Stories of Kindness from Around the World

A Mother's Legacy Of Unconditional Love

--by nila, posted May 10, 2009

As I entered womanhood, Mom sat me down and told me that no matter what happened and no matter what I did, I could always come home. Because of what those words meant to me, I said the same thing to my sons. 

My childhood was filled with affection—lots of kisses, lots of hugs, lots of spoken I love yous. I never wanted for physical affection, and because of what that affection meant to me, I gave the same thing to my sons. 

I grew up in a home where love was openly talked about and warmly expressed. I can still picture myself in my attic bedroom, sitting on my bed and fuming at my parents. They had been mean to me and were totally unreasonable—at least that was my evaluation of the situation. They hadn't understood that I was a teenager and should be allowed certain freedoms. With eyes closed, lips taut and hot tears streaming down my face, I leaned back against the wall and planned how I would get even with them for hurting me. What would be the worst thing I could do to punish them and show how much they had hurt me? It didn't take long to figure it out—I would never kiss them again. That would do it! They'd see then! 

That's how important physical expressions of love were in my home. And those physical expressions of love were indicative of the singularly greatest thing I appreciate about my mother. She loved me unconditionally while expecting me to live according to her rules, not mine. From her example, I also learned not to focus on myself or wallow in pity parties. 

Both my parents came from broken homes and had difficult childhoods; yet they never dwelt on how dysfunctional their families were. They were both survivors, but not survivors at someone else's expense. In my mother, I saw love's ability to forgive. 

I saw my sweet Mom love my real grandfather, even though he had abandoned her and my grandma and failed to provide for their needs. I never saw Mother treat Grandpa Miller any way but lovingly, even though he was far from lovable. I learned how love behaves and forgives because I saw what a woman can do and be if she wants to—if she is not willing to let her past determine her future. 

I watched my mother take care of my hundred-year-old grandmother who, in her blindness, deafness and feebleness, needed almost total care. When I was in her home, I heard what I've heard all my life: "I love you, Mother." They would tell each other this a minimum of five times a day—when Mom would get Grandma up, tuck her in or prepare her meals. And I would hear love's response as Grandma said, "And I love you, too, Leah." 

Love forgives and moves on, focusing not on what might have been, what could have been or what we wish were different. Instead, love's focus is on what needs to be done now and on doing it the best we can.  

My mother taught me to love; she taught me to press on, forgetting what is behind, and she demonstrated forgiveness. I wonder if she knew then that she was demonstrating principles of life that my heavenly Father would teach me in His Word. 

The transition from my parents' arms to God's arms was easier because of what Mother did. No matter the hurts, the pain, the skinned knees—I now know enough to get up, go to my Heavenly Father and listen as He says, "Press on. Don't faint. Run with endurance the race that is set before you. I love you with an everlasting love." 

This Week 
Make sure the three words, "I love you," are always a part of your conversation. Sharing your legacy of love—unconditional love—will bless families for generations. 


Kay Arthur

11.3K Reads

Readers Comments

iferlamb wrote: It is a true blessing to have such affection! Thank you for sharing it. Smiles.
lilrobbie408 wrote: I wish that my mother knew how to show me affection like that, but, she didn't get it as a child so it wasn't something she knew how to do i guess, but, i am always affectionate with my own three children, because you never know if today maybe (hopefully not) the last time you could have the chance to show them how much you really love them and how much they mean to you and brighten your everyday, and give you hope, and reason to keep moving forward no matter how hard times can get, there is always the unconditional love money can't buy!
britz wrote: I have been blessed wid a beautiful mom n closely -knitted family system. God bless my parents and god bless all the parents who take care of their kids more than anything in dis world. Mawahhhhhhhhhh to them:)
preethi wrote: Amazing!

Its so true,we dont need to take revenge.

We can make a choice of choosing a higher path of forgiveness and love
Cynthia Court wrote: The words [ i love you ] has given your grandmom a reason for living and that is why she lived to be that age. What a heritage your mom has left behind. This is a wakeup call for all of us as mothers to appreciate and express our love to our moms. Thanks for sharing your story!
HS wrote: Namaste right back,ananda's mom. That is a very beautiful story.
mommakat wrote: What a beautiful story. Thanks for reminding how important it is to tell those we love that we do love them with words and not just actions.
Aarif wrote: Gr8! U know. In life we never appreciate what we have , but run only after what we lack. Only soon to lose the value of it once we get it. Love in life is gods blessing & lets not forget that not everybody is as lucky to the ones who got it to get it. God bless!
bju1 wrote: Thanks for sharing, your story reminds me of the true meaning of unconditional love, most uplifting.
jessi wrote: Dear kay,
Your story reflects a full embracement of your mom's unconditional and genuine love. Thanks for sharing your story for mother's day. God bless you and your family.

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