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748902 tn?1286034758

Happy Mothers Day

Invisible Mother......  

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 me a question.

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 Mum. 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,  please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once  held books and the eyes that
studied history and the mind that graduated summa *** laude - 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.  Janice had just arrived 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 Janice 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: 'To Charlotte, 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:


No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

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

A legendary story 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, Charlotte. 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, 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.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.   It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

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 to tell the friend he's bringing
home  from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mum 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 shrine or 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, to add, '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 women.

Great Job, MUM!   Share this with all the Invisible Mums you know...I just did.


  Hope this  encourages you when the going gets tough as it sometimes does.   We never know what our finished products will turn out to be because of our perseverance.  
2 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
That's a great story Elaine.  How often did we ignore the things our mothers did for us and our children ignore what we did/do for them?  

Thank you -- that's a reminder that even though we may often be invisible, we are still essential........
758161 tn?1234168016
It reminds me of the Song " No Charge", cannot remember who it was who sang it.

But that show's Mom's in a simlar light.
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