How far is your reach?
Far enough, apparently!
My son lives in the Philippines. In my son’s estimation of his mother, my reach is too far. I have entered into his world through Facebook. I have been making comments on his Wall and I began replying to his friends and employees in the Philippines. It was my way of being a part of his world. I thought I was bonding.
I received these e-mails from my son.
“My leadership team has discovered you via your comments on my Facebook. We now start meetings with someone checking to see what you have commented on about me. Their ice breaker; my greatest moment of humility. When I’m fussing at them about something and say something stupid from the heat of the moment, one of them will comment by lowering their voice then saying, “my dearest son ...,” and end with, “love, your mother.” I guess not even the miles can save me from your reach. This morning, I got upset about something and one of my managers said, I’m going to call Ms Betty and ask her to pray for you. There was an awkward moment (for me) of silence, then, everyone busted out laughing. All in fun, I laughed too. But so you know, all of my employees see your comments as I couldn’t bring myself to delete your profile or restrict you from seeing certain content. Not that I hide anything or have anything to hide, please just don’t ever bring up something really stupid.”
“Something stupid?” I responded, “I would never do that! Ha.” My son wrote to all of his friends and said he would like to live in a Jell-O house. I wrote back and told him he was raised in a Jell-O house with no structure and raised by an artist. His older sister was the only one with any structure. Apparently I gave out too much information on Facebook and I am not informed on current things. I didn’t know the movie or the byline.
Another e-mail reads “I’m a bit flattered that my friends think I have such a “lovely” mom. Have had my eyes opened to just how dysfunctional other people’s families are by their reactions. I’m OK that you pray for me publicly, and comment about my friends/employees. It has become fodder for the office, but a great way of people knowing where my insanity and generosity comes from. See you soon.”
His employee, Fred, is always looking for love. I responded to him that maybe he was looking for love in all the wrong places. I sent Fred instructions to make a list of what he was looking for in a mate, and then he would know himself. I was on my way of making friends with my son’s employees in the Philippines, all 2,000 of them until I received another e-mail, “Mother, appreciated, but I need to be their leader, and you my mother.”
He came home for the holidays. We laughed over all this Facebook stuff. He went shopping to pick up some little gifts from the local gift store, and met a lady who reads my column and thought I wrote about things that happen to everyone, but no one had the courage to say it.
She told him, “Encourage your mother to keep writing.”
He answered her with, “I don’t think so.”
Yes, my son ran from my reach for years and has finally come home. Stupid things? Yes, I continue to do them, but the love of a praying mother far reaches beyond oceans and continents and her reach has no limit.
Final brushstroke: There’s not much you can say, your mother will always be your mother.
“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.” Henry Ward Beecher, clergyman, social reformer.
I would love to hear from you. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.