Thursday, May 11, 2017

Remembering Mother's Day

I was 44 years old when I lost my mother. Not old enough. I wasn't ready to live without her and my grief was long and hard. I can't believe she has been gone nearly 18 years. When she died it was as if I didn't know how to live without her. Who would be there to share my joys? And who would share my brokenness - as only a mother can? Somehow during those 18 years I healed enough to go on but it wasn't pretty at first.

I was a dreadful teenager, arguing and mouthy toward my parents, trying to find a way to fit into a world that was strange and disrespectful. Only after I married and had my children did my relationship with my mother begin to be one to cherish. I had wasted so much time. I didn't realize how little time I had to make it up to my mother by being the good daughter she deserved. I so wanted to make her proud of me.

"But his mother treasured all these things in her heart," (Luke 2:51b NIV).

I wonder what my Mama treasured in her heart.

Mama was blessed with five children over 20 years; running a busy household for a farm family. Raising huge gardens to feed the family, the neighbors and many friends, she canned and froze the bounty to provide generously throughout the winter season. Her hands were skilled at cooking and baking and her generous heart always shared her deliciousness with others. Her love of serving others through their stomachs has passed through the generations.

She partnered with her husband to farm the ground and raise a barnful of animals. She cared for her children and their children much of her life. She was a seamstress for her family and recycled everything of value. There were illnesses, injuries and financial burdens and the overwhelming heartbreak of loosing her only son when he was just becoming a man. Yet, she continued to nurture and love and she filled the air with music and her love of God.

Mama gave everything she had to care for others. She took in those who needed a home. She helped her daughters when they became mothers and cared for grandchildren as they were her own. She nursed her mother and her mother-in-law as they aged. She celebrated the education and marriages of her grandchildren and watched as they attained greater and greater successes. Her heart expanded with love even until congestive heart failure began to take away her physical health.

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate," (Proverbs 31:28-31 NIV).

I miss you, Mama.

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