My first Mother’s Day without my mother here on earth. It is sad to think about not being able to go spend time with her, but I was thinking how great for her to get to spend Mother’s Day with her mother for the first time in over 40 years. There is definitely two sides to that coin!
My daddy may have been the preacher, but my mom taught me so many life lessons, also. Serving God was so important to her. She made really sure that her daughters knew that we were to serve God in whatever way we could. She made sure that we knew that the only way to salvation and that promise of a place in heaven was through belief in, and surrender to Jesus Christ. She taught us the value of tithing. Even more than Daddy did, she hammered home the lesson of giving the first ten percent to God and the rest would take care of itself. She was serious about it. She was serious about supporting her church and her church family. Her tithe went to her church. End. Of. Story. It was her church and she loved that church and her church family. She said to me a few times that she could not understand people that did not attend church. “How do they get by without a church family?” she would ask. Like her, I wonder that same thing.
She was supportive of her kids and whatever we were doing that was not, in her words, “stupid.” Ha! She was a funny lady. But, it did not matter what we were doing in school, if we were playing basketball, tennis, or running track, she was right there. If we were modeling hideous items we had made in Home Economics, she was right there. She would defend her girls if she thought they were being mistreated and she would let us know if we were doing something we should not.
She did not graduate from high school. She was embarrassed of this fact. Her family moved around so much and all the kids had to work. But she was oh so very proud that all her daughters were college graduates. She was a smart woman and could do many things, but in her mind, she fell short since she never had received a diploma. I hated that for her. Because I knew she was smart and she was so much more than she gave herself credit for.
She kept journals for most of her adult life and I have many of those now. I can read through them and see how her daughters broke her heart on occasion. But I can also see her very fiercely she loved her daughters, and her grandchildren, and certainly her husband.
She was a woman of great strength. She had been through so much in her life. Her growing up years were never easy, but she had wonderful stories of the good times. She was a true survivor in every sense of the word. She always would find a way to make things work out.
Man, I miss her. But the truth is, I had missed her for a few years. When her mind started going a couple of years ago, it went pretty quickly. Those windows would open on occasion and she would know what was going on. Then other days she would look at me and ask who I was.
She gave me her pearls one day and I began to wear them daily. One day I did not have them on. The first thing she said when she saw me was, “You don’t have your pearls on.” I gave some reason why I wasn’t wearing them and she looked at me so confused, and asked, “Who did you say you were?” From that moment on, I wore her pearls faithfully. So if you see me around town and my pearls are around my neck, always know that is for my mother. That was how she knew me.
In our Christian lives, we need to always wear those pearls of service to God, that my mother found so important. That is how the world will know who we are. Wear your Lord and Savior proudly and boldly, so no one ever has to ask, “Who did you say you were?”
My mother made a difference for me, and her Savior makes an ever greater difference. If you can see your mom this weekend, do it. If you can’t, I pray your mind is blessed with precious memories of a mother who made a difference.
By: Gina Caswell Kelly