Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Invisible Mom

The Invisible Mother ( I don't know who authored this piece.  I received it in an e mail)

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the

way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and

ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on

the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or

sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner because no

one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am

only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this?

Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a

clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What

number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30,


Some days I'm a crystal ball: 'Where's my other sock? Where's my phone?

What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the

eyes that studied history, music and literature--but now, they had

disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going,

she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a

friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and

she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting

there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was

hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty

pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and

said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of

Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her

inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building

when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would

discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after

which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great

cathedrals--we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave

their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made

great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their

building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the

cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny

bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are

you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be

covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied,

'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was

almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the

sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does."

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake

you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small

for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but

you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As

one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see

finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The

writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever

be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to

sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son/daughter to tell the friend

he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4

in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a

turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That

would mean I'd built a monument to myself I just want him to want to

come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend,

he'd say, "You're gonna love it there..."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're

doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will

marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been

added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know... I just did!

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