"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

13 May 2017

A Mother's Day Letter

Four generations . . . 

{The letter I wrote to Mother last year (2016) for Mother’s Day}

Dear Mother,

It takes no special occasion to say “I love you” and we both know how much that’s true both ways.  But today I just want to say it this way.

I’m sorry for the reason you are here in Tennessee already, but every day I thank God you are here.  I love being able to see you and to talk and laugh and cry and gripe with you, to know how human we both are and yet to see – shot through it all – God’s love and grace.

Thank you for your wisdom – all the more precious because you don’t pretend it isn’t hard to live it, hard to win it.  For all the grief I gave you when younger, you were always the Orion leading me back to the Lord you serve and love.

Thank you for your example of loving – family, friends, church, community.  You have given and given and given – and you still are, though you find it harder to see just now.  The staff there [at the assisted living home] love you, the people who come to visit you are blessed by your smile and your humor and the love that shines through you.  I want to be like you when I grow up!

Thank you