I was so blessed by God to have been raised and loved by the woman I call Mom. She was beautiful, inside as well as out. She had the most beautiful, warm, sincere, and open smile. Whenever Mom smiled at you, you felt her heart. She was kind and good. She was the most happy person I’ve ever been around. She just had a peacefulness in her soul. Mom was seldom, if ever, in a bad mood. At least if she was, she never let us see it. She was the definition of love and what a mother should be.
I have so many good memories of this woman. From the time I was little, I remember her playing board games with me and Pat. I remember peeking through the keyhole in our bedroom door, watching her sew clothes for our dolls for Christmas. And Christmas….oh, she made it special! And the best part was she always made Pat and me part of it. We helped make Christmas candy, decorated cookies, and trimmed the tree. To me, our tree was always the best. Trees today are nice, but they just lack something without that final touch…tinsel! I’ll be honest, I never had the patience Mom did. I tended to blob it on, but Mom took each piece and hung it perfectly. It always looked so elegant….just like her!
I will never forget my first Mother’s Day without her. It was just a day or two after her funeral. We still had some family at the house, and my uncle was reading the paper and said to my aunt, “Today is Mother’s Day, happy Mother’s Day!” I fell apart because I realized I didn’t have a mother anymore. That was a terrible day for me. I missed her so much; there are no words to tell of the pain.
Many years down the road of life, through the grace of God, who drew me near him, I discovered some things in His word, things that a lot of people take for granted. I was taught that when we die, we sleep, knowing nothing, until Jesus comes back to take us home. But in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man went to Hades, and Lazarus went to paradise. He was with Abraham, who was also deceased. They knew each other, communicated with each other. The apostle Paul said, “To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of God.” Sure, her body, her tent, has passed away, and some day God will reunite her body and her spirit again. But my beautiful mother is in heaven, with Jesus, and with other family members who believed in Him.
What a difference that has made in my life! Mother’s Day has never felt sad since. I still miss this beautiful lady, but I no longer mourn for her. How can I mourn for someone who is living in the presence of All Mighty God himself? She has no more tears, pain, or hardships of any kind. Her smile is lighting up all those around her in heaven. Someday I will see her smile again also.
This is one of the first poems I wrote when I started pursuing this writing thing. I wrote this for Mom for Mother’s Day many years ago when my kids were still quite young. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
My Mother Is A Lady
My mother is a lady,
fair and gentle in her ways.
She has no big career,
at least not one that pays.
She doesn’t dine in restaurants
known for putting on the Ritz.
She dines at home where she is known
for mighty tasty grits.
She stays in shape, but I must say,
no thanks to aerobic classes.
She mops, and irons, dusts, and scrubs,
and polishes sparkling glasses.
She bandaged knees, braided hair,
and read our favorite fables;
pulled our sleds, sewed doll clothes,
and played games ’round the table.
This lady always had a smile,
and a vase for our dandelions.
She always had a hug
and held us close when we were crying.
She taught us to be kind to others,
taught us right from wrong,
taught us just to be ourselves,
and filled our hearts with song.
The years have passed, and we are grown,
me and sister Pat.
For all your love and guidance, Mom,
to you I take off my hat.
The memories of my childhood
are the best things of my past.
I keep them in this heart of mine
where they will always last.
My fondest wish, when mine are grown,
would be to hear them say,
“My mother is a lady,
fair and gentle in her ways.”
Sheryl Craig Russell