Russell and Duenes

Mother’s Day, 2017

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I’ve paid tribute to my own mother on numerous occasions, and of course, I still marvel at all the diapers changed, baths given, meals cooked, laundry washed, items sewn, beds made, floors vacuumed, kitchens cleaned, carpools driven, homework assisted with, financial assistance rendered and ten thousand other things my mother has done for me throughout the course of my life. I simply cannot imagine a greater mother than my own, and I don’t know how, humanly speaking, she has done it.

I also recognize that her becoming a great mother was no accident, for her mother, who is still with us at almost 101 years old, is similarly the kind of mother who needs too many superlative adjectives to describe.

And my mother’s grandmother, who I had the privilege of knowing until I was 17 years old, was also a woman of virtue and excellence in every way. So it runs in the family, and not by accident.

My mother will never have fame. She never ran a corporation or served in political office. She has not thrown herself into some “cause” for which she will be recognized. She has no PhD or advanced educational degrees of any sort. She never tried to “have it all.” She is simply a highly intelligent, diligent, patient, glad-hearted, constant, compassionate, giving woman who knows what it means to be a woman and whose legacy will be children well-loved in every sense of the term. I will also remember the many mornings she got up looking rather bushed as she prepared to go to school as a long-term kindergarden substitute teacher.

My mother has also loved my wife as a daughter from before we even got married. My wife is truly a third daughter in our family and my mother could not love her more had she given birth to her.

At 48 years of age, I find that I speak to my mother now more than ever. It’s not so much that I need advice with my 4 kids, though I do need it. Rather, I simply realize how valuable and special my mom is, and I want to enjoy her life as much as possible in the time she has left on this earth.

Our lives are all short, a “vapor,” God says. And in her short life, my mother has given herself to that which is most important: Trusting God, loving her husband, and raising her children faithfully with love, grace, care and truth. For this, may she receive “the fruit of her hands” and may “her works praise her in the gates.” (Prov. 31:31).

Happy Mothers Day, Madre!



Written by Michael Duenes

May 14, 2017 at 5:07 am

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