindergarten, whether she is ready or not, starts a mother’s heart-clock of “letting go”.  With every milestone from that day at the classroom, echoes of that ticking clock ring in your ear; a reminder that a final “letting go” is nearing when I take those first steps without you or your hand into my destiny.

It’s supposed to be this way.  Life is a series of letting go.  Like baby birds gradually being forced from the nest to test their wings, it’s a loving mother who prepares their young to fly solo.

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All grown up now with kids and grand-kids of my own, it’s my turn to wear the FACE OF LETTING GO.  Like that mother you were at my first day of school I ask the same question, “Where did the time go?”   Clocks are always ticking.  Time never stands still.  The years have weathered your face.  Hard work has depleted your strength.  The investment of your life has paid dividends in mine and all the others that came before and after me.  You are mother, grandmother and great-mother.  You took us to church, introduced us to Jesus, taught us to be mothers and did your job well.

You are LIFE GIVER, WARRIOR, and in many instances, LET GO so we could have.

Your children rise and call you blessed.  Proverbs 31:28

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WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
By Lori A Alicea

Like yesterday the doctor cheered,
A girl! Or it’s a boy!
So worth it all to have you both,
This mother’s greatest joy.

But all grown up the both of you,
My daughter and my son.
So proud of whom you have become,
A mother’s love undone.

AS A MOTHER COMFORTS…. By Lori A Alicea

Surrounded by the arms of a mother.  A secret garden of butterflies and rainbows where only moms and kids allowed.  A hidden place of “their” songs and kisses to make it all feel better.  Like quieted birds nestled beneath the sheltered wings of its mother, so is a child who finds comfort near the heartbeat of the one who gave them life.

 As a grandmother peering through the lenses of our daughter’s lives, those angels whose arms are full with our ten adoring grandchildren.  I am in awe of their tangled web of “heartstrings” that tug and pull on a mother’s love to her child and back again.  Mothers hear every cry, albeit faint of her child.  Mothers know the right words at her child’s inconsolable moments.  Mothers sing that song reserved just for the two of them.

This maternal bond is a mystery.

As a mother comforts her child… Isaiah 66:13 NIV. 

Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:8 NIV.

It was a recent hospital stay for our daughter where I had a front row seat to the “heart-string” tug from our granddaughter Ayva for her mother.  Out of ten grandchildren, Ayva has always favored and found contentment in my arms.  But an inconsolable moment of Ayva grieving the absence of her mother had me dialing for a Face-time call to our daughter.  Just hours post surgery and propped up by a pillow, our daughter’s face on the phone was as a window being watered from a summer rain of Ayva’s tears at first sight of her mother.  Finding solace in their secret garden for two, Ayva’s mother began to sing their special song for comfort.  For a quick second I reminisced our song, “You are My Sunshine” believing my daughter passed it on to Ayva.  Yet the tune “Happy Birthday” was the heart-string that pulled on Ayva’s heart.

As a child of God, we never get too old where our Father doesn’t stop for the cries of his children as “He is the God of all comfort…” 2 Corinthians 1:3.  The love God has for us is personal.  He will meet you at at your moment of dire despair.

I was a twenty-eight year old divorced, single mom of two, when the comfort of God found me during a night of sheer darkness.  Never being on my own before and feeling the weight of caring for a baby and a six year old, I suffered abandonment as a child afraid, wondering the streets.  I was overcome by loneliness; alone, and desperately not wanting to be.  Minute by minute the heaviness of the midnight hour tormented me.  I began sinking in the implosion of my brokenness.  In desperation I cried out for God and His comfort.  As a mother rushing to the side of her weeping child, God came to me and pulled on our heart-string as a “hush” I can’t explain, which stilled and quieted my heart.

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you….”  Isaiah 66:13

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Moments as You Sleep  By Lori A Alicea

Find peaceful sleep my little child,
Soft blanket rest your head.
Oh hear my voice your lullaby,
And story that I read.

Stay calm and quiet in your dreams,
Your fret the angels keep.
I hover you my precious child,
These moments as you sleep.

Take comfort child when you awake,
You’ll always find me here.
For every cry though loud or faint,
My love forever near.

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you….”  Isaiah 66:13