The two most important days in your life are the day you are born
and the day you find out why.
(me and mom circa 1980 )
The fact of life is that we all have two parents.
A mother and a father.
If life is as we would wish it to be, we will know both of these parents.
They will love us and we will love them.
We will all grow together through both ups and downs.
Yet if life opts for a different path, we may or may not know our parents…
or we may not love them and they may not love us.
However, the fact of the matter remains— we all have had two parents.
And we all had a mother who carried us for, give or take, nine months.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that those 9 months can be joyous, fretful, painful,
jolting, frightening and certainly changing.
Most of us have one mother…
I, on the other hand, had three.
My first mother, my original mother, my birth mother, is unknown to me.
In early 1959 a 23-year-old woman became pregnant.
Plans did not go as perhaps they should have and this young woman up and moved away
from her home…moving to a large city where she could blend in and become,
for the most part, anonymous.
She never traveled home for those many months as her pregnancy was her secret to keep.
She gave birth to a premature baby girl and left the hospital shortly thereafter.
I eventually went into foster care until I was adopted by the woman who would become my
second mother, or what is commonly known as an adoptive mom.
(me and mom on my wedding day, 1983)
When I was a teenager I was sent another mother…a God-mother.
I say ‘sent’ because I honestly believe God sent in a pinch hitter because He knew
the turns my life would take and that I would need someone to catch me when I’d fall.
And I fell many times.
This third mother was the wife of the Dean of the Cathedral of St Philip.
Both she and her husband designated themselves as my God-parents.
They were keenly aware of the fact that I was in desperate need for Godly parental guidance…
and it was at such a pivotal age.
They offered stability, encouragement and a clear Spiritual direction.
This Godmother taught me the importance of what it was to be a Godly woman, wife and mother…
despite all evil attempts to disrupt such.
She also taught me about Spiritual healing…healing that was crucial to my very survival.
(a grainy photo of Ginny Collins from 1978 / Julie ‘Nichols’ Cook)
Tragically, due to my brother’s mental illness, my adopted family was a caustic and dysfunctional mess.
It was an illness that took a grave toll on all of us,
but perhaps none greater than upon our adopted mom.
My brother and I were both adopted, five years apart, and we each had different biological parents.
Mother died very unhappy and prematurely at the age of 53.
My Godmother then stepped deeper into the fray of acting as a surrogate guide.
Her support and guidance remained a key part of my life until up until the time she died.
She died two years ago at the age of 94.
On the polar opposite end of the spectrum of life and of the two women, I eventually lost,
is my biological mother.
She is now 83 and is still living–but where I truly cannot say nor of what path her life
Maybe one day we will meet and I can tell her something very important.
Maybe I will be able to say to her “thank you.”
Thanking her for the selfless gift she gave me…that being the gift life.
Had she been selfish, putting her life and plans first, you and I wouldn’t be currently sharing
this moment together.
And I wouldn’t have my son or his wife or their two children in my life.
The choices we make in this thing we call life all have far-reaching and lasting effects…
be they negative or positive.
Life is positive.
Abortion is not.
My biological mother chose life rather than my death.
So today I want to thank all three of these women…
these three mothers who were, unbeknownst to one another,
intertwined in a single life..that life being mine.
Be it either briefly or for far much longer, they each gave me various gifts of love.
A love that now lives on in two precious little grandchildren…
And so on this Mother’s Day 2019, I want to say thank you to three women.
Firstly, thank you to my biological mother for the choice of giving me life.
I miss not having known you.
Secondly, to Mary Ann my adoptive mother, thank you for taking me into your heart and raising me–
a role that was no easy task—I have missed you terribly.
And finally to Ginny, my adopted Godmother, thank you for instilling in me the
importance of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…thank you for teaching me
what it means to live, to love, to confess, to repent, to forgive and to be forgiven…
I miss your wisdom.
And lastly, I want to thank a fourth woman.
Thank you, Abby, my dear daughter-n-law…
Thank you for loving our son.
Thank you for opening your heart to us and our family…
and thank you for the gift of two precious babies…The Mayor and her new Sheriff…
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things
your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.