She was the most beautiful girl in the graduating class; add to that among the brightest. As part of tradition, students with honours were asked to bring their parents during graduation. When her name was called, she marched on stage to accept the diploma, but no parent came forward instead it was her best friend who pinned the medal. After the ceremony, her friend asked why she didn’t have her parents around. She responded, “My father left us, while I’m ashamed of my mother, she is ugly.”
Arriving home, she was surprised that her mother had cooked special food to celebrate her achievements. Instead of thanking her mother, she simply showed her the diploma and the medal, and rushed to her room to check on her Facebook. As friends and neighbours partook of the meal, she remained in her room, until one of their elderly neighbours whom she admired, knocked and asked her to join. As they were heading towards the dining table, the neighbour asked her why she didn’t invite her mother to the graduation adding that throughout the day her mother was in tears while cooking the food. She responded, “I don’t want my schoolmates to see my mother with all the scars in her face. She’ll ruin my reputation.”
The neighbour asked her, “Do you know how she got all those scars?”
She responded, “No. And I never cared to ask.”
“Well I will tell you,” continued the neighbour, “When you were one year old, your house was burned, while your mother was washing dirty baby linen outside. As the raging fire ate up most of the house your mother barged through it bringing a wet blanket. She arrived at the room, and carefully wrapped her beautiful baby who was crying. Your mother carried you safely through the fire, but nearly died of the burns that ravaged her body and most of her face. She was as beautiful as you are; but didn’t mind losing that to save her baby – you.”
For a moment, the daughter fell silent, as tears flowed from her eyes. She rushed to her mother, knelt down and begged for forgiveness, before stunned guests.
The mother hugged her daughter and said, “I understand how you felt. But I didn’t mind it at all, for you are so precious to me, and always will be. I forgive you and if I have to go through a burning house again to save you, I won’t hesitate. I love you.”
The priest in our parish narrated a much shorter version of this story on May 12, 2013 during Mother’s Day. I added more details and narratives to honour all the mothers in the world, who do so much for their children, yet the latter often fail to appreciate their sacrifices.
Say “I love you” to your mother, if you haven’t done that as yet. Let us always honour our mother, the most beautiful gift of God to the children of the world.