Moms, we’re never done

I wish you joy this Mother’s Day, for we all have mothers even if we don’t have the role ourselves. To fellow moms, consider yourself hugged. Adoptive, biological, fostering: we’re in a sisterhood of sorts. Hang in there.

My mother was in failing health the last few years of her life. She was always a practical woman, and in those last years she kept me posted on the business details that go along with putting one’s affairs in order. “I don’t worry about you. You’re all set,” she’d say to me. I must have heard her say that half a dozen times in her last months on Earth. By which she meant: you have a family, a husband who loves you, and the wolf isn’t at the door. All true. Her repetitions of you’re all set puzzled me a bit. I know, Mom. I’m fine.

Only after she had died did I realize why she kept repeating “you’re all set.” She wasn’t trying to convince me. She was trying to convince herself. Only then did I realize how much I have that attitude toward my own children. Continue reading “Moms, we’re never done”

She said it: Louise Summerhill

Louise Summerhill (birthright.org photo)
Louise Summerhill (birthright.org photo)

“My personal conviction about the dignity of motherhood – without which I could not have summoned the courage to found Birthright – is based on scripture. It should, therefore, be meaningful to Protestant, Jew, and Catholic alike. In Isaiah 49:15, we read: ‘Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget,’  says the Lord, ‘I will never forget you.’ Again in Isaiah, 66:13, we read the Lord’s words: ‘As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you.’ When God likens his love for us with that of a mother for her child, we can surely see the dignity of motherhood.”

Louise Summerhill wrote those words in a foreword to a 1984 edition of her book The Story of Birthright (originally published in 1973). Today, Birthright International has chapters across the United States and Canada, plus chapters in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.

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