My mother died this week after a slow and long wind down. Upon reflection how wondrous is the impact of a mother’s loving, encouraging, and devoted touch on a son. ♦
She never got past high school, where she met my father and they married at age 22. She had 3 children by the time she was 26, a 4th child at age 32. She was attractive, vivacious, and possessed a keen wit and sense of humor. To me, she seemed to always put others before herself. She loved us all unconditionally.
Such was the loving touch of my mother’s life.
I learned to love music of past eras from her, from Big Bands to jazz, classic crooners, the Blues, to Dixieland. She never played an instrument but bought me my first guitar and signed me up for lessons at a young age. From her I developed my love for card games, Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and the Dodgers. She was my biggest fan in anything I did, from music to sports to academic achievements. She did what I learned the best moms do: they encourage their children unconditionally.
Such was the encouraging touch of my mother’s life.
She was a homemaker when we were in elementary school. She then worked in a factory and used her artistic talents there to hand-paint roses on fine dishes and plates. She always seemed to be home when I came home from school and attended all my sporting events. She never rose to management and seemed to have no desire or inclination to advance herself. Her focus was her family and all that revolved around them.
Such was the dedicated touch of my mother’s life.
My mother was loosely raised in the Catholic tradition but passed not one iota of this experience to her children. My parents raised us with only a vague worldview of God in heaven. There was no prayer in our home and no discussions of deeper issues in life. I know when I was 6 or 7 she dabbled with the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a season, but this took no long-term root and only reflected her searching heart.
Such was the lost faith of my mother’s life.
I became a Christ-following Christian at the age of 14 (see Sept 13, 2014 Biblical Viewpoint You Just Never Know). That evening I shared with my mother what had happened and she looked at me like I was an alien. She simply had no basis for understanding. It didn’t take long, however, as she and my oldest sister, and then my other sister, then my brother, and eventually my father, all over time came to a fresh and real understanding of a Biblical-based faith in Christ. Our family was on a path of restoration.
Such was the new found faith of my mother’s life.
My mother lost the love of her life, my father, just over 20 years ago. She never remarried, but lived for her 4 children and her eventual 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. We know she is now immediately in a better place than the wind down years of her earthly life. The Bible informs us that when we Christians die, we go immediately to be with God; that to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” – 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, Philippians 1:23. We are all at peace and grateful for the lessons and witness we can pass onto new generations of a humble mother’s life.
Such is the lasting legacy of my mother’s life.
Have you honored your mother and father?
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3