Mother’s Day is a difficult time for me. My mom died in 2006 after a short hospitalization, and I still think of things I want to tell her.
Mom was the rock of our family. Our dad traveled four out of seven days a week when we were little, and she manned the fort while he was gone. She was courageous, strong, and able, never showing us how hard it was to raise the five of us alone while he was away. She became a Christian when my older sister was 4, and she became a strong woman of faith.
I have often thought how very hard it must have been to care for our household on her own, yet she never showed resentment, or asked that Dad take some of the load when he was home. On the contrary, when he was home she deferred to him and spoiled him with his favorite foods and a special hot sauna bath that she devised for him, serving him with her incredibly lovely smile.
Most people who knew this joyous woman would be surprised that she came from a dysfunctional childhood. Her parents divorced when she was seven, in 1936, so I can imagine how ashamed and bewildered she must have felt. Her mother moved 500 miles away to the north, leaving her and her little brother behind with their father. He and his mother and his maiden sister raised her in a wealthy, yet stern existence. She suffered abuse in the household growing up, yet she never spoke of it. She ran away when she was 17 to live with her mother’s sister up north. It was there she met my dad.
She loved books, and became a librarian so she could work among the stacks, breathing in the smell of the lovely old volumes, finding treasures she could take out and read later. One day after work, she climbed aboard a crowded bus. Standing there up front, looking for a seat in her unconscious beauty, she caught the eye of two service men seated on the bus. After a quick coin toss to see who would have to surrender his seat, one lucky fellow won the honor of sitting beside this gorgeous, shy brunette. On this ‘chance’ encounter, they struck up a long-distance relationship. Thus started a love affair that lasted a lifetime. That man became my father, and their love has surpassed even her death.
She wasn’t perfect, but with God’s help she did the best she knew how to do. She and my dad raised five rascals who all turned out to be strong, Christian people, all benefitting society.
I received from my dear mom so much. I love books. I love to get my hands dirty in the garden. I love being a mom, cooking and spoiling my husband and family. I especially love the outdoors, and life on the farm. Best of all, the older I get, people who knew my mom say I look just like my her. Those are sweet words.
With the approach of Mother’s Day this weekend, I really miss my mom. I want to send her a card, call her on the phone, hear her laugh and words of encouragement. I want to invite her to dinner and spend time together. I want to look in her pale, green eyes and tell her what a wonderful mother she was to me. But it is not to be. The comfort that I have is that Jesus promised never to leave us, so I know that she is right there with Him. I’ll just have to tell Him how much I love her and miss her, and ask Him in His infinite mercy to tell her and give her a hug for me. For now that will have to do.
So here’s to you, Mom. You were the best.
Emily June Morrison Ogden 1929-2006