What Was Your Mom Really Like?

My mom never uttered empty words—she spoke life and truth everywhere she went. She was a consistent example, full of true wisdom, and had a unique ability to make me smile. 

But she could also be…irritably on time…showing up 15 minutes early and then ask me why I was late. Frankly, she didn’t suffer fools very well either, often being impatient when people’s minds didn’t move at the speed of hers. I also always wondered why, with all of her reading and knowledge, her superior intellect, and creative brilliance, she wasn’t as generous as she could have been to build more space and capacity to share it.

After losing my mom in 2015, I’ve had countless moments in which others ask me what she was like. In those moments, I find myself creating a picture of my mom through words; I speak of her love for God, her love of music, her intelligence, and her strength. While all  these qualities were true, I realized that this picture was only a blurry portrayal of who she really was. I realized there was so much more to my mom than only her “perfect” qualities; the parts of her that made her human were just as true and beautiful and important. 

When we lose a loved one, especially someone as significant as a mother, it can feel like a sort of betrayal to think about their shortcomings. However, I believe remembering rightly is to see someone for who they were fully, to love them for their strengths and despite their weaknesses. This is the best way to honor someone. This is what truly loving means.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I relish in the excitement to someday be reunited with Mom, to experience her as she fully is. Oh, how sweet it will be to hear her voice, to touch her face, to hear another song on her Yamaha grand, to pray with her, and to laugh with her. To hear one more corny pun, one more brilliant thought, one more perfectly placed Scripture in the middle of my day.

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Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 2 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

8 thoughts on “What Was Your Mom Really Like?

  1. My dearest friend …..another “Sister”. No one more loyal. She travelled the world but never lost her
    “Yankee” common sense. Like me…she loved KJV..and had a scriptural answer for most everything.
    I miss our long talks..calls and long lunches. One of these days.

  2. Hazel a wonderful friend, always available to listen to new ideas and how to accomplish them!

  3. My mom was strong and yet humble with change in her attitudes. She accepted corrections when we complained about her complaining and she always looked to the Lord for her affirmations. She could wield the guilt tool like a pro to shut you down and she was proud of her red hair and her temper, which she tempered over her long years of living. At 87 and in a nursing rehab facility, she is looking at going back to her house, but my dad has COVID and she has to stay the weekend longer. I am glad her passing is a slow process so that I can have time to forgive her shortcomings and appreciate that I became strong through her very practical, no nonsense way of life. There was no place for the pity-pull BS feeling sorry for yourself. She always said that the only way through this life is to look to the Lord for your help.

  4. Rob, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. It is so true that to ‘remember rightly’ as an integral piece of their beautiful self is so honoring to who they really are. I still have my beautiful 86 year old mom with me and this was a great reminder to celebrate every part of her, even the less than perfect parts.

  5. Such a great tribute to your mom, I wish I would have met her on this side. I have often thought it peculiar how my mom became perfect soon after she died. It took me years to re-embrace the less than stellar qualities that were part of the full picture of mom as well. Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Blessed beyond measure to enjoy some precious moments with your Mom. Hazel was so loving toward me. Especially when my world began unraveling in 1993 starting with the passing of my Mom & Dad. In her loving gentle ways she encouraged me with the inspiring thought that they are now part of my “so great cloud of witnesses.” Yup! straight from Hebrews 12:1 – KJV, of course! And her masterful piano playing uplifted us. And what a treat! With great joy-filled anticipation, I can’t wait for the day we enjoy seeing our Moms and family members again. 🙏🏼♥️

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