HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER!
The sweetest woman who ever walked the face of the earth was born 88 years ago today. She died almost 11 years ago and heaven is richer for her presence but we here on earth are poorer for her absence. She was first and foremost a prayer warrior. I KNOW that she prayed faithfully for me. My consolation when she died was knowing that she would be right there beside Jesus interceding still for me and my family.
One of my first and favorite memories of her is her cool hand on my brow when I was sick and hot with fever. Oh, the comfort in her touch. I remember her giving me castor oil and gagging with me.
I remember her squeals of delight when we would awaken to a white frozen landscape. Of course, in those days there were no meterologists (that we knew of anyway) and no forecasts of snow so it was a total and complete surprise.Mother would have been an artist had she had a chance to be. I loved for her to draw pictures of beautiful young women and she was really good at it. Another of my favorite memories of her is making wall plaques from plaster of Paris. She was so anxious to see the finished product that it was seldom we let them dry long enough and we never seemed to learn our lesson. We ended up with many broken wall plaques that had to be thrown away. Patience, at least in that area, was not one of her virtues.
Mother loved to garden, wasn't too much on housekeeping although she did the daily basics of making the beds, tidying up (as she called it) and doing the laundry. She was an awesome cook and turkey dressing was her specialty. NO ONE in the world could make it like she did. In fact, the only thing that we fought over (good naturedly) when she died, was her dressing. She died between Thanksgiving and Christmas and had put some in the freezer after the Thanksgiving meal. There wasn't enough for all of us and I remember my sister-inp-law, Gay, wound up with it. I don't know how that happened. LOL
I remember her affirming words when I had my first child. She would say things like, "You are the best mother. I would give anything if I could go back and be the mother to you kids that you are to yours." She was definitely an encourager. How blessed I was to have her in my life and how sad I feel when I hear people speak of mothers who are judgmental and fault-finding.
Mother had a heart as big as all outdoors. She was always doing something for someone--cutting someone's hair, giving someone a permanent, sewing and hemming for different ones, taking people to church. I remember one night when she had our little Studebaker crammed to the gills with a family who had about 6 or 7 children. She started to drive off from the church parking lot and Margaret, a deaf girl who was somewhat limited in her abilities, started yelling really loud from the church porch. You see, my mom was driving off with a loaded down car but her own child, my little sister, Mary Jane, was not in the car. We have gotten a good laugh remembering that event on many occasions.
My mom was my confidant and my best friend. I will never forget my first real date. I had a mad crush on this guy who went to our church and my mom thought he hung the moon. When after about a year of her knowing I was wild about him, he called and asked me out, I thought she was going to hyper-ventilate. I think she may have been more excited than I was.
My mom was there for me through every heart break, through every triumph. How I thank you, Lord, for the memory of the righteous.
Mother never wanted her picture taken and as a result, I have very few pictures of her. She was beautiful though. Years ago there was a picture of Grace Kelly on a magazine cover and I've kept it because it looked so much like my mom. People who knew her "way back" when say that she was the prettiest girl for many miles around.
One of my sons gave me this poem for Christmas a few years ago and it is the perfect description of my mom.
This morning my thoughts traveled along
To a place in my life where days have long since gone
Beholding an image of what I used to be
As visions were stirred, and God spoke to me.
He showed me a Warrior, a soldier in place-
Positioned by heaven, yet I saw not the face,
I watched as the Warrior fought enemies
That came from the darkness with destruction for me.
I saw as the Warrior would dry away tears
As all of Heaven's angels hovered so near.
I saw many wounds on the Warrior's face,
Yet weapons of warfare were firmly in place.
I felt my heart weeping, my eyes held so much
As God let me feel the Warrior's prayer touched
I thought "how familiar" the words that were prayed,
The prayers were like lightning that never would fade.
I said to God, "Please, the Warrior's name"
He gave no reply, He chose to refrain.
I asked, "Lord, who is broken that they would need such prayer?"
He showed me an image of myself standing there.
Bound by confusion, lost and alone
I felt prayers of the Warrior carry me home
I asked, "Please show me Lord, this Warrior so true"
I watched and I wept, for Mother . . . . .
The Warrior was you!