Lessons of my Mother

As a child, I heard other mothers gossip and speak unkindly about one another.

You, my mother, never joined the circle.

This taught me not to speak ill of those who have no defense.

As a child, I wanted to be friends with the “cool kids,” ignoring others.

You worked at my school, and gently urged me to speak to those who sat alone at lunch.

You are a friend to those who have none.

You read to me before bed nearly every night- “Wynken, Blynken and Nod,” I remember best.

Teaching me to adore books as much as you do.

Nurturing creativity.

You, my mother, a perfectionist

Knew I wanted good grades as much as you wanted them for me.

Triumphantly I show you a 98% on a test. You respond:

“That’s great! Have you reviewed the question you got wrong?”

Never be too sure of yourself, always learn from your mistakes.

Clothes always came from Walmart, until we discovered TJ Maxx.

I, a budding teenage fashionista, longed for glamor from Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue at the mall.

But budgets constrain.

“Get a job,” you said.

So I, 13, did.

You and dad both taught me to work hard for what I wanted and needed.

Years later, and with my own budget, I find myself shopping like you, with a distaste for malls.

I left home for college; 2,000 miles and certain I would never return.

Only to grow homesick and beg for a return flight for Thanksgiving.

Two weeks before, prices be damned, you, my frugal mother, booked it.

Driving home after my college graduation, feeling empty in my joblessness.

I broke down, screaming and crying out of anger and shame.

Running outside our tiny hotel in Utah.

You came to find me, sat with me on a bench, held me and told me I was of value.

You and God loved me, and my life held purpose.

Quiet wisdom.

You gave me a foundation of faith in Jesus

Cast away willfully in adolescence, but resurrected in adulthood.

I will always look back, grateful for those Bible stories my understanding of God is built upon.

My mother, baby boomer, born of the silent generation.

Always supportive, not always understanding why.

Through hell and back, you have gifted me with life and more:

Unconditional love.

And some day when you are gone from this earth

I will find some way to carry on your lessons.

For I know you will be waiting for me

On the other side of eternity.



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