The Ethical Edge
The Art of Integrity
MY MOTHER WEARS ARMY BOOTS
Client Advocate Network
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise.
That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
When Russ Williams approached me at the end of 2012 about writing an article for the 2013 Ethical Edge Art of Integrity newsletter series, I did not hesitate. While I did not know when my week was nor did I know who I would write about, I knew it would be the right message at the right time. I understand now that it is no accident that my week is situated between Mothers’ Day and Memorial Day and that this article would come just a week after visiting my mom in Hawaii who is now fighting an uphill battle with cancer.
Like most of you…my readers…I have a special place in my heart for my mom.
She is the oldest of 9 brothers and sisters. She was a surrogate parent to my aunts and uncles. She helped raise and discipline all of them. To this day, they attribute who they are to her.
She has been a faithful wife to my dad (a military man) for over 55 years. My dad was in the Navy for half of their married life. My dad was at sea 6 months out of 12 and when he was home, he would work part time jobs so my mom could stay home. This meant my mom raised me and served as both nurturer and disciplinarian.
Mom was a good mother to me and my younger brother who was born with cerebral palsy. Most of her time was spent caring for my brother while teaching me to be self-sufficient and how to be a household helper. She taught me how to cook, clean, iron, do laundry, pay bills, do grocery shopping and how to serve others. All these life skills have proven to be of value to me in my life.
It wasn’t until a little less than two weeks ago when I was sitting by her bedside as she lay struggling with the after-effects of radiation treatments that it became very clear to me the great influence she has had on my life. I am living the life of a good, faithful servant because she has been that for me since my birth. And while I prepare myself emotionally to say good bye to her sooner rather than later, I know her legacy will live on in me as well as those I serve in my life.
This Memorial Day, as we remember those in uniform who gave their lives to fight for and defend us, let us also remember the military wives and mothers who stay to fight for and defend the home front.
Thank you mom…for everything…I love you.
Greg Arbues can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org