Mothers are God’s special gift to universe

Published 5:07 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dear Faya Rose:

I want to lift you in a special way on this Mother’s Day. It is not enough to lift you in my mind and heart and words spoken privately. I am lifting you publicly by way of this open letter for Mother’s Day. You are that special of a mother. As I lift you, I lift all mothers.

God created mothers as a special gift to the universe. Part of the gift is that mothers help without expectation of any return. Therefore, mothers are taken for granted again and again and again. I don’t want you (or other mothers) to be taken for granted. I want every mother to know that she is appreciated. I want you to know even among mothers who are special, you are extraordinary. I lift you for the mother you have been, are being and will be.

Faya, I remember when you told me that it was time for us to have children. It was a statement not open to debate.  It was early in our marriage, and I was caught off guard. I knew you cared deeply for children because you worked so faithfully with them before and after our marriage.  Still, I did not know that you were interested in having children yourself. I lift you as the mother of our children by birth.

I have observed you firsthand as a mother. I saw you being mother to our three children by birth. I saw you being mother to our four children by foster relationship. I saw you being a mother to 30-plus other children who lived with us at one time or another. I saw you being mother to the thousands of children who came through B-BAC (Black Belt Arts and Culture Center) and Twenty-First Century Youth Leadership Movement (21C). I saw you being mother to the children of our children. I saw you being a mother to children wherever you met with them. I lift you as mother of many.

Faya, I recall that each time a community child did not have a place to live, people said, “Take him/her to Rose Sanders.” They never said take him/her to Hank Sanders or even to Hank and Rose Sanders.  They said, “Take him/her to Rose Sanders.” Your mother’s heart was always open. More importantly, your home was as open as your heart, and that is very, very rare. I lift you as mother of those who have no place to go.

I saw how you stepped up to help with our grandchildren. Even as you entered the downside of your sixties, you often kept six of our grandchildren when their mother and father attended law school on weekends as well as some weekdays. As busy as you were, your heart and home were always open.

Even now, I see how you recognize that one or the other of our grandchildren requires special attention.  You always find a way to spend individual time with each grandchild in need. You have a mother’s eye as well as a mother’s heart. I lift you as a mother of those in need.

Faya, I saw how you integrated your children by birth as well as other children in your work with the Black Belt Arts and Culture Center and the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement. You spent so much time with other people’s children until some parents thought you had to be making money off their children. The truth is you were spending your money on their children. I lift you as the mother of other people’s children.

I saw how you not only helped individual children but how hard you tried to change institutions so every child could have a better life. It’s one thing to try to help individual children but a totally different thing to try to change institutions so all our children are helped. Changing institutions stimulates vicious attacks.

In spite of the many attacks, you never stopped struggling to make the community a better place so that all children could have a better chance. I lift you as a mother trying to make the world a better place for all children.

Faya, I saw how you created life, nourished life and lifted life. I cannot create life as you did. I cannot nourish life as you did. I can, however, lift life. I lift you and your life as a Mother. I lift your life as a mother in this open letter on Mother’s Day so that others can see your powerful example.  Thank you for being a mother to so many in a multitude of ways.

Too often those who do the most are the least appreciated. Mothers are a prime example. I am so glad there is a Mother’s Day to help us appreciate mothers, God’s special gift to the universe.