Every time Mother’s Day rolls around, I think of Mom. Not that I don’t think of my mother many times during the year. We had fun together. She and Dad were the ones who taught me to love nature. While Dad fished with my brother, Mom and I would wander the streams and find wildflowers, pine cones, pretty rocks.
When my parents retired and moved to the coast of Oregon, Mom became interested in crafts. She collected all kinds of pine cones, large thistles and acorns and made beautiful wreath wall hangings. She also collected interesting pieces of driftwood and shells.
My mom worked hard when I was growing up. She wanted my brother and me to have a better life. There were things she wished she could have done as a child. So she made sure I had dance lessons (tap and ballet), piano lessons and a college education. My brother took up scouting and played the baritone in the marching band and was first off to college. After we were gone, she kept working because nursing was a call, not just an occupation.
She taught me many important things in life. I’ve shared some before. Here are three:
Stay active; physically, mentally and spiritually. She walked a mile every day, read and learned new things, and stayed connected to her church family. She often organized the yearly church Christmas bazaar, volunteered at the local Blood Bank, served Meals on Wheels and met new people by welcoming them through the Newcomers Club.
Choose friends wisely. She said it was important to watch and care about a person’s good reputation. Be friendly with everyone, but be careful whom you trust and how you spend your time. It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, just one time of “following the crowd” to lose it. Over the years, Mom and Dad made and kept many friends. Staying in touch with loved ones was important, and she was an avid letter writer.
Face change with grace. She loved and took care of my father until the day he died at home in his own bed, Mom holding him in her arms when he breathed his last breath. When Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years later, she shared the news without worry. She never complained, even when the cancer spread to her bones and the pain became worse. She said dying was part of life and knew she’d be with Dad and Jesus soon.
I thank God for the wonderful mother I had. I miss her very much. Because of our shared faith in Jesus, I also have the blessed assurance that I will see her again.