Mothers Love Through Their Actions
Contributed by Myrna Lapres
Last week, I wrote about how the tradition of Mother’s Day was inspired by the actions of Anna Jarvis who wanted to unite families who were divided by the Civil War. This week, I would like to highlight a few mothers who also exemplified their love through their deeds.
My mother, Joyce Nyce Osborne, was a pastor’s wife. She not only cared for our family but also cared for the members of our church and larger community. When I was a child, my mother signed our family up with an international student organization and we hosted students who were too far from home to be able to go there for holidays. I remember dying Easter Eggs with Mr. Ogbein from Nairobi and sharing Christmas dinner with Mr. Ogot from Kenya. Through this simple act of inviting someone of a different race and cultural background into our home, my mom expanded my worldview.
When my brother died of cancer at the age of 29, my mother was able to heal some of her sadness and pain by volunteering at local hospice-something that she continues to do today. Although I didn’t always understand or appreciate the time that she invested in others, today I am proud of how she lives her faith and know that I have been greatly influenced by her example.
Dr. Ben Carson, the retired director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and currently the Secretary of HUD, gave a powerful speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. He credits his success to his mother. As a boy, Ben Carson watched his father walk out on his family, closing the door on a life the 8-year-old would never know again.
Through periods of heartbreak, fear and financial struggle, his mother, Sonya Carson, provided for Ben and his brother without relying on government assistance. A determined woman with only a limited education, she insisted her sons see their potential and that they never let circumstances get them down. She taught them that education would change their lives.
Determined to turn her sons around, Sonya limited their TV time to just a few select programs and refused to let them go outside to play until they’d finished their homework. She was criticized for this by her friends who said her boys would grow up to hate her. But she was determined that her sons would have greater opportunities than she did. She required them to read two library books a week and give her written reports, even though with her poor education she could barely read them. She would take the papers and review them, scanning over the words and turning pages. Then she would place a checkmark at the top of the page showing her approval.
At first, Ben resented the strict regimen. While his friends were playing outside, he was stuck in the house, forced to read a book or do his homework. But after several weeks of his mother’s unrelenting position, he began to find enjoyment in reading.
Being poor, there wasn’t much opportunity to go anywhere. But between the covers of a book, he could go anyplace, be anybody and do anything. He began to see himself differently, different than other kids in his neighborhood who only wanted to get some nice clothes and a car. Taking on his mother’s challenge, Dr. Carson devoted himself to a life of learning and achievement and he never forgot his mother’s early lessons or her sacrifices for him.
Through what actions has your mother loved and taught you? Did you tell her what you appreciate about her love for you? Need some inspiration? Watch how these kids move the hearts of their mothers.