I will let you in on a little secret many of your moms have been keeping from you. I believe most of them would deny it if you asked. I believe you would only ask because you are convinced your mother could never, ever be the person who would be susceptible to such a thing as this, but you are possibly going to hear it right here for the very first time. Are you ready? Do you need to sit down?

Your mother doesn’t have to love you. She has a choice.

I know, like you, I look at my childhood pictures and think, “How could a person NOT love a face like that?” But truth be told, all mothers have a choice whether to love their child or not, and some moms choose not to. Having adopted seven kids, my wife and I are heavily invested in the world of adoption and foster care. Every time we hear the stories of how some moms treat their children, I think, “That is the worst thing I have ever heard,” and it is … for now. Only a short amount of time will pass, and another tragic story will emerge of a mother’s poor choice.

So what is the take-away from such a mother’s day weekend buzz-kill?

If you have a mother who has demonstrated love to you, thank her or if she has passed, be thankful. Her attitude of love was an option, and she chose love. Her self-control to know you and not lose it is of heroic proportions. Her willingness to prioritize family (that includes all those years of washing your nasty underwear, listening to your drama, cleaning your toilet, and being your free Uber) over her dreams and ambitions is enough for sainthood.

So this Mother’s Day weekend,

If all you have is her legacy, honor her.
If you have her number, call her.
If you know her address, send her flowers.
If you live close by, take her to lunch.
If you are where you can hug her, wrap your arms around one of the most valuable gifts God has given you; a mother who had a choice, and she chose you.