What does a hood do? It protects, right? At a moment’s notice, a hood keeps us dry and warm and out of the wind.
So, too, does the love of a good mother. Her hood of love is ready at a moment’s notice. When we are distressed, a soothing word from her can dry our tears. When we are cold with hunger, mother’s warm meal instantly alleviates our pangs. When we are being tossed about by the rough winds of life, her embrace shelters us and helps us feel safe.
Like the protection we Catholics feel when imagining the loving mantle or hood of the Blessed Mother, who was given to us by Jesus from the cross, we earthly mothers emulate Her to the best of our abilities.
In pondering this concept of mother’s hood, I thought about my own mom. She, like millions of other good mothers, stood at the ready to answer the calls of her eight children. She was the first name we spoke when coming in from school. She was the first person to be there to hear our good news and our bad news. She was the first person to admonish us, and she was the first person to pray for us.
She was the first to brag about us to others. We heard how proud she was of us through other people because she didn’t want us to get big heads. While we all could have used a little more direct positive reinforcement, I have to give her credit. She wanted us to be good and generous people who try their best, and that’s how we are. And there is no doubt that all eight of us were lovingly held under our mother’s hood of prayer whenever we needed it most.
And even though my mom was not perfect because nobody is except for Jesus, I am thankful that she was given to me by God as my mother. I am ever so blessed that I was embraced under the hood of her love. She always knew what to do.
I’m grateful that she named me after the Blessed Mother. Mary was not going to be my name. Carolyn was. But when my mother almost died having me, she looked at my dad and said something like, “I might not be here to see her grow up. We have to give her a better name.” That, they did.
She left this earthly home for her eternal one in 2006. Her last words with her arms outstretched were “My Lord and my God,” as if she were eager to go to Him. I often wonder if I am living my life in such a way that those will be my last words.
And every year when Mother’s Day rolls around, I miss her more than I did the last. Yet, I am thankful to have been raised under her hood of love.