My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
— George Washington, U.S. President
Happy Mother's Day, everyone! We received some wonderful entries in our "Bring Love Home" contest, in which you shared memories of time spent with your mothers or grandmothers. Some were touching, others were funny, but they all reminded us of how important a mother's role is in our lives. If your mother is still on this earth, take a moment today to let her know that she is loved. And if your mother is now in her heavenly home, we hope these stories will comfort you and bring your own precious memories to mind.
~~~ WINNING ENTRIES ~~~First Place:
My fondest memory would have to be of my wonderful mother. My daddy passed on at a very young age (53) on Dec. 15, 1982. It was hard for all of us six kids and, of course, my mom. All of us were married but my two younger sisters. Since it was so close to Christmas, I had to start thinking of the normal things that Mom would have done at home for Christmas with Daddy there and healthy. After all there were still two younger sisters at home and in school. I went shopping and bought the usual things that Daddy would have bought Mother — her new yearly purse, box of candy, and so forth. But then my thoughts went deeper to my sisters. I knew Mom didn't want them to be so sad at Christmas, so I started helping her get things together.
With all the decorations and shopping done, there was one last thing to do. I went shopping again, this time buying all the ingredients to make the candies and cookies that were usually made. I went there early, while the girls were in school. Mother was not really in the mood to make the usual things, but we started. We made a few cookies and some candy. Then the last thing to do was make fudge. Now Mother made the old-fashioned fudge that her mom had made. The kind that had to be stirred at the end. Well, we must not have cooked it long enough, as it was cooling and still runny, but somewhat stiffer than it began. After what seemed like forever, our arms were getting sore from all of the stirring. I looked over at Mother. She grinned (she had to have had the same idea that I did). We both reached into the pot at the same time, grabbed a handful of the runny fudge, then proceeded smearing it all over the other, then throwing it. My mom broke her silence of sorrow that day. She laughed so hard, and so did I. We made a Christmas memory that will last us both the rest of our lives, as well as a wonderful day to put away our sorrow. God has blessed me with two good parents.
— Patty J.
"University of Adversity"
One December morning a blizzard was brewing in northern Iowa. I would miss a day of fifth grade because school had been cancelled.
“Brrrrrr.” The blast of frigid temperatures made my mother’s teeth chatter. “It’s freezing out there.”
When I spoke, my warm breath fogged over the cold pane of glass on our window. “Glad I’m inside where it’s warm.”
As Mom admired the white landscape, a dark shadow loomed in the distance. “Who on earth would be traipsing around in this weather?”
I squinted, trying to catch a glimpse of the mysterious person. “It’s Keith—the homeless man!”
Mom shot out the door and frantically waved her arms. “Keith! Woo hoo! Come on in and have some breakfast.”
A thin, shabbily dressed man who resembled some character from a Dickens novel entered our home and eyed the bacon sizzling in the pan. “Sure smells good.”
“We’re glad you could join us for breakfast today, Keith.” Mom poured a steaming cup of coffee for our guest of honor. “Me, too,” he replied.
Even though school was cancelled that day, I learned a valuable life lesson about caring for those who’ve seen a tough life. My mother taught me that God always makes room for those special souls who have graduated from the "University of Adversity" and I should too.
— Dixie P.
The following is a poem I wrote for my Mom about 2 years ago. It’s the best way I can describe what she means to me. She has been the best Mom anyone could ever ask for. I am truly fortunate to have the wonderful godly heritage my parents have given me and my children. She and my Dad live in Sun City West, Arizona. She will be 84 in June.
When I was but a small child still clearly I recall
My Mom would rock me gently until asleep I’d fall
Her voice was like an angel as she’d sing to me those songs
She learned when she was just a child…..now to me they did belong.
It mattered not if I were sick or having a nightmare
I was too young to realize and was fully unaware
That those were the times we bonded and eventually I could see
She would become my dearest friend….a confidant to me.
The countless ways she showed her love when as a child I grew
Would take too long to name them all but I’d like to share a few.
For some are worth the mentioning because to me it shows
The kind of person that she is and all the things she knows.
Sometimes it was the care she took in little things she taught,
Or the days that she would walk to school with homework I forgot.
She never missed a function in school that I was in.
All the times she’s been there…..where do I begin?
Her love for me continued into my later years
I’d come to her for sound advice, with problems and with tears.
She was always there to listen, the late hours we did keep
Although it meant that Dad was left alone to fall asleep.
I was always made to feel that I warranted her time
That I was her priority….Oh, I wish I had a dime
For every night she sat with me and shared with me her faith
And all the nights I know she prayed when I had gone astray.
The deep love that she has for God and what He means to her
Has been passed down to her children and I know we all concur
That without Mom in our lives, none of us would be
The spouses or the parents that we are, that’s plain to see.
The sacrifices that were made…..the sleepless nights she spent
Praying for her children that one day they would be sent
An extra special blessing in their lives, like she has had.
