Mother’s Day is always a special day for mothers all across the country. This year I read a letter that a daughter wrote to her mother that brought back many memories from a difficult time in my life. Sixteen years ago this past March, my sister went home to be with her Lord. It was a tough time for the family because it was an unexpected loss. Several weeks before her home going, my sister suffered a burst aneurysm at the base of her brain.
I don’t remember another time in my life when my emotions ran the gamut from exhilaration to immense grief. The reason for this was due to the fact that on a Friday night I helped perform the wedding ceremony for one of my children and then had to fly to Buffalo, NY to assist in the funeral service for my sister. Even more unbelievable was the fact that my sister and my new daughter-in-law had the same first name.
God took my sister and I on very different courses in life. I have had the privilege to travel around the world and share God’s Word with thousands of people from all walks of life. On the other hand, my sister lived her entire life in the rural area of Western New York. She spent her time serving the Lord in the family’s small church, content to being a wife and a mother to four children. Yet, during the visitation time when friends and family came to support the family, it became apparent that we would not be able to hold all the people who told us that they would be at her funeral in their small church. Having secured a larger church sanctuary for the service, we were amazed when more than 600 people came to celebrate my sister’s home going.
My sister’s youngest child was a junior in high school at the time. This brings me to this past weekend. On the day before this year’s Mother’s Day, that same daughter wrote a letter to her mother. I am sharing this letter with you to remind all of us of the impact a parent and/or a teacher has on a child. We work so hard to give our children so much hoping that they will find happiness. In the end, we may be surprised what our children really treasure. So with that said, here is the letter my niece wrote to her mother sixteen years after her death.
When I think of what I would say to my mother if she were still here on Mother’s Day, it would be “Thank You” – Thank you for holding me a little longer when I was scared. Thank you for showing me the Love of Christ. Thank you for telling me the importance of hiding God’s Word in my heart. Thank you for showing me what it looked like to pray without ceasing. Thank you for your silliness & sarcasm. Thank you for unconditionally loving me EVERYDAY…But, more than anything, thank you for being my example of what it means to be a mother to my children (Oh, how you would love them).
You see there were so many times growing up that I saw you or heard you doing these things and you never knew it – I would listen to you cry out to God down in the cellar while doing laundry. I would watch you read the Bible and journal on the dock in the Adirondack Mountains on our vacations. I remember you telling me to study God’s Word. I remember your laugh when you were talking to one of your friends at church or on the phone. Though I struggled a long time after I lost you, I now treasure those lessons!!! I love you mom – Happy Mother’s Day.
I pray that God will give every parent and teacher the strength and the wisdom to be the godly examples so desperately needed and wanted by our children today. May our children be able to write words like these to us when we are gone. This is true Christian education.