My mother passed away February 21, 2010 after a short weekend hospital stay. She wasn’t in good health, but her passing was still unexpected. This was the 8th Mother’s Day without her. As is often the case, I often find my mother’s voice coming out of my mouth when I speak to my children. Her words and influence carry on through me in a number of ways.
As I reflect on my this week, I have several lessons that she taught me in her words and in her life. Here are just a few:
- Cooking for people and sharing food is an act of comfort and love. Mom was always providing food for funerals, home baked cookies for VBS, or homemade chicken & dumplings and coconut cream pie for company.
- “People who are the most unlovable, need love the most.” Any time someone hurt my feelings, she reminded me that there must be something wrong in their life for them to act so hatefully.
- There is great joy in homemaking. Mom loved taking care of our home and yard. Along with her cooking, she kept our home neat and comfortable, canned vegetables from the garden, and loved growing beautiful flowers.
- Set goals, work hard, and good things will happen. Mom’s first job was part time selling ladies clothing at a Montgomery Ward department store. Through her hard work and ability to sell, she continually moved up to selling big appliances and electronics. There were always sales contests and Mom was a frequent winner. She won prizes such as a microwave and VCR (long before most people had them). After I was grown, she won a national sales contest for an appliance manufacturer and won a trip to Europe with my dad that was a trip of a lifetime.
- Mom was completely devoted to my dad and loved him with all her heart. My father developed rheumatoid arthritis while in his mid-30’s. Because of his health, Mom had to take on more responsibilities in providing income and health insurance for the family. She had to do more lawn care and jobs that my dad used to do, but couldn’t any more. She didn’t seem resentful or bitter about that. She loved spoiling dad by making his favorite foods and waiting on him.
- Mom told me to “marry a man like my dad.” That meant a man who was steady, dependable, patient, hard working, who would spoil me and love the Lord with all his heart. I scored on that one! 🙂
- She taught me that God answers prayers. One of her phrases when I was hoping for something to happen was, “Get your hotline going!” I remember her praying with me as we watched out the window for the school bus to come.
It is often the case that the older we get, the more we appreciate our parents. I was so blessed to grow up in a Christian home with parents who taught my sister and me so many life lessons by their words as well as their conduct. Most importantly, they taught us the way to get to heaven. I look forward to a wonderful family reunion with my parents one day.