Mothers Never Die
- Wednesday, May 09, 2007
She's alive. That's no exaggeration. She promised she would be with me always, as they wheeled her into the operating room to save her life. I stood there in tears, watching her anesthetized body roll past me like cargo destined for some unknown port, when suddenly she sat up straight and proclaimed, "I will never leave you!"
I was dumbfounded as I watched her disappear behind the foreboding doors. How she managed to marshal the strength to rise from that gurney, breaking through heavy medication, is still a mystery to me. How she managed to stay alive to this day is not ... even though she died three weeks after the surgery. She lives today because mothers never die-when they are remembered in the hearts of their children.
This is why I have celebrated Mother's Day every year long after her passing. Yet, if she were alive, I wonder if she would be in a celebrating mood. A Jewish mother whose 50-year-old daughter is still not married? What's there to celebrate, much less to live for? Not to mention my involvement with the Rabbi, who is no ordinary man of God. I can hear her now: "I never thought I'd live to see the day when a daughter of mine would convert to Christianity!" Luckily she didn't.
Although, I'd like to think that my mother's love was so great that it would have surmounted any obstacle, even her daughter electing to join the ranks of the very religion her family blamed for the murder of most of her maternal relatives in Czarist Russia in the early 1900s. For maternal love finds reasons to love when reason is not enough.
It is this love that I remember every Mother's Day as I honor the woman who imparted to me a tradition of wisdom, ethics and justice, rooted in selfless love and faith, inspiring me to rise to a new life of humility and grace. It is a love that was unconditional ... and often unspoken.
Several months before my mother died, when I arrived on her doorstep-stricken with muscular dystrophy, my life shattered, my career as a Harvard-trained clinical psychologist ended at age 34-she put her arms around me, and without a word she loved me, no matter what.
Her heart may have stopped that day so many years ago, but our love will never die, for she is forever in mine. And I will celebrate her special day, even though she is no longer here, even when I am too weak from the ravages of muscular dystrophy to do much celebrating. For I am determined to honor her undying love every Mother's Day... no matter what.
Dr. Beverly Rose earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and held an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School. Author of Mothers Never Die and So Close I Can Feel God's Breath, Dr. Rose has appeared nationally on radio and television. Raised in the Jewish faith, she is now a faithful follower of Jesus. Despite the daily trials of living with a neuromuscular disease, Dr. Rose experiences great joy and hope in her walk with the Lord.
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