Some days I wonder if I make a difference in the lives of my children. I often feel like more of a lecturer/nag/maid than a role model or someone they trust and cherish, but every once in a while I hear tender words that tell me I really do make a difference in their lives.
A few weeks back I received six sentences in an e-mail from a son who’s been serving an LDS mission for 15 months:
“Thanks so much for being my mother. You are a great woman, and I am thankful for everything you have done for me! You have helped me learn so much and taught me more than you know. (I’m sure that you’re crying now. Stop crying. I love you!)”
It’s kind of cute how well he knows me, and that he thought to tell me to stop crying, but his words of foresight didn’t stop the tears, then or now. I still cry every time I read his message.
How can the same six simple sentences so consistently move me to tears? The words themselves aren’t especially emotionally charged. I’m sure most people who read them don’t cry. So, why do they make me cry? Probably because I love my children like I’ve never loved anyone else. I devote my life to them, and I don’t regret the sacrifice. My greatest desire as a mother is to have my love and service give them the courage, strength, wisdom, belief–all that they need–to realize their full potential and to live lives filled with true joy. When I hear or see something that helps me understand that my greatest desire as a mother is being realized, even in a small way, it fills my heart with joy and the hope that I can continue to give my children good gifts.
Reflecting on these thoughts today has turned my thoughts in another direction as well. I wonder how many times important words go unsaid–how many times important feelings go unexpressed. Marion C. Garretty said, “Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” Is it? How can it be if it is never expressed in a way that it can be heard and deeply felt? And if it is the fuel that has enabled a normal human being to do the impossible, does his or her mother know her love has had such power? How can she if she has never been told?
I hope that we will all try to remember that though we desperately need to hear the words of love our hearts are hungering for, we also desperately need to express the important loving words in our hearts.
If your mother needs to hear that she helped you accomplish the impossible, tell her. If your children are running low on the fuel of belief and encouragement you have to offer, fill them up with pure unconditional love.
There is unimaginable power in love! Use your power for good today.