I had a light bulb moment yesterday. It happened during a discussion with a group of ladies that I am getting to know here ‘on the lake’. It was so powerful I had to stop and write down the statement for surely I would forget the power packed words, once I moved onto something else. ‘Remember Me With Mercy’. Words spoken lightly by the group leader in relationship to parenting of her children.
We can say we did the best we knew. We can say we tried hard. We can even attest to sacrifices made for the betterment of our children. Those in the middle of actively parenting children can certainly agree that the role of motherhood or fatherhood is not for the faint of heart. For those of us with adult children, we have the benefit of looking back and replaying our memories and analyzing the good and the bad. We learned lessons. We think about regrets. We cherish the wonderful. Certainly, it cannot be re-done.
In my case, I know in my heart, I loved my children (of course, I still do). I wanted more time to spend with them. I wished for the ability to create different experiences. It simply wasn’t meant to be. My life was filled with competing demands. My time was short. I will admit, my patience was shorter. There will not be a mother of the year award coming my way any time soon. However, this is not meant to be a piece about regret. This an assertion that I did my best with what I knew, the resources available to me in a world filled with unrealistic marketing and messages. Idealism and dreams do not meet dinner on the run and soccer practice, after a twelve hour day in the office. God was ALWAYS there in the middle of my mess.
‘My best’ is, of course, a relative measurement. It is in my own view, with linear understanding. While I was trudging my way through motherhood and feeling the constraints at every turn with my career, at times, I felt as if my heart would explode. If you’ve received a bombastic response from me through the years, please know I regret it. A kinder, gentler woman (on the inside) was striving to survive.
So when I heard the words last evening from another woman who acknowledged her humanity as a mother in a brief moment – I completely related to her. When my life is in its final stages and its time to gather around – I have only one request – ‘remember me in mercy’.