Saturday, May 9, 2009


The memories come flooding in as I recall what I can of the 65 years I had the privilege of knowing my mother. There were a lot of moves and changes in my early life, but the one unchanging and strong stay was mom. I learned not only a mother’s care and love, but lessons which would serve me well throughout my life with its own varied experiences.

· When her marriage failed, she did not, but worked hard to provide for my sister and me. She did not cast blame but taught us dad was still dad in spite of their failure. Her loss of two other daughters, one older and one younger than me, was hard but she persevered.

· When she married my stepdad, she became mother to two others, my new stepbrothers, and did not fail to provide equal love and care for us all.

· She taught me manners, good behavior, and clean speech through her own lifestyle, with a little help from an elm tree switch and the promised bar of Lava soap that fortunately I never had to experience first hand, er, mouth.

· She filled my life with stories of extended family that gave me a respect for my roots and a desire to be the best I can be for those who follow me.

· She was the “glue” that held all of the extended family together, both her siblings and all of their children. And even their children all knew and loved their “nanny” as she was known.

· She praised my early discoveries of skill and talent and thus encouraged me to pursue a lot of avenues of excellence in all my endeavors.

· When I came to discover that I was a sinner before God, then finally to respond to His love’s call, she was the one to whom I went for counsel, and limited though she was as one without Christ herself, she directed my path toward Him. Then realizing her own need, responded, and together with my sister and I, was baptized.

· When I joined the navy and was gone for four years from home, home and mom were kept close through her letters in beautiful penmanship. Did I tell you that my own she was careful to encourage early on?

· When I realized God’s call to ministry and began preaching, she would often go with me to my first appointments.

· When I married, she drew my wife into the family circle with equal love and care for her needs, and because she was a member of the same small congregation, reached out to my new in-laws with encompassing care.

· When my wife and I left our hometown to study and serve in other states, she was always on hand to drive, often along with with my mother-in-law, to wherever we were, be it one of our children’s birth, our son’s death, our graduations from college and seminary, or just simply to say, “I love you, you’re not alone.”

· When we went as missionaries on the other side of the world, she saved her money, and traveled to that land to visit us, discover for herself our work, and return home to be a special missionary, come home to tell others about the work in Asia.

· As we worked overseas, she took on the task of our “at home” business manager, paying our credit card bills and managing our bank account at home. A sharp mom, she kept us on the “black” side of the ledger.

· When our oldest daughter graduated from high school in Bangkok, Thailand, and came home for college, mom became her special “mom” while we were still overseas.

· When our work returned us stateside and only a few hours from her, again she traveled to be with us and the girls, whether just for a visit, to attend their weddings, or to be on hand to hold new great grands.

· She was on hand with compassion when my wife’s parents passed away, and stepped in to fill the role of surrogate.

· When her own failing health brought her to the close of her earthly task just two years ago last month, on my 65th birthday, not a week away from her final journey, she sang me a solo of “Happy Birthday” from the bed she would never leave in this life.

Before I leave this narrative of praise, let me include these “moms”, as well.

· My wife’s mother, too, was a gracious and caring mom to me and she is greatly missed by all who knew her.

· My children’s mother, too, is special in many of the ways my own was. And though she often questions why I call her “mom”, the name I picked up from our girls, I think its just comfortable, and perhaps I see the character of my own mom in her, too.

· My grandchildren’s moms, my two daughters. You know, my own mother’s compassionate care, love and wisdom I see more and more in them, too.


And why not? The book of wisdom, Proverbs tells us why:
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies…She…worketh willingly with her hands…She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household…She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy…Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed.” (Verses 10, 13, 15, 20, 25-28)

Dear MOMs, wherever and whoever you are, be encouraged for your work is not in vain.


Mich said...

Thanks Dad!

I still miss her bunches! She always was there when we needed her to fill in the gaps...

Oh if only I could aspire to be as loving as she!

Please give Mom a big hug for me! I have truly been blessed with the best role models in motherhood, that God could give.

Amber said...

My heart smiled as soon as I clicked on your page and saw that picture of Nanny. I heart her so much. And miss her tons.

Hug Mom huge for me. Can't imagine a better mother.

Love ya.

Jo said...

Ok, got me crying.

I miss being able to pick up the phone and calling Mom at any hour of the day. And, calling for no special reason.

Since I lived so far away for so many years, there was never a Mother's Day that I could visit. But, I called most every year to Sister's Flower shop to have flowers delivered to Mom. They always did something a little extra special. I miss being able to do that and to talk on the phone with her on Mother's day.

Mother's day is now bittersweet for me. My only solace is that she's happy with Jesus and whole again. And, that she's happily reunited with my sisters and my grandparents that I never got to meet and other loved ones that have gone on to glory.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you and miss you so much!