Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It got me to thinking about how our mothers often have a connection with us months ahead of dads. Mothers are the ones who endure all the body changes that come along with having a child. As a man, I was told that having a kidney stone was the closest I would come to what childbirth was like. I had a kidney stone and thought I was going to die right then and there in the hospital.
If it were left up to men to have children, I think we would instead choose to get a dog or a boat — maybe both. Women seem to be able to handle bodily pain far more than men can. And they are strong nurturers. Whenever I cut myself with a knife or fell out of a tree as a boy, I always ran to my mama if I hurt myself.
I know many people who lost their mama at some point in their lives. It seems to leave a void regardless of when it happens. Mothers teach us so much: how to be compassionate but not to compromise, how to be intelligent but not intellectual, how to be strong-minded but not self-centered. There are many aspects of life that only a mother can teach to her children, or a woman can teach to her spouse. That is why God put a man and a woman together to be a family unit, and to have children who grow into mature adults with bright futures ahead of them.
That is what many of us want as a family. Whatever our family’s background, or belief system, we want a future that for our children that includes a good education and the choice of havingkids, marrying the spouse of their dreams, serving God and working where they want.
I have been blessed with seeing my daughter Annie growing up to be an adult and start making her own choices. I look forward to seeing her have all the experiences mentioned above, with me and my wife Maria standing beside her and offering guidance as she travels the road of life.
If you have lost a child, as I have, who was not able to make and experience these types of life choices, I will share this: I am a person of faith. My faith is the cornerstone that makes it possible for me to engage in the daily activities of life. I will see Abbie again, just as each of you will see your child again. Knowing this enables me to see what I have gained instead of what I have lost.
I want all of us to live inspired, every day, as if it were our last. May you know that fullness of life, and may it be filled with love.
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