My mother died one year ago today. I miss her. I know that she is in the presence of the Lord, awaiting my arrival, but I miss her presence here.
A few years ago my mother asked me how I was going to remember her. I didn't have a good answer at the time, but I thought about it a lot. One thing that I will remember most is her hands. They were gentle, compassionate, and productive. I can see her now preparing sandwiches for a tea, stitching a quilt, sewing beautiful clothes for my sister and me, and holding and rocking my younger brother when he was sick with asthma. When I called my mother's friend (our minister's wife from 45 years ago) to tell her mother had died, she told me that she still had some things that my mother had made for her and how pecious they were to her. Mother spent a lifetime caring for others. She opened her heart and her hands to those in need.
I will remember my mother's voice. She often told the story about the teacher that told her, "Wanda, just dance, don't sing." From that time on my mother was reluctant to sing when anyone could hear her, but she chose to "make melody in her heart." However, she sang to her children and I can't hear or sing the song, "When He Cometh" without thinking of my mother. And I can hear her singing it in my daughter's ear as she rocked her to sleep.
And lastly, I will remember her "momisms." "You have to suffer to be beautiful." "Beauty is as beauty does." "If you stick that lip out much farther a rooster will perch on it." (I was a pouter!) In recent years we heard some things over and over and over again, like: "Growing old isn't for sissies." "The only thing that runs anymore is my nose." "What is today?"
But the words I will remember most because of the frequency with which she quoted them are found in Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when it is come about, it is as a tree of life." The New Living Translation says it this way: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life." I don't know why my mother quoted that verse so much, but I do know that in my own life I have needed the hope and the promise of it. And I thank God that mother passed it on to me.
My mother wasn't perfect: she was a flawed child of God, but my brothers and sister and I were blessed to have a "truly good woman" for a mother!
I miss you, Mom!