I can’t think of a job that requires you to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, with no paycheck at the end of the week. There are few jobs that calling in sick is not an option. This person needs to be skilled in so many areas. You need to be a cook, housekeeper, cheerleader, disciplinarian, referee, doctor, storyteller, protector and nurturer, just to name a few of the duties.

This job is that of a mother—and her roles are endless.

A popular saying is that God cannot be present everywhere and so he created mothers. Being a mom means more than just giving birth to a child. A mother lives, breathes and sacrifices for the well-being of her child. She is a good listener. She knows how to mend hurts. She shows unconditional love and is the constant giver of hugs and kisses.

Mothers need to watch over, care for and gently love their children each and every day. Raising children is not an easy task and to do it well requires daily doses of love, commitment and perseverance. Mothers do and do, yet ask nothing in return. Mothers cry along with us when we are hurting and will fight the biggest obstacle defending us. No one can comfort like a mother. Seeing her children succeed is one of her greatest joys, and watching them fail can be gut wrenching.

Motherhood is a gift, a relationship that never ends and a love that never dies. It is a blessing to be called “mother.” To me, it is my highest calling.

One of my favorite poems about mothers was written by Helen Steiner Rice. It is called:

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain,

It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,

It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may

For nothing can destroy it or take that love away…

It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,

And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking…

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,

And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems…

It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,

And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation…

A many splendored miracle man cannot understand

And another wondrous evidence of God’s tender guiding hand.

This Sunday, May 14 is Mother’s Day. It is my hope that everyone will remember their mother and let her know just how very special she is. Let her know how much you appreciate everything she has done and all the sacrifices she has made to make your life better. I know my heart swells when my children tell me, “I love You Mom.” There is no greater love than that of a mother for her children.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how important our mothers are until they are no longer with us. Too often we get busy with everyday life and don’t pick up that phone to say, “Hi Mom, I was just thinking about you and want to you to know that I love you.”

To those who have lost their mother, thank God for the special time you were given to have her in your life. I am forever grateful for the years I spent with my mother.

To all the mothers reading this, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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Cheryl S. Carter is executive director of Culpeper Housing and Shelter Services. She can be reached at 540/825-7434.

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