Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Gold Standard of Mothers

Seven years.

2555 Days.

61,320 hours.

That's how long it's been since I heard her voice. Felt the soft touch of her hand. Felt her laughter lift my spirit. Let my head rest against her shoulder.

Seven years since my mom, Paula Ann Sapp, left us for eternity.


I can't believe it's been that long. It seems like yesterday...it seems like forever. The good news is that I can talk about her now--most of the time--without breaking down. In fact, as often as not I end up laughing because the thoughts and memories of her are steeped in joy and love. The bad news? The void deep inside that mawed into existence the day she left us is still there. Will be until I see her again in eternity.

I think about Mom a lot, but most especially this time of year, as Mother's Day approaches. Part of me doesn't like that day anymore. All the flowers and cards and even the sermon at church just amplify the fact that Mom's not here. But at the same time, Mother's Day reminds me how blessed I was to have the mother I did. She was the Gold Standard of Mothers. Here's why:

  • She loved without reserve. I saw it every day in her eyes, felt it in her touch, heard it in her voice and words.
  • She believed in my brothers and me. Big time.
  • She knew the value of laughter, and let it become the music that rang freely in our home.

  • She liked us, and loved spending time with us. Picnics, playing games at home, trips...it didn't matter what we did. It was a joy just to be together.
  • She always knew the right thing to say--and when not to say anything at all.
She nurtured us and our passions with love and tender humor.

  • She directed us to God. Unfailingly. Her rock-solid faith in God was evident in the way she lived.
  • She loved Dad. I mean...LOVED him. Admired and respected him. Found no other's company more delightful or desired.
  • She taught us how to celebrate both the big and little in life. And that the little celebrations are often most important.
People have told me I have Mom's hands or her smile. I love that. And I pray I exhibit her spirit and heart as well. I want to be a reflection of this woman who was such a beautiful reflection of God.

So as Mother's Day approaches, be mindful of all your mom has done for you. Good, bad, or indifferent, our mothers are a part of the fabric of who we are. If yours is still living, cherish her. Let her know you love and appreciate her. Ask her to tell you stories about her childhood, about her growing up. And capture those stories, her voice, her laughter, on video. Take the opportunity to hug her or hold her hand. Because the day will come when you can no longer do that, and--and trust me on this--you'll miss it. Like you never knew you could miss something.

If, like me, your mom has entered eternity, know I'm thinking of you. And I'm praying for you. That God will fill your heart and mind with wonderful memories, with the sweet sound of your mom's voice, with the music of her laughter, the warmth of her hug. And celebrate with me that one day...one glorious day!...we'll see them again. These women who birthed and cared for us, who nurtured and encouraged us, who blessed our lives in countless ways. We'll see them again.

And oh! What a joyful reunion that will be!

Karen

10 comments:

Janelle Schneider said...

Love your list of traits which made your mother so wonderful in your eyes. She's the kind of mother I've worked hard to be for the last 12 years ... and counting. :-)

ConnieBrz said...

Love your title for this post.

What a legecy!

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Such a sweet, touching tribute to your mother. I'm praying for your comfort and calling my mother right now to tell her again how much I love her.

Gentle hugs,

Lisa

Teri D. Smith said...

Awww. So touching. Last year for mother's day I wrote "Top Ten Things My Mother taught Me", framed it, and gave it to my golden mother.

She loved it and has it displayed where she can see it often.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

My mom passed away in March 2002, so I guess we were both grieving about the same time. And this year I thought seriously for the first time about writing some kind of tribute to her. Maybe seven years marks the "now I can talk about it" watershed.

This piece about your mom is really precious, Karen. I can tell by your love of laughter and your love for our Lord that your mom was a great model for you.

Becky

angela said...

Beautiful.

Nicole said...

It's been 24 years ... on any given day the tears still come just as they're doing right now. She was lovely, and she loved me so much. I miss her still.

Mother's Day has never been the same.

Anonymous said...

Oh great. Now you've ruined my eye makeup & I've got red eyes 'n runny nose from your beautiful writing and even "beautifuller" writing. I wish I'd known her, dogonne it! Later, I'll meet her later. love you, Karen! You know I do... Patti Iverson

Rel said...

Gorgeous post, Karen :) Thanks for sharing about your mum.

Ronie Kendig said...

Beautiful post, Karen! My mom entered eternity 13 years ago this past March. I love your post--the music of my mom's laughter still rings in my ears. Hugs and prayers to you during this weekend!