Mom's hands

     Mother’s Day is a time we make a special effort to let our moms know how much we love and appreciate them for all they do for us. I wish I could say those things to my mom, but she’s been gone from us for over a decade. I miss her more than I can say.

    This is a remembrance I wrote in my journal during her last days. I’d like to share it as a way to honor her, and to encourage any mom reading this to know how incredibly important your work is. The endless ways you serve your family are building love and security into your children’s lives, influencing them for all their days.

    When my mom was in rehab dealing with the after-effects of two strokes, I flew out to be with her and help spell other family members who had been with her for weeks by then. Though she slept most of the time, I sat at her bedside as much as possible, just praying, talking to her, loving her. It was a privilege to comb her hair, wash her face, read the Word to her, fuss over her, or just sit quietly. She couldn’t respond, but I prayed the Lord would help her to somehow understand my words.

The whole time, of course, was this devastating undercurrent in my heart that I was saying goodbye to her. Hoping that she knew I was there, that it was me, Wendy. Impotent to turn back time or change this hurtful thing for her, for us. And hardly able to imagine what the rest of our lives would look like without her loving and faithful presence with us.

Funny how certain things stick with you in a crisis, images you never forget. One of those images met me nearly every day when I arrived at her room. She would have been cleaned, dressed, and prepared for the day by then, sitting or laying quietly in her bed. If she was resting, there clutched in both hands was a little stuffed bear, its paws holding a red heart that read “Get Well Soon.” Mom seemed to enjoy the furry texture and cuddliness of it, her hands exploring it gently the whole time. My sister had gotten it for her when Mom was first in the hospital two months earlier, and that little bear was now a point of contact and comfort.

I can’t explain the poignancy of that scene. Those were the precious hands that had held me as a baby, braided my blonde hair as a schoolgirl, patted my cheeks, taught me how to cook and sew. Those dear hands cooked and lovingly served up countless meals, sewed and washed and ironed clothes, landscaped our yards, and made loving order out of our family life for decades. How many times I saw those hands kneading dough into her famous cinnamon rolls or setting an artful table. Those beautiful hands wrote hundreds of encouraging letters to her beloveds and friends over the years, always pointing us to the One who loved us.

Watching her hold that little bear through those quiet days made me love Mom all over again for all that she poured into my life. I wish I could thank her and let her know how vastly I appreciate the privilege of having been loved by her. How much her life continues to challenge me today to serve God and others with with my whole heart. But oh! the hope of our salvation! That’ll be one of my first joys of heaven—to hug her and hold those precious hands again.

So, mommas, reading this today—and all God’s wonderful ladies helping and loving others faithfully every day—

Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  ~ Galatians 6:9

Your work is more beautiful and powerful than you know. Thank you for all you do. I pray the Lord will fill you with fresh strength and joy as you serve Him by serving others. You are a blessing!