Mother (and father) love may be more powerful than you think. Two psychologists at the University of Arizona in Tuscon say that when children feel loved, they become healthier adults. They based their conclusions on a study done with 87 Harvard undergraduates in the 1950s, who were interviewed 35 years later. Students who gave their parents high ratings on the love scale showed levels of disease far lower than those who gave their parents low ratings.
From the June 9, 1997 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
From The Christian Science Monitor (March, 17, 1997)
Mother love SURVIVES
By Gloria Harrison
From the May 13, 2002 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
ITHOUGHT MY MOTHER, Veta, was the most wonderful mother in the world. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her four boys and two girls. She was everything to us—always there when we needed her.
We looked on her as a survivor and as a mother who would never leave her children. I believe mothering is a lot like nursing. Like a nurse, a mother stays by your side, no matter what, giving care, comfort, love. That was my mother! She saw us through some really tough times. She did that for other people, too. One of my brothers had a friend whose mom had died. When his dad remarried, his stepmother rejected him. He came to our house one day and asked my mom to adopt him. She did.
We heared the radio report that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. I saw my mom start praying immediately.
During World War II, a large company came to our little south Texas town of Freeport to build chemical plants. The construction workers drove down from Houston, and they had no place to sleep or eat during the week. So my mother and dad put several beds upstairs for some of these men. At one time we had ten men renting beds at our house. And she cooked for them, too.
To me, my mother was confidant, comforter, and healer. I used to love to crawl up in her lap and have her rock me. My brothers loved to tickle her because they loved to hear her laugh. I don’t remember ever hearing her gossip or say unkind things about anyone. But she could be tough when she had to be, such as the time I kept sneaking into the kitchen and eating away at a lemon ice-box pie until the whole thing was gone.
Then I had a stomachache and went crying to her for help. She told me she knew all along what I was up to, and that now I could just go and get on the bed and work this problem out with God by asking Him to show me “obedience.” I did what she said and was glad to be feeling much better soon. I never did that again.
I remember how strong my mother was on December 7, 1941. Our family was gathered for Sunday dinner, and we heard the radio report that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. My oldest brother, Chad, was in the Navy, stationed at Pearl Harbor. I saw my mom start praying immediately. Later we learned that Chad was fine.
One day about a year later, though, my dad came to my elementary school and got me out of class to drive me home. He said that Chad would never be coming home again. I didn’t really understand. When we got home and I went in the front door, I saw my mother lying on the living room sofa, crying. She didn’t get up to greet me. She didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I walked through the house and saw my dad crying in the bedroom. I didn’t like what I was seeing, so I asked him to please take me back to school where they weren’t all crying. He said he couldn’t do that. But he went and told my mother what I’d said. Immediately, she stopped crying and got up off the sofa to be with me. I never saw her grieve again.
Some time later, my mother became a Christian Science practitioner. She had been healing all of the family, and some of her friends, through prayer for a long time. It was the most natural thing in the world for her include more people in her prayers.
It was hard for us to give up our mother when she passed on. After her death, on of my brothers told me something that set me back for quite a while. He said that when Mother was pregnant with me, she had tried to kill herself. She locked herself in the bathroom and turned on the gas heater. This brother was only about ten years old, but he broke into the bathroom and saved her.
Well, this was devastating news to me. I’d always thought that my mother loved me with all her heart, and now I was hearing that she’d tried to do something that would have killed me. It was as if a wedge had come between me and my love for her.
The disappointment and despair and what-if’s went on for several years. I remained unforgiving, even though I knew that my mother had been suffering at that point in her life because of my dad’s drinking and infidelities, leaving her with all the family responsibilities and deep pain.
Finally, one day when I was feeling assaulted by my terrible thoughts,
I heard these words in response to my prayer: “Let her off the hook! I am your Mother. I am her Mother. I am the only Mother.
What a release! I could hear, see, and feel the truth of this idea. At that moment I knew that my mom was free, that I was free, and that all of God’s children were free. I knew God had always been loving her and me and would never stop loving us. We both had an unbreakable love with our one and only true Mother. My love for my mom was completely restored, and I know it will survive forever.