Statue of mother with children at the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno
A few days ago I remembered my own mother on the centennial of her birth. But on this Mother’s day, I’d like to acknowledge my wife Jane, for her lifetime of loving mothering.
Jane lost her own mother to cancer when she was just a teenager and she spent countless hours caring for her ailing mother. Devastated by that loss she proceeded to chart her own independent life course—one in which she became, as Dickens said of Copperfield, the hero of her own life.
Jane’s parental style is characterized by unconditional love. To this day they are never far from her mind. She still tries to shield them from life’s pain and labors to the point of exhaustion on their behalf. Her only wish? That she had more hands and more time.
She does all this because that’s the life she chooses. That is where her joy is—in service and sacrifice. You can psychoanalyze all you want. Maybe she should take her life’s savings and travel the world. Perhaps she should pursue art or music or writing. Perhaps.
But perhaps we need more people in this world who love unconditionally. Maybe we need more saints and fewer sinners. Maybe in giving we truly do receive. All I know is that the world is a better place because of her lovely soul. If love is the answer then Jane is part of the answer.
There is so much ugliness in this world. So how lucky for me and my children that we have been surrounded by her love. She is truly “a lily among the thistles.”