A gentle hand reaches out; arms cradle a new entry in this complex world. A simple gesture, yet one that will come to signify an infallible bond between two, the bond of a mother's love.
I knew early on that my life was not to follow the gentle streams and brooks of my choosing, yet was to go raging down the rivers of its own. I did not realize however, there was always to be a clearing in the turbulent waters, a hand extended to pull me out. Always reaching out, again and again I would grasp that same gentle hand that had pulled me up many a time before. I quickly came to see that there was always an avenue of escape, a crutch to lean on; time and time again that mothers love would come through.
I knew not what would posses this wonderful lady to do such a thing.
Had she not problems of her own, responsibilities? I could only begin to imagine. My naÃÂ¯ve thinking assumed this could not be. For how could it be that she could do all these things and still find time to assist my in my childish mannerisms? If only I could have known then what I was soon to learn.
As a child I yearned, as all children do, to stray, to venture and explore away from the nest. Why did I have to come in, take that bath, and not forget to brush those teeth, what seemed to be every two minutes? Why me? I was ready to take on the world. I could achieve, explore, and conquer. After all I was already at the well experienced age of at least wellÃ¢ÂÂ¦ eight. What could there possibly be that I could not do? Nothing, I thought. Once again I was to prove myself wrong, a trend I now see all too familiar as I look back on life.
Yet I was not to ready to conquer, I was ready to stumble, not able to climb to the top and very capable of the fall. Yet there she was, that gentle hand, the soft touch, ready to scoop me up and place me right back on my feet for another attempt. Somehow never doing, just leading me in the right direction. But in one way or another I would see that direction and choose to ignore it, I knew what she was doing but wasn't going for it.
Those younger years inched along, lessons taught being filed away, stored to be used for future reference. Places and faces were ever changing like the leaves of a tree. Yet that gentle touch remained. Guiding, caring, and showing the whole way through, for she new that the time was coming. Time for me to stretch those legs; take some of that freedom and responsibility I had so desperately wanted. And little by little it was given to me, slowly at first, yet building with each new milestone: The first sleep over, allowance, that little red bike that never seemed to go or stop as fast I needed it to. I was on top of the world. Transportation in my eyes equals freedom. And freedom, well freedom for me always seemed to mean more trouble than anything.
Yet there were never any harsh words, firm ones mind you, but harsh words as long as I can remember have never been uttered through my mothers' mouth. Every stern talking to, every reprimand, even every restriction from those things I came to enjoy so much, was issued with a whisper of love resonating behind it.
Many times my actions were met not with reprimand, but with that same gentle hand holding me close to her. Willing me to be more respectful, use a little caution in my actions. For after all she loved me and I loved her.
Places and faces changed again. I resented the move, why should I have to meet new people, make new friends? I was perfectly happy with the ones I had. Why does it always have to be what everybody else wants? Still too juvenile to know that what I may have decided might not be the best for the rest of the family, I moped and cried my way through a tough middle school career.
Everyone already had such close fiends. Where did I fit in? What place did I hold in this strange town? The fact was I didn't want to fit in. I just wanted to go back where I was comfortable, where my friends were, and where I had already established my place in the order of things. Here I was a nobody, a loaner, an outcast. Yet when there was no one to hang out with, no birthday parties to go to, she was there. She was there to make brownies with me, to help with that homework I just didn't quite understand. That gentle hand was still there. Still guiding, still showing me how to place others ahead of myself.
With time new friends did emerge. Good friends, friends who cared about me. We shared stories, experiences, and clothes. Most importantly I now had figured out that it was that gentle hand that had pushed me out. Sent me to school every morning, prepared me for the opportunity to make these friends.
It was the same gentle hand that gave me those all important talks about school, work, and most importantly, life. A gentle hand that was never late to reach out when I had fallen, to gently stroke when I was tired, and to hold me when I was sad.
A mother's true love can not be measured with a device, expressed in an essay, or metered in any way. The love is to be felt, heard, and appreciated. It is to be honored for how effective it is. To be respected for its undeniable power.
I Corinthians states that "love is patient, love is kind, it is not self doing, it does not boast. If I speak in the tongues of men but have not love I am nothing" A mothers' love is all this and more, always patient, always kind.
A gentle hand reaches out, a gentle hand that grasps another. Yet this time that gentle hand shows a different bond, the love of a Daughter for her Mother.