The Mom Chronicle Shorts

The Love Chapter

January 26, 2020

The bulletin reads the LOVE chapter, I Corinthians, Chapter 13. I pause to study the words I’ve read and admired so many times.

“Love is patient.Love is kind. It does not envy . . . “

I read on and on until I get to the part that says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.”

The choir is singing “I surrender all . . . I surrender all . . .” and my memories drift to a sturdy Korean woman in a white steepled Pentecostal church. Her accented English singing the same words but rolling the r’s into l’s. Her voice is lyrical and strong, tears streaming down her face. My 9-year-old self can feel her surrendering her pain, her struggle from years of fighting herself, soldiering on through the scars of a childhood that splintered her into shadow and light.

I can feel it, but it doesn’t make sense to me.

Shadow and light. That’s how I saw her as a child. Waking with the constant question, is she the shadow today or the light?

Shadows meant tip-toes and eggshells. Light meant full bellies of laughter and warmth. As a child, I loved being her daughter and I hated it. As an adult, I understand it.

Pastor Hannigan reads:

“Now, I know in part; then, I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

I see her now. I didn’t see her then. I know in full now. I knew in part then. The singing stops and with it, I bury the memory of the sad woman. I blink away tears.

“Love covers a multitude of sins.”

I think, today, the love my mother and I have covers the wrongs of the past. It wipes it away. Clean slate.

That’s true love . . . the love of mother and daughter. The understanding that this daughter who has become a mother can fully embrace.

The love that says, I know you did your best. The love that says, thank you for fighting your past every day to become the woman you are now. Today, she is just the light.

Honesty. Truth. Authenticity. I want to share my space in the mommy trenches with other moms out there. Words to live by: Be love. Love yourself. Then, love others. Love deeply. Love fully. Love well.

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