This Mother's Day, Make a List of Things You Resent about Your Mother

Oh, and then throw it away.

When I was four years old, I got my left ring finger stuck in a belt sander. It sanded off my finger nail, and much of the skin beneath it. My mom made woodcrafts, and I'd been "helping" her while she sanded something down, cleaning off the sawdust from the table, the floor, and in a not-so-brilliant move, the powered-on sander. The cloth I was using to dust got stuck in the rotating belt, and my finger quickly followed. My mom turned it off as quickly as she could, and as tears rolled down my eyes, her soft, strong arms carried me from the basement up to the living room. We sat in the big pink chair in our living room for what felt like an eternity, my mom rocking me back and forth, holding a cloth to my hand, me crying, and eventually, her crying as well.

That's the kind of mom she was, and still is. She felt my pain so deeply, it caused her pain as well. I'll never forget that day, and the intense love I felt as my mom wept over me. I remember thinking that I'd never felt safer.

Ashley and her mother

Ashley and her mother

I've grown up, and my finger (and its nail) are fine now. But as childhood faded away and I moved into the Big 10 years—the decade from adolescence to young adulthood—there have been new hurts and wounds, both for me and my mom.

I got my driver's license, went to college, broke some hearts, got my heart broken, changed my major, forgot to call my mom on her birthday, graduated, came home, moved out, dated more, changed jobs, moved, and watched my mom go from mother of three girls to grandmother of five (all my sisters' kids). The past 10 years have provided ample opportunities for disputes and relational damage. We've worked through a lot, and God has healed each of our hurts in many ways.

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Ashley Grace Emmert

Ashley Grace Emmert is a writer, editor, and TCW regular contributor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dog. Find her at ashleygraceemmert.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @ashgemmert.

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May 25

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