Mothers

I expected this past weekend to be incredibly difficult. I’m sure I’ve said it a hundred times, but I ache so much more for my children not having their mother than I do for me not having my wife. I fully expected the celebration of mothers yesterday to be a practice in misery for me. Many prayers must have gone up to God for me, as that was not the case at all.

I often find myself trying to imagine what my kids feel or think regarding all of this. That’s no easy task, as I have not lost my mother, nor am I a toddler. But, I want to be able to sustain them in whatever way possible, so I try. What usually ends up happening is that I assume all of these emotions that my kids simply don’t end up having and my worry is all for naught. Yesterday was such an instance.

One thing I was sure to do yesterday was to buy flowers to place at the grave. It only made sense to have the kids with me for Mother’s Day. This was their first time going to the cemetery, and I just wasn’t sure how it would go. I explained it to Brady a few times and he seemed to understand — God has definitely blessed he and I with his ability to comprehend so much of this. He asked to carry the flowers and to put them down.

I asked Brady what his favorite memory of Mommy is, and you can never be sure what type of answer you’ll get from a four-year-old with that question. Brady always has a different answer to it. His was perfect in light of my upcoming anniversary on May 14.

“I just love her so much because I love you so much because I love you and Mommy getting married before.”

Even at four years of age, Brady appreciates what it is for his parents to have been together. He always amazes me. I just told him that I loved that about us, too. Halle chimed in to say “Mommy come back,” as if she was requesting that she come home with us. I wish I could know what was going on in her little mind, to know what she thinks of this. I can tell that she misses Stephanie, especially at times, but she’s a very happy child and is doing perfectly fine.

I would be remiss not to mention my own mother here. It’s hard to express in words the appreciation I have for her. I know, because Stephanie was very similar, what it means to her to be a mother when that was her lifelong dream. And I know what a sacrifice it is. And now, even after all the years she put into my own life, she’s putting all the more into my children’s lives as she takes care of them nearly every day. There is no end to her grace to me and my kids. She somehow finds a way to balance being my mother — as a friend and supporting me through all this — and basically being my children’s mother — taking care of them so much — and all the while still being a grandmother to them and her other grandchildren. I can’t spend enough time expressing thanks for all she has done and does.

I want to thank my mother-in-law, who has also taken good care of me and the kids through all of this. She has been able to watch the kids as I do some of the things I really love, like playing handbells, etc. I never worried that she only loved me because of Stephanie, and now there is proof that I was right not to worry. I know other widows have experienced friends and family avoiding them because of the reminder they are of the person who is gone. I’m thrilled to say that no one in Stephanie’s family has ever done that to me — least of all Stephanie’s mom.

As a special thanks, there is a long list of other women in my life who have really been there for me and for my kids. Since my kids can’t have their own mother, they need other women who love them and guide them, and I am so thankful to all of you who have been “mothers” to my kids. I pray that you all know who you are, as I don’t want to risk leaving anyone out by trying to list you all. If you’ve spent time with my kids, please know that you’ve been a blessing to me and to them.

25 thoughts on “Mothers”

  1. Well put, Brad. I love your kids' hearts. God has made them so perfect for you and your situation. You're doing a great job. Like Brady said, "Happy Mother's Day" You are what your kids need and are able to provide them with love a stability and know when you need a woman's touch from your mother, mother-in-law and others. God bless you as you continue to play both parental roles.

  2. Well put, Brad. I love your kids' hearts. God has made them so perfect for you and your situation. You're doing a great job. Like Brady said, "Happy Mother's Day" You are what your kids need and are able to provide them with love a stability and know when you need a woman's touch from your mother, mother-in-law and others. God bless you as you continue to play both parental roles.

  3. How beautiful, both your words and the precious pictures. I pray that I can be the type of mom that Stephanie was, and it hit me even as I read this that I want to be the type of mom that your mom is also–The mom who is there through the good and the bad, no matter what my son needs. To be honest, when I found out Logan was a boy (when I was expecting a girl), I just kept thinking, "How in the world does someone mother a boy???" Coming from a very girl family, this was a logical question for me. And that's what hit me from this most recent blog from you–The way your mom has been a mom to you. It's so beautiful. And God is so good. We love you and your family so much!

  4. Brad you always keep it real thanks for being heartfelt with what is going on and for how much you pour into your Children…..You are amazing and I know it's God in you allowing you to pursevere. Keep up the great Job…

  5. Thank you for putting such beautiful pictures with your words. What a great response Brady had to your question. And I agree how amazing your mom is :) When I asked her the one day about her cutting her hours with the kids, she said "but they're my babies!" It's not just a duty, it's her love. What a testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Brad you always keep it real thanks for being heartfelt with what is going on and for how much you pour into your Children…..Yo​u are amazing and I know it's God in you allowing you to pursevere. Keep up the great Job…

  7. What a blessing your post is today–I have continued to follow along even though I never leave a comment. It is so good to see such a beautiful picture of you and your children. God is so good and your life is such a testimony to that-He is bringing you through this valley you find yourself in and how thankful I am that you have shared your experience. It is encouraging to know that as you determine to hold on to the Lord and not turn away He is there with you and your children. God bless you Brad– I am continuing to pray for you.

  8. Wow what a beautiful testimony to your Mom and your Mother-in-Law. Your children seem to be handling things well because you are doing as well as can be expected. God truly has a plan for you and your Children. May God continue to Bless all of you during this time. Enjoy your time away to grieve and get re-energized this weekend. So many people continue to pray for you and your children.
    Love to you and your family

  9. Oh Brad. This post makes me smile and cry all at the same time. I’m happy for you and heartbroken for you. I’m praying for you tonight. And I have to say – you are doing an AMAZING job with your sweet babies.

  10. How beautiful, both your words and the precious pictures. I pray that I can be the type of mom that Stephanie was, and it hit me even as I read this that I want to be the type of mom that your mom is also–The mom who is there through the good and the bad, no matter what my son needs. To be honest, when I found out Logan was a boy (when I was expecting a girl), I just kept thinking, "How in the world does someone mother a boy???" Coming from a very girl family, this was a logical question for me. And that's what hit me from this most recent blog from you–The way your mom has been a mom to you. It's so beautiful. And God is so good. We love you and your family so much!

  11. Thank you for putting such beautiful pictures with your words. What a great response Brady had to your question. And I agree how amazing your mom is :) When I asked her the one day about her cutting her hours with the kids, she said "but they're my babies!" It's not just a duty, it's her love. What a testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Beautifully stated, Brad. Our children, often times, are mirrors of us. You have blessed them with a some wonderful qualities to mirror.

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