A Pastor's Ponderings: A Tribute to My Mom and Moms Everywhere
I lost my mom last Mother's Day (2021) to complications following surgery. The loss was painful, but I don't believe that future Mother's Days should become a day of sadness and mourning. Quite the opposite! I prefer to consider Mother's Day as a special tribute, remembrance, and recognition. My mom was a beloved mother of four and a treasured grandmother, great grandmother, wife, and friend.
She was born in Erding, Germany, just outside of Munich, two years before the onset of WWII. She loved to read, and the library was her home away from home. She directly impacted me with that same passion, greatly influencing my life and career. For 20 years, she and my dad were snowbird RVers.
Two months before her death, my mom and dad celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Thankfully, my dad will spend this Mother's Day with us here in Niceville. One of the many personalized sympathy cards expressed the commonly held sentiments about my mom.
she was getting tired, and a cure was not to be,
so he put his arms around her and whispered, 'Come with me.'
With tearful eyes, I watched her suffer and saw her fade away.
Although I loved her dearly, I could not make her stay.
A golden heart stopped beating, hard-working hands to rest,
God broke my heart to prove that He only takes the best."
Truly, heart-rending words to read again! Like so many others in our communities, my mom was a military spouse, and I would be remiss not to remind everyone of their sacrifices during deployments. In 1967, my father was stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and volunteered to go to Vietnam with the 7th Air Force—1967/1968.
My 29-year-old mom was left with three pre-teen type-A boys, a new puppy and giving birth to my sister. While my dad was there, the Vietcong attacked every major city and base during the TET Offensive. I am proud of his Bronze Star, but my mom should have received the Parental Distinguished Service Medal for conspicuous gallantry. We must NEVER forget the tremendous sacrifices of those who do not wear the stars, the bars and the stripes but keep the home fires burning.
To close on a lighter note: here are seven truths my mom taught us:
1. HOW TO PRAY: After spilling grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray the stain will come out."
2. PLAN AHEAD: "Make sure you wear clean underwear because you could be in an accident."
3. LIFE'S PARADOXES: "Keep laughing, and I'll give you something to cry about."
4. HOW TO PERSEVERE: "You'll sit there 'til all that spinach is finished."
5. SPOTTING SEVERE WEATHER PATTERNS: "It looks like a tornado swept through your room."
6. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
7. EMPATHY: "There are millions of less fortunate children who don't have it as good as you do!"
Pick up the phone or visit your mom this Mother's Day. Tell her that you love her because you are not guaranteed unlimited opportunities. The Bible exhorts every generation, "Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old" (Proverbs 23:22). Happy Mother's Day.