The Mother-of-the-Year Award

Today, I will giving away my annual Mother-of-the-Year award for 2013.  While it’s true that I made up this award about 5 ½ minutes ago specifically so I could finally write this blog I have been struggling to write for a month now, it does not take away from just how prestigious the award is.  Mothers around the country WANT the Furry Bard’s acclaim… but only one mom can receive such high praise.  

A few apologies before I make the announcement for the year.  There are several worthy moms that I know that easily could have taken Mother-of-the-Year in 2013.  The wifie is one such mom.  While she and I do not see eye-to-eye on how to discuss mascara on her cheek, I have little trouble pronouncing her a fantastic mother.  Anyone who know our children knows that we have two wonderful little girls, and those girls are a  perfect reflection of their loving, caring, wonderful mother.  

My mom?  Also deserving.  I have never known a woman so ready to jump in to help her kids in any way possible.  I am so thankful that I sprang forth from her almost 35 years ago.

My mother-in-law?  She was in the running to win the award until she notched my hair while giving me a haircut this past Sunday.  Why?  because she was trying to cut hair and laugh at the same time.  Yup.  My hair had a big bald spot because of the woman.  To be fair, it’s wifie’s fault too… mother-in-law was laughing because we were discussing how we have personally financed a wing of the Plymouth Library with all the late fees the wifie accrues.  As we were discussing it, the wifie looked up her account and realized she has MORE late fees (perhaps the reason she didn’t win the award).  This sent my mother-in-law into peals of laughter, during which she attempted to trim my hair and hit scalp.  No award this year for the woman I affectionately know as Mama V.

So…

I am giving the 2013 Mother-of-the-Year award to my dear sister-in-law Becky Wright, the most deserving mom I can think of.  As many of you know, Becky has been trying to have a baby for a long time now.  This year, we finally got the news that we have been waiting for – Becky was going to have a baby!  What joyous news!  We shared her excitement as if it were our own – this baby had been anticipated and prayed for and was finally on the way.  

In September, on what was to be the day that Becky and her husband Kenny found out if baby Wright was a boy or girl, they received the unimaginable news… their precious baby had been taken to heaven.  This news crushed all of us, but obviously our sorrows were nothing compared to those of the woman who had carried this precious little one for nearly 5 months.  We spent Friday night together as a family, grieving, comforting, and loving Kenny and Becky as they dealt with a harsh new reality – baby Wright would not be coming home to live with them.  

Perhaps even more painful was the fact that Becky had to go into the hospital the next day for delivery.  The usual joys of entering the birthing center held only pain that dreary Saturday morning.  Pictures of smiling babies haunted the entire family as we waited and Becky travailed for hours.  Finally, the news arrived.  A baby boy had been born.

Now, I had no idea what to expect in this situation.  I know how heartbreaking it must have been, but everyone reacts differently to tragic situations.  So when I went in to see Becky and the baby, I was shocked to find a radiant mother, glowing with pride over her newborn son.   Wrapped in hospital blankets, Malachi Wright was cradled ever so tenderly in his mother’s arms, and her smile was something to behold.  I walked into the room expecting tears and pain, and was instead overwhelmed by peace and joy.  Becky immediately called me over and asked me to hold little Malachi.  As I took the feather-light bundle into my arms and cradled my nephew for a few brief moments, Becky’s fierce love and pride cocooned us.  Never has a baby boy been so loved by his mother.  

A few days later, on a sweltering September afternoon, we gathered under the shadows of a giant, gnarled oak and said our good-byes to baby Malachi.  With sweat rolling from my brow and tears rolling down my cheeks, I did have occasion to wonder – why did this happen?  What is the meaning of this?  But those very normal questions were again overwhelmed by the love of a mother.  My sweet sister-in-law tapped into her deep reservoir of inner strength as she said good-bye to the son she had waited for so very long.  Truth be told, most people gathered under the old oak tree took comfort from Becky, not the other way around.  Oh, I know her heart was full of pain – how could it not be?  But on that day, Becky showed us all what the Grace of God truly means.  I’m not sure I have ever felt such peace in a time of sorrow.  Frankly, I’m still struggling to find the words to describe the experience.

But I do know this for sure:  Becky is an amazing mother to a precious, special boy.  I am so proud to call her my sister, and so thankful she allowed me to meet my nephew Malachi.  It is an experience I will cherish always.  And it is also for certain that I can think of no more deserving mother to be Mother-of-the-Year in 2013 than the amazing Becky Wright. 

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5 Responses to The Mother-of-the-Year Award

  1. Don Kiss says:

    Derek, That was beautiful.

  2. Cheryl Rhodes says:

    Derek, that was an amazing tribute to such and amazing mother. I love her dearly and have her in my prayers. Thanks for posting this.

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  5. Dave says:

    I can think of no more deserving candidate for this years award.

    Well chosen!

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