The Strength of a Mother

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31:25-29 ESV

The other day, my mother, brother and I were invited to speak about our experiences with Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency (RTD) at Tampa General Hospital. I enjoyed listening to my brother tell of his experiences. But, most of all, I was amazed at hearing my mom’s story. I have heard my mom’s story numerous times, but as she recounted the details to more than fifty doctors, everything came to life. My mother has gone through so much.

She grew up in Nassau, Bahamas and lived a happy, normal life. The culture of the Bahamas is a lot more laid back than American culture.

During the day, she would go fishing, sailing, collect seashells, dive for conchs and then watch the sun melt into the water in the evenings. Her parents raised her and her sisters with the Word of God from a young age, and she studied the Bible with them daily, memorizing verses every Saturday.

After graduating high school, she came to the U.S. for college. While here, she met my dad, and they were married by age twenty.

Later, my mom gave birth to twin boys, Tyson and David. At twenty-two months old, the twins were struck with a neuromuscular disorder that would change my parents’ lives forever.

Six years after my brothers, I was born healthy; yet, as I grew up, I began to show symptoms of the disorder as well.

Now that all three children had the disorder, my mother’s life became even more complicated and difficult. How could a mother handle having three children with an unknown neuromuscular disorder?

My mom worked hard to raise all three of us. While I was growing up, she taught me more than words can express. She took me, Tyson and David to church every week, read the Bible with us and helped us memorize verses. She was joyful no matter the situation, even when we were going through our darkest times. Because all three of us needed full-time nurses, she hardly had any privacy in her own home.

Yet, her biggest rock has always been the Lord. My mom has taught me how to love, to be kind and patient with others and to follow Christ. Despite the countless trials she has faced, she continues to find hope, joy and strength in Him.

Anyone who knows my mom knows that she always smiles and laughs. She is the only person I know who can say she’s upset or worried and then giggle. If I could, I would write down everything that my mom has done for me and my family, but it would not be possible. To properly describe how she never fails to have the utmost compassion would take more than a lifetime. Someone told me, “Your mom is the strongest mom I’ve ever known.”

Listening to her speech, my perspective of who she is and what she has done for me has shifted. Thank you, Mom, for what you have done to teach me to be the person I am today. Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom I could ever ask for!

I would like to leave you with a quote from the speech that impacted me greatly:

“Has this journey been difficult? Yes it has!!! With the many trials and adversities placed before us we have had excellent support from my family, friends and nursing. Tyson and Paige live a very productive life considering the circumstances, and truly inspire and encourage me every day.  I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for sustaining me throughout the years, and I am indebted to my husband who has supported me even when the times were tough. Through the eyes of this mother I find encouragement in the hope that they will one day find a cure for RTD.”