(This post is part of 5-Minute Fridays...a space where Lisa-Jo Baker offers a prompt and hundreds of lovely ladies write for 5 minutes about that word(s). Here goes!)
She was young, almost 19, and unmarried when she found out that she would be bringing a new life into the world. They married quickly and that new little girl came eight months after the small house wedding.
There was so little time for fun, for trips or vacations or sleeping in and reading books. Motherhood began quickly and erupted into a full time job...one more, and then another and then another. Four little ones in six years. Part of me wonders how she did it all and part of me knows exactly how she did it...by putting her head down and task by task, day by day, making it through and loving as well as one can in between the loads of laundry and sinks full of dishes.
She did it all with so little at times... The house was small. The one income hardly enough to buy food for four little mouths, much less new clothes and sneakers and toys...There were food stamps for a while, and some free cheese...there were lots of hand me downs. She found bargains at consignment shops and new jeans at Amvets for herself. She cut coupons to purchase new lipstick at the local drug store.
She did so much with few complaints...or at least few that we saw. I imagine there were tired tears and muttered sighs, but she didn't let us see most of them.
I was not always as grateful as I should have been, thinking we should have done more together or wished we had connected in a different way. Perhaps she could have reached out more, asked more questions, offered more opportunity for conversation...perhaps.
Or perhaps she loved as fully as she knew how and now that I have little ones of my own I'm beginning to appreciate so much more fully that she gave enormous amounts of time and energy unseen. And I'm grateful for that.
Suddenly it is me that is the "she" in the lives of three little women. I hope they see that I'm loving them as well as I can...it's far from perfect on most days, but someday I hope they too will look back and say she loved us as well as she could and for that we are grateful. Funny how much more fully our grace for the past becomes when we become the she's in someone else's life.