Picture for a moment the hands of Superman. Okay, maybe Superman’s hands are a bit camera-shy – let’s try Spiderman or even Batman… No? Nothing? Me neither. Now, picture the hands of your mother. What do you see?
My mother has beautiful hands. They are strong but strangely delicate. Tanned, with well-defined bones and veins, but soft and warm. I would recognise them anywhere. I have always thought of my Mom’s hands as being ‘artistic’. As I think of what that means now, it’s hard to define – my Mom is not artistic in the conventional sense of the word. No works of art bear her initials, but to this day her children are evidence that she lived. Over two continents jerseys she lovingly knitted hug the folds of human beings she has loved, and across the world, her name is in the hearts of many as a friend.
Over the course of my life, I have watched my mother pour her heart, life, and love into others. She has created a home, a family and a life that has been full enough to pour out and over into the lives of others, bringing blessing, support, and laughter.
What do you see when you recall your mother’s hands? What memories wash over you as you remember the touch of those hands on your bruises? Do you know how many tears those hands brushed off your cheeks? Of the countless times those hands held your own in comfort, guidance, and encouragement, which stands out as the most significant?
As I ask myself the same questions, I find it hard to answer conclusively. If I am honest, every single one of those times mattered, because they carried me to the next time and the next. They reminded me that I am not alone and that I am valued. Because my mother said so, and that’s enough for me. In every good superhero story, the hero is celebrated for their interventions. But every single day around the world, mothers go quietly (and sometimes not so quietly?) about their business, making extraordinary interventions that are largely unnoticed and unappreciated.
Thankfully, they don’t stop their labours of love for lack of recognition. No, they simply continue to change nappies, feed hungry children, do endless homework. They cook meals they worked very hard to provide and make and clean homes that are a refuge for their loved ones from the chaos of the world. All this, while they carry their own burdens and brokenness. If someone has a broken arm, we don’t ask them to carry a box, but every day, Moms carry the hearts, burdens, and dreams of those they love, despite the crushing weight of their own brokenness. They don’t just carry them out of duty – they carry them willingly with love and joy.
As I write this, more memories of my Mom’s hands flood my mind. Through the mists of time, I see those hands placing the bundle that was my baby sister in the nurse’s scale. I see those hands sewing brightly coloured new dresses for us and for our dolls. I see those hands removing freshly baked homemade bread from the oven, and nurturing new plants as intentionally as we were shaped and disciplined. I see those hands covered in paint, varnish, and all manner of DIY projects. I blink back tears as I see those hands holding the hands of my dying father, like each of my grandparents before him, and my step-dad after him. I see those hands comforting my own friends during the storms from which they sought shelter in the arms of my mother. I see those hands wiping away tears of hurt and disappointment that I put on my mother’s cheeks.
You saw the hands of a superhero today. The hands of your mother. If you are reading this, with the hurt of never knowing your own mother, I’ll wager you knew the love of someone else’s mother because that’s the incredible thing about mothers – they have more than enough love to go around. A prime example of this is the New Mom Project, based in Toronto, Canada. Gwen Broda, a mother of three, has a heart for other new moms who do not have the means to purchase what they need for their new blessings. They say big things have small beginnings, and this has certainly been true of the New Mom Project. As a result of Gwen’s love and desire to help others, the project, which is run and funded entirely by other like-minded volunteers, is having a powerful impact on the lives of many new moms and infants. New and gently used items are donated by people who care and are passed on to those who need them. If you would like more information on how you can help/ donate, visit their website.
If you would love to help, but for some reason feel unable to, Oja Esho Jewelry market invites you to participate in the work of The New Mom Project by blessing and honouring your own Mother. To make it even easier, they are offering you a discount of 30% off on anything @ www.ojaesho.ca. Shoppers in the US qualify for free shipping, while Canadian shoppers benefit from a flat rate of just $10 for nationwide shipping. All you have to do is purchase something special to bless your Mom on Mother’s Day and proceeds of the sale will go to the New Mom Project. It’s not every day you get to spoil your mom, lend a helping hand, and get a discount to boot!
Fictional superheroes wear capes and sometimes wear their underwear over their clothes. In the real world, true superheroes wear the clothes of a mom and make sure the rest of the world wear their underwear correctly (and clean underwear every day ‘because you never know what can happen’ ?). Why wait for Mother’s Day? Honour your Mom today if she is still alive. If she isn’t, honour her memory by being the best that you can be.
Mom, you are by far my favourite superhero.