The Chosen Mothers
By Erma Bombeck
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit.
Did you ever wonder how mothers of children with life threatening illnesses are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter, patron saint Cecilia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard."
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says, "Give her a child with an illness." The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."
"Exactly" smiles God, "Could I give a child with an illness to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."
"But, does she have patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she will handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has it's own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy."
"But, Lord, I don't think she believes in you."
"No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness." The angel gasps. "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take anything her child does for granted. She will never consider a single step ordinary. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice... and allow her to rise above them." She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing My work as surely as if she is here by My side."
"And what about her patron Saint?" asks the angel. His pen poised in mid-air.
God smiles, "A mirror will suffice."