By THOMAS HUKAHU
JUST before Easter, I received news that my step-mother had passed away. She was a very special woman with remarkable traits. The days following that were of mourning because she was a mother who showed us love and care in ways that some of our own mothers did not – or were incapable of demonstrating.
I spent the days after the sad news noting the qualities I have observed in that mother, a simple Grade 10 school-leaver and widow for years, whose practical sense and way of living would put to shame many educated people whose habits of wastefulness are unbelievable. Among other things, despite not holding a job for years, she knew how to properly manage her home.
I also noted how she related to us, the many men who over the years visited her home as friends of her sons – or friends of friends. She believed in the Bible and spoke of it as the most important rule book in the world. She was not perfect, that’s for sure – however her remarkable traits overshadowed whatever flaws she possessed.
Mothers’ Day is just around the corner and it is my hope that people reading this article can learn from what is discussed here and better appreciate their parents or guardians.
I have mentioned on social network how some mothers were the main reason why some of us have done quite well in our studies or jobs and are sure of continuing to achieve more in the near future. That is also true in the lives of many leaders over the ages.
The bond in life and Bible
It has been mentioned by many that there are two special women in a man’s life – his mother and his wife. The man who has a good mother and a good wife is blessed – no wealth or fame can substitute for those people. They are incomparable. A man’s many successes in the future could be directed and fostered by the bond between him and the two.
People who have read General Douglas MacArthur’s biography know that his climb up the ranks and rise to the top in the US military was primarily due to his mother’s support and will for him.
Over the years, I have thought about the mother-son bonding. Interestingly, that concept is present in the case of famous Bible characters.
A good mother fosters that relationship and treasures it – just as a father should with his daughter. There are things that only a mother can and should say to her sons that no other women would. Sadly, many mothers fail to do that and their sons can run into many problems in the future. (The same can be said of a father failing to talk to his daughter about the facts of life and people out there in the world.)
On Easter Friday, I was watching a YouTube music video of a rendition of You Raised Me Up, the famous contemporary hit by Secret Garden and observed that the clip had scenes from The Passion of Christ, the feature film by Mel Gibson. Interestingly, those scenes showed how Mary, the mother of Jesus, ran to his rescue when he fell as a boy on a path – and about 30 years later, when he was carrying the cross to Mt Golgotha to be crucified, again ran to give him momentary comfort when he fell down with the cross on his back.
That again evoked in me that concept of the mother-son relationship and how strong it is.
Having read the Bible over the years, I have observed places in the book that speak of the peculiar relationship between Mary and Jesus – and the way they communicated or thought. Sure, Christ came into the world as the babe of Mary and grew up as any child in Nazareth at that time – but he was special, and she knew it.
A mother-son relationship is not always peaceful for sooner or later the boy will grow up into a man and may look beyond the world that he was brought up in and start developing his own way of thinking which may contradict what view the mother has of him son.
The first instance of Jesus crossing the wishes of his mother and Joseph is recorded in Luke 2, where the family of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and other relatives went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover (verses 41, 42).
The 12-year-old wandered off to learn from teachers in the temple and on their return journey home to Nazareth his family left without him and did not realise his absence even after a day’s journey. They returned to Jerusalem and found him in the temple. Mary (in verse 48, and paraphrased) said to him: “Son, why have you done this? Your father and I have been worried and looking for you!”
In the next verse, Jesus responds and said: “Why are you looking for me? Don’t you think I should not be going about my Father’s business?”
The Bible says in the next verse that they did not understand what Jesus was saying. It goes on to say (in verse 51) though that “his mother kept these sayings in her heart”.
Another instance where Jesus seemed to have contradicted Mary’s wishes (for a moment) was when he performed his first miracle at a marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, as described in John 2. There the hosts of the feasts ran out of wine and Mary approached Jesus, telling him (in verse 3) that “they have no wine”.
In the following verse, Jesus seemed to have scolded his mother saying: “Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.”
That shows the mother’s trust in her son’s ability to provide solutions to a problem and the son’s decision not to just do what the mother says. Interestingly though, Jesus eventually came to the rescue of the hosts of the feast, as can be seen in the verses that follow the seeming reproach.
A good man will not accept a mother’s wish at times and there will be disagreement on some issues. However, the respect and bond remains intact nonetheless.
A book tells of this bond
As if those events above were not enough to underscore this concept of the special mother-son bond, a book I am currently reading further highlights this too.
My Mother Calls Me Yaltep is by local author Ignatius Kilage. I started reading this just after receiving the news of my step-mother’s demise although, I had first read the book when I was in Grade 9. Yaltep, the main character in the book is a young man who was born and grew up among the Kuman people of Upper Simbu. He had a special relationship with his mother, as would be expected in many traditional societies of ours.
Among other instances that depict this strong bond, the book in chapter 3 tells of Yaltep pelting the head of a teacher with a pebble and then escaping from the school because he could not bear witnessing the severe beating the man was administering on a classmate. The book tells of Yaltep being hunted by everyone for the misdeed and had to hide in some bushes until darkness to go home to his mother.
His wise mother fed and comforted him and early the next morning before people rose from their slumber, she took him and hurriedly travelled to Lower Simbu, to her parents. It was there that Yaltep would remain for years before returning to his own people.
The will of the mother to protect and care for his son is something very special and that quality is timeless and not bound by geography or race.
Here are some thoughts to wind up my discussion on the mother-son bond.
Young men who grow up in homes where a mother hold strong ties with her sons are privileged. The fact is, not all homes have mothers who foster and treasure that kind of close, motherly relationship.
It is going to be Mothers’ Day soon and I hope what is shared here should help people out there treasure their parents more. On the same note, parents also must learn to talk to their children about the facts of life. Failure to do so has been the cause of many problems – problems in the lives of their children or their own.
Also, parents should learn to guide their children more than to dictate – or expect all of their children to wear the same pair of shoes they wore. Parents must be prepared for such moments and be ready to learn from their children too. (Mary learned from Jesus. There are things he saw that Mary never saw.)
Finally, people are different and unique and should not be compared to another. For example, once a man is married, he must not compare his wife with his mother. Some men spend all their lives comparing their wives against their mothers. And they wonder why they have never-ending domestic issues.