I have always told my mom that, even long after her last child left for college, that she is still a stay-at-home mother. She chose not to pursue a career outside the home with her free time. She finished a Master's degree in theology and makes beautiful art on commission. She creates a home. And she has remained available to her grown children.
Together, she and my father have made for us a hiding place: a place, or sometimes a phone conversation, to which we can withdraw with our burdens and cares and fears. They are a place, a home, a conversation of love where we can enter without fear of any sort of rejection. They are there. And as my father is working and bringing home the bacon, as it were, mom's frying it in the kitchen.
Ah. Metaphors are not my strong suite.
How beautiful, though. We have relied on them for many material gifts over the years of grad school, illness, and sundry. There is no greater gift, however, I could have asked than this home. All my mother's years of daily grind for her are, for me, a joy and rest. I realize when I am with her that all the days that are, for me, grind and stress in my own home will be, for my own children, an unsurpassable gift.
Nothing was wasted. All was grace and love. In my hiding place with them, I have hope.