My Mother is Love


My Mother, Joyce I. Martratt and Me ( JP) at my First Holy Communion

Mother’s Day is upon us and I am the only one of my siblings that is thousands of miles away from my mother.   It is already that day on Guam.  I am sure the family will gather and mom will enjoy that,  especially spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

It is difficult to find ways to honor this amazing woman that I have been given the privilege to be her son.  In all my years I have never met anyone who comes as close to perfect as mom. No One.   It does not mean she does not have flaws.  She does. However, in spite of them, she has been able to live an exemplary life through some difficult challenges with remarkable faith and fortitude.   She is charitable , serves her community and is a leader.

Of course to me she is Mom, Mama, Mother.   I love her cooking .  She was a working mom so when she could actually cook a home meal , it was good.

I love the way she would comfort me by holding me close and sometimes scratching my back.  All the world seemed at peace and all troubles drifted away when she did that.

I remember fighting asthma as a young child and having some hard episodes,  my mom was there during the thick of it.  I held on to her comforting words and her hands as I grasped on to every breath of life.  To this day, she has this uncanny intuition of knowing if something is up with me health-wise. She will call from Guam and ask me if I am sick.  Almost always, I am.

Her legacy to us was her commitment to education.  All of her children spent all or most of their school years in private schools.  Most of us have gone on to higher education. She worked hard to pay the tuition.  She will also spend hours with us assisting with homework after long days at work. Her mantra was that an education was the key to success in the world.  I understand now it was not necessarily to land a good career but to be an enlightened person.

Mom is dedicated to the Roman Catholic Church and is a respected leader in her Parish and community.  What I know of faith and spirituality were learned at her knees.  We have had our differences theologically over the years but internally when it comes to spiritual intuitiveness and internal refection, I am my mother’s son.  Her faith is not born out of theological principles but of a deep spiritual conviction in her heart.  My mom is authentic in this way.  If more people of faith were like her,  I believe less people would be as antagonistic towards organized religion.

My mother works hard, and in her early 70′s is still employed as the Executive Assistant to the Commander of the Air Force Base on Guam.  She has been there for years.  She has been nicknamed, “General Joyce.”  She has been the wife of two veterans, my deceased father and her current husband. She is patriotic to the core.  Having lived as child on Guam during WWII and having been  incarcerated in horrific Japanese concentration camps, she has a healthy appreciation for freedom and democracy.

My mother is love.   Today I honor that love that she has shown unconditionally to me and my siblings.  She deserves so much more than what life has given her.  I am grateful that she is in my life. Today, I miss her physical presence.  I miss our conversations face to face.  I miss her hugs.  I miss and love you, Mom.

Thank you for blessing me with your life and love.  Happy Mother’s Day.

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7 thoughts on “My Mother is Love

  1. Dear son, thank you. I am blessed with you, Phil, David, Michele and Tim. My journey in life has taken me this far and I thank God every moment for giving the time to see how your lives have transformed each of you in the most wonderful way inspite of challenges. I see in each of the grands and great-grands your faces and I praise God for each of you and I offer each of you into His embrace, blessing each one of you as you journey on … we are His now and forever … we just need to listen to His voice and follow. I love each of you for all eternity … Again, thank you for your kindness in words … I am blessed …. Love Mom

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