Tomorrow will make me reflect back on Mothers’ Days past and on my love for my mother. And not just love, but profound respect as well.
If you’ve read In a Mirror Dimly you know some things about her. She had a bright and beautiful wit; but she possessed strength somehow awe-inspiring. During the years when my father was away in prison she cared for two young children, worked every day and loved us with a love unshakable. My sister and I have talked about this a lot: we never felt that we were unloved or un-cared for or lacked much of anything. She sacrificed her comforts for us. And she did this with wit and humor and a bit of a quirky sense of humor. Once when I was about six she pulled to the top of a railroad crossing at the end of a bridge. The train blew its whistle at the other end of the bridge, still a ways away. But she braked the care and shouted to me, “We’re stopped and can’t go!” She scared me out of my wits! And then she put the 1952 Chrysler into gear and drove off the crossing. Somehow she loved that!
Mothers have been especially blessed by God with a unique purpose: they have borne and sustained the entire human race. You who are mothers have loved and sacrificed and cared for each of us. So we honor and bless you on this day!
This is a special excerpt from In a Mirror Dimly about the last time my mom recognized me. Just re-reading it brings tears of love to my eyes.
I came to see you last week, but you didn’t know me. You are in that final progression of dementia that has taken you away from us. But I cling to the memories of you. And every once in a while, a small window opens that reveals your personality just as it always was. A few weeks ago I sat holding your hand while you colored in a coloring book. After a few minutes, you looked at me and said, “I know you. And I love you.” No more beautiful words have I ever heard. But then you handed me a crayon, and I started coloring on the page with you. You looked at me with that old exasperated look and said, “You never could stay inside the lines.”
And I couldn’t! And that was the real you shining through the darkness of this evil disease for a flickering moment. How I will always treasure that small moment.