It’s what’s made her the Mom she is and the wife she is to Dad.
Her prayers for me were answered for I have a rich reward
In the heritage she established in how to serve the Lord.
She has shown me how to love my kids and how to choose a spouse
In just the way she lives her life and how she runs her house.
I only hope that one day my own kids will stop and say
I was the kind of Mom that you have been to me each day.
Of all the gifts God’s given me…some are large and some are small
It’s the blessing of my Mother that’s the greatest gift of all.
— Rhonda C.
~~~ MORE ENTRIES ~~~
I have so many wonderful memories with my mother. But the one that has always stuck with me all these years is this one: When my children were little, just learning how to walk, you know as babies and little kids they would always walk on your feet. Well, I was at my mom and dad's visiting one day, and it just so happened that one of my kids walked on my foot...and boy, did it hurt! As a natural response, I complained and scolded my child for doing it. Well, my mother looked at me and with her calm, sweet-spirited voice, said, "Honey, let them walk on your feet now, as a child, because when they grow up and get older they will walk on your heart." Boy was she ever right! My mom has always had encouraging positive words to say to me and my two older brothers. Mom is suffering from Alzheimer's now, but she still has her great sense of humor and she is still able to go to church, read her bible daily and lead her bible study group (with help). I hope this story will touch someone's heart who is struggling with their kids!
— Michele C.
My mom is her children's biggest fan (along with Dad). We play our instruments and sing quite frequently in our little church, and most of us have gotten serious stage fright many times. We have made every mistake possible: knocking our music stands over, going around to the back of the piano while searching for the keyboard, starting songs so badly that we had to start over, and chewing gum while speaking publicly. Our voices have cracked horribly, and my violin has screeched terribly, but to my mother, our performances have always been beautiful. After an embarrassing mistake, our dad always teases us and makes fun of us, enjoying watching our faces redden, but my mother scowls at him, trying to hide the laughter in her eyes, and she tells us that she's sure nobody noticed the violent screeching of the violin or the horrendous clang of the metal music stand crashing to the hard floor. Whenever we sing a beautiful song in church, we look down from the platform at Mom, blindly pulling her Kleenex package from her purse to wipe her overflowing eyes.
Although she is one of our biggest fans, she also encourages us to improve. My little brother has a habit of mumbling, so today she told him he'd better improve his speaking for when he's a preacher someday. He replied, "Who says I'm gonna be a preacher?" She said indignantly, "You have no idea what you'll be, so you'd better just prepare!" My mother is a wonderful supporter of her children, and we are very grateful that God chose her to be our mother.
— Grace K.
I spent a lot of time at the home of my maternal grandmother and grandfather when I was a kid. There were meals involved (including Grandma’s wonderful homemade bread and real butter) and I helped with dishes. Grandma would wash and I would dry. On occasion, a dish or spoon would get through the washing process and into the rinse water without getting clean. I would slip the item back into the wash water and tell Grandma that it wasn’t quite clean. She would look at me, with a twinkle in her eye, and say, “You’re not much of a dish dryer if you can’t dry them clean.”
I miss those times with her in the kitchen, and with Grandpa. She was from Galeton, PA, and used a lot of Pennsylvania Dutch expressions, such as “wrench” the clothes for rinse the clothes. Grandpa was from England, having come over when he was 16 years old. He was a voracious reader who loved to quote poetry.
— Shirley F.
One of my favorite memories of my mother and I was when we were shoe shopping. I had found a pair of shoes that I had fallen in love with! I wanted to share my joy with my mother, who was one aisle over. Mom came over and she exclaimed, "Oh, those are NOOT" (a mixture of neat and cute), and we both doubled over laughing! I still think of my Mom when I shoe shop! She passed away in 1999, but I'm sure she is still shoe shopping in Heaven--and finding lot of NOOT shoes! :)
— Ramona W.
My brother and I were raised by my parents in a little rural township in the southeast corner of Michigan, called Macon. There was no stoplight there back then when I was growin’ up in the 40s and 50s, and there still isn’t to this day in 2012. We lived in a two-story wooden house on 5/8 of an acre of land. We had a big old red barn, where the threshing machine and the horses used to be kept, and a garage, where the family car resided, and it had a side room, where the winter supply of coal was stored.
My brother married and had four children — two boys and two girls. I came along later in life for Mom and Dad, so I didn’t have children until my parents were 65 years old. My parents still lived in their original home, where we all loved to come and gather for the holidays, birthdays and any other occasion. We loved the smells of Grandma’s house, and the boys loved to go out to the barn with Grandpa and see what they could find up in the hay mow!
But my favorite moment that I can remember seeing in my mind’s eye, was when my Mother was showing my 3-year-old daughter, Jennifer, how to wash and dry dishes. Jennifer was in her bathrobe, up on an old wooden chair, right beside her grandmother. I can still hear them talking, and I still have the photograph in the family album. This was a tradition: When the granddaughters came to Grandma’s house, at a certain age, they got to get up on the old wooden chair, and Grandma would teach them how to do the dishes. My daughter happened to be the last little girl that was born into our family, so she was the last little girl that Grandma got to teach how to wash and dry the dishes…..on that old wooden chair.
