I didn’t always call her mom.
In the beginning she was simply his mother. So I referred to her as “Mrs. Jacobson” when we were first married and later, “Patricia” or “Pat.” Such an awkward dilemma, to know the proper way to address her.
After all, what do you call your mother-in-law?
Some years passed, however, and she and Dad moved in with us when I was expecting our fourth child. Dad’s heart wasn’t too strong, and we thought it might be the best for both of them. Good for us too. Maybe not always easy, but good.
Then I gave birth to our fifth child – a heart-wrenching and traumatic event – and one that turned everything upside down for all of us.
Mom quit her job the day our special girl was born, and she never looked back. She came home and poured her heart and her energies into helping out with the other four young ones – while I spent much of my time up at the Children’s Hospital.
Watching, waiting, and praying over our baby. Asking God to spare her tiny, oh-so-fragile life.
And God heard our prayers.
After two long years of back-and-forth, we were finally able to bring our baby home for keeps and look after her here.
So Mom changed up her role. Now she committed herself completely to our sweet girl’s care: tube-feeding, dressing, changing, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more. Five days a week. For ten years.
Yes, really. That’s just what she did. Never questioning, never complaining. She devoted herself to our little daughter’s many special needs.
If you’re thinking this woman deserves a medal? A banquet in her honor? A Mother-in-law of the Year designation?
You would be right. She does.
But I know she doesn’t look at it that way. She simply saw it as the needed and loving thing to do. So that’s what she has done. For over a decade.
And now? It’s not quite how it used to be.
You see, Mom doesn’t always know what day it is or where she is anymore. Or necessarily recognize our children. Or her own children, for that matter. On her bad days, she doesn’t quite know who I am. Alzheimer’s does that to you.
But that’s okay. Because I know who she is.
So maybe you’re a mom too. Doing what needs to be done. Day in and day out. And you’re doing it because it’s the loving thing to do.
Maybe you feel it goes unnoticed, and you feel a little forgotten. Maybe you even wonder if it really matters.
Let me encourage you – your faithfulness will be remembered. Your love matters more than they can ever say.
Your sacrifice will always be the sweetest blessing to those who call you, “Mom.”
Happy Mother’s Day, MOM!
Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women
*Lisa is also the author of the newly released book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband