Posted Courtesy of Wright Enterprises Community Spotlight~~~
Commentary by Jackie Wright Text Only
May 10, 2020
Mothers, whether near, far or in eternity are to be lauded. The matrix of moms has been celebrated since time immemorial. "Mother's Day" codified in the United States in 1914 with President Woodrow Wilson's proclamation and fueling "God, Mom and Apple Pie" has motivated sons and daughters to march to war to defend deep held beliefs. Yet, too often their sacrifices were made to fuel the economic engines of society and had little to do with democratic ideals and the protection of home and hearth. That is a thought for another time.
Today, we honor mothers; the carriers of the torch of life, the keepers of the fire —fanning the flames to keep us going when life's burdens feel too heavy to bear.
I chuckle in my heart to think of one of my last visits with my father's great aunt Mary Davis of Jacksonville, Florida, who we called "Annie." There out of the blue of the silence that comes from those who know each yet do not have to say anything, Annie blurted out "It's a good thing God made mothers cause the children would be all dead, if there were only fathers." This was from a lady in her early '90's who had no children of her own. Why out of the blue as we were sitting at the nursing facility did Annie say that? Was she remembering some specific past event or was it the result of the observations of her life? I didn't ask. We just sat back in silence. Over the years as I have thought of that statement, it has always reminded me of the need for balance in life. It's good to have the grace of a mother balanced with the strong provision of a father. In this world, the balance of a father's often stern guiding hand and a mother's soothing encouragement are not often found in tandem.
Thanks be to God I was blessed to have a mother, who at one point in time had to be both "mother and father" due to the love of her life dying in a helicopter crash in the Mekong River of Vietnam.
"Sweet Fay!" Even people outside of our family called Ouida (We-dah) Fay Wright, "sweet Fay." My mother died on the same day as my father, Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr., six years after his death on March 9, 1964 between Vinh Long and Sadec, Vietnam. My siblings and I paid tribute to her life and legacy when we had our father moved from a segregated cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida to Arlington National Cemetery, March 10, 2014, 50 years after his death and 44 years after she was laid to rest in the historic Green Acres Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.
Mother's Day in this worldwide pandemic has intensified reflection during what is always a very sentimental time. There is more time for deep introspection. We're all shoved into our homes to confront ourselves. Almost all the distractions have been stripped away. (My goodness, if I have to peer into the home of another celebrity, I'm gonna scream! I might as well get the ice cream out because it's going to be a while even as the country begins to open up there is no clear end to it all. I digress. )
Yep! Close and personal pandemic musings looking at the other person, day in and day out, makes you ask that powerful one word question that parents dread to hear, "WHY!" Why are we here" What is all about, Alfie?"
But…it is an exciting time to reflect as to why you are with that person you promised to build a life with. If you can get back to the real reason that drove the connection in the first place, then you may find the need to rekindle the fire that dwindled because of life's many distractions.
The close quarters of your immediate household as all are sheltered in place is showing whether relationships are good, bad, ugly or indifferent. It's an opportunity, a blessing that has been given. It's the family that is at the core of our prosperity and being. The family should drive everything. It's time to evaluate, create cottage industries and appreciate the gifts of each other. It's time to realize your family values should have precedence over your corporate career plans or job.
In most homes, it will be the mother that will determine the barometric pressure of the home. Mother's Day is tough this year! In our country alone, in this short period of time, over 80,000 mothers have been impacted as their sons and daughters have died from COVID-19. Over 1 million people have been confirmed to have virus. Thank God over 200,000 have recovered so far. May more be added to those statistics.
As Bishop TD Jakes this Mother's Day paid tribute to mothers after a motivational sermon from I Kings 17 with the case study of the "Widow of Zarephath," the realization of the impact of COVID-19 hit home as the names of mothers who had died from the disease scrolled across the screen as musical guest Fantasia sang "Amazing Grace." Not only are mothers mourning their children, there are young children and adult children mourning their mothers. Mother's Day 2020 is somber.
For those grieving their mothers due to the pandemic or just from life's sad occurrences, I will say that the Creator can be embraced as both mother and father, if need be. "Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." Psalm 27:10 was introduced to me quickly after the death of my father when I was ten years old. It was Mama Nora who gave me that promise from the Holy Bible. She was my father's maternal grandmother, who had lost her two adult children to death, before she also had to stand over the grave of the last of her prodigy, my father. Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. was the only son and a favorite son. Remembering her grandson often, she would always say, "We thought Junior was a piece of Jesus!" With her sage advice from Psalm 27, I was empowered to know I was not an orphan. I had a heavenly mother and father in the Creator who had created my parents.
I also found that there were mothers all around from our neighborhood, Mrs. Gladys Guydon, a mother of four, who always opened her door for this sometimes lonely teenager; my cousin who lived across the street, Katie Morris, mother of three, who redeemed our home 1103 Bedford Avenue, Columbus, Georgia and made it into a home for seniors; Mrs. Sibert-Woodall, who loved my mother her club member and who emotionally adopted my daughter as her grandchild; to Mrs. Mildred Dent, mother of four, who had a fifth child with my sister Phyllis who was always welcomed to their home. I will not forget how Mrs. Dent, her husband Tommy and daughter Joyce Fitzpatrick, now a Lieutenant with the Columbus Police Department, joined us on March 3, 2014 at Green Acres Cemetery as our mother was excavated from her grave of 44 years. It was the day after Phyllis and I, along with our father's aging cousins, Ida Lee Bennett and Anna Mae Bordeaux witnessed the exhumation of our father.
You really don't realize how important it is to have someone stand in the gap with you, especially when you are doing something you've never done before and you don't even know of anyone that has done such a thing; you don't realize it until it happens or it's over.
Thank God for mothers who are all around because they are exemplary of God. "God is love." God is omnipresent.
Celebrate your mother today. Celebrate her every day. Celebrate her whether she is present or in the presence of the Creator.
Dear mothers who are grieving their children, who are not in their arms, yet are found in God's Everlasting Arms (Deuteronomy 33:27), may you find comfort also in the arms of the one who created you.
An overriding lesson from this worldwide plague: "It's not the things in the world that count, as lavish as they may be; it's how we treat each other around the things that really matters. WE count above all THINGS.
Enjoy Mother's Day! You would not be here without yours!