— Jean S.
My mom has been a pastor's wife for 49 years. Growing up as a PK (preacher's kid), I have so many memories of my mom but there is one funny story that stands out the most. When I was in 5th grade, we had some missionaries coming over after church one Sunday, as we often did when missionaries were visiting. The night before, my mom had prepared a big pot of chili so that it would only need to be heated up after the services. Once church was over and we got home, the big pot of chili was on the stove and simmering. The aroma was all through the house, as we all sat around visiting and anxiously awaiting the anticipated delicious chili. My mom reached into the cupboard over the stove to get a pitcher for the drinks. Unfortunately, in front of the pitcher was a white glass flower vase. All of a sudden, the vase fell out landing where?? Right smack in the pot of chili. Shards of glass went everywhere, splatters of chili went everywhere. Needless to say, the chili was no longer edible and our delicious lunch was ruined. What to do now with a house full of starving missionaries?? Do I hear peanut and butter and jelly? Yep, that's what we had.
Now you may think PB&J sandwiches was not a good lunch for company. But, sitting around listening to the stories the missionaries told, eating PB&J sandwiches.....it was the best lunch my mom has ever fixed.
— Kathy F.
I was 12, back in 1958....it was the last service in the little Baptist Church I had grown up in. The doors would be closed to us. The church had been sold. The area was changing and most of the members had already relocated. The pastor invited us to come to the altar and all kneel together and offer a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for the blessings received. As I sat on that front pew, in my heart, I was sad this was the last service. As I listened to all the people, humbling themselves before our God on their knees, all praying aloud, I felt a presence that I had never known. I felt the knocking of Jesus REALLY wanting to come into MY heart. There had not been an altar call, and I did not know what to do; I was confused. Then I saw my mother on her knees, and I don't even remember walking to her side. I knelt down beside her and begin to give my heart to Jesus and I felt this warm, wonderful, familiar arm come around me — my mother's arm. She realized that I was asking Christ into my heart. She was so overjoyed that she began to pray even louder and as some members were getting up they saw me at the altar and knelt back down to pray again. When I stood, I looked back at my cousins and my sister and they were crying. I held my hand out to them and four of them came to the altar that night. We had revival instead of a last service! But I shall not forget that feeling of having my mother by my side and Jesus in my heart. That memory has stayed with me all these years. My mother went to be with Jesus many years ago, but that feeling I had with her feels like it happened just yesterday. Thank you,Lord, for this memory!
— Diane M.
I guess my favorite memory of my mother is the look on her face when she saw me after the birth of my baby girl. She came into the recovery room and looked down at me and burst into tears and said "She's beautiful".
— Jodi C.
Faith, love, devotion, giver, selfless ... all great words to describe my mom. But it goes way beyond that. My mother and I have laughed and cried together over the simplest to the most horrific things in our lives. Thank God we had each other. She dedicated her entire life to her children, her friends and even strangers. This post is in memory of her. I will live my life as she taught me, and we will be together in Heaven. I have nothing but wonderful memories of my mom.
— Ann C.
My memories of my mother are pretty much wrapped up in this poem I wrote for her memorial service two years ago:
I remember back when I was small
My momma was the very best mom of all.
She was the gentlest, kindest person I knew,
Whether brushing my hair or tying my shoe.
Sometimes I’d watch her at her vanity primping, as a woman does,
I thought she was the most beautiful mom there ever was!
She taught me the difference between wrong and right.
To put myself in others' shoes and to fight the GOOD fight.
She had so much talent she never got to use
But she told me about Jesus, and the good Gospel news!
Not long ago she told me she asked Jesus to just take her on “Home”
That she was tired, and she was ready for her eternal home.
She was a great Momma and Gramma who had so much to give
And she’ll be in our hearts for as long as we live.
— Lynda P.
One of my best memories of my Mother is from seven years ago. I had just had my youngest son. I had had some complications and he was born 5 1/2 weeks earlier. Due to some health issues, I stayed in the hospital for three weeks. Needing to have surgery, and being so ill, I really needed my mother. She lives in Idaho, far from me. My Mother came here to Oregon to be with me. Hers was the first face I saw after I came out of surgery. She stayed for a week and helped me out with my son. I love my mother and was so grateful for her help. She has also taught me so much about trusting God with even the smallest details in my life. I know that whenever I need her, she is only a phone call away and is always ready to listen and pray with me. I only hope that I can be that kind of godly inspiration to my children.
— Debi S.
I was born with Spina Bifida and I have had quite a few surgeries. Every time I was in the hospital, my mom always stayed in my hospital room with me to do whatever she could to comfort me.
— Michelle D.