In the hustle bustle of my own motherhood journey, I know I often to fail to remind you how much you mean to me and how dearly I love you. I’ve heard you say several times as you observe my parenting that you wish you would have known what I know or that you had had access to the books I’ve read. Sometimes, I hear a tinge of regret in your voice. But in hopes of honoring you today, I want to share with you what I remember.
I remember a mommy who was always there. You were there when I was little, playing with my baby dolls and pretending I was a mommy and letting my imagination run as wild as it needed to. You were there when you dropped me off at school and you were there to pick me up. You were there in the afternoons with yummy snacks and encouraging words to help me along with my homework. You were there on Sundays to make sure we were always in church, learning and hearing the glorious gospel of our Lord week in and week out. You were there to faithfully correct and discipline me when I was wrong or did wrong. No matter when or where I needed you, you were always there. You were faithful to me and in that way, you gave me a glimpse of the faithfulness of my heavenly Father.
I remember well how you supported me at every turn, encouraging me to think through my decisions and giving me an extra push when I was weary. I remember how you never tired in encouraging Amy and I to be the best of friends, a friendship that is unlike any other now that we are grown. I remember how many nights Dad had to work late, but you made sure that Amy and I were fed, bathed and loved each and every evening…now that I’m a mom, I appreciate the hardships of “fatherless” evenings even more!! I remember how you sacrificed and cared faithfully for me when I got sick with mono, not once but twice. I remember how you instilled great work ethic in me as we rose early on Saturday morning to decorate those manufactured houses before the heat got the best of us. I remember how you gifted me the gift of hospitality as you let our house be an open door to friends, family and the community. I remember how hard it was to watch you get on that elevator in the Ole Miss dorm, knowing for the first time I wouldn’t live in the same house as you anymore. I remember how you held my hands at 4:30 in the morning in Orlando, Florida and all but demanded that I run my marathon, though my entire body was practically frozen…oh, how grateful I am that you did not let me give up. I remember how you daily walked with me through the sickest of pregnancies with Molly Kate and never failed to remind me of the sweet joy that awaited me. I remember how confident you were that our boys would come home from Ethiopia, confident enough for me when my confidence had almost run out.
You have loved me, you have served me, you have poured your life out…for me. There could never be enough words to say thank you for all that you have done and all that you continue to do for me. Yes, I know that I do many things different than you did when it comes to parenting. But the truth is, Mama, I wish I was more like you in so many ways. Thank you for being such a remarkable example of mothering love and sacrifice, of tender compassion and care, of firm discipline coupled with faithful encouragement…I think of you often each day as I seek to love the little flock God has given me.
I love you Mama and I praise God for blessing my life with someone like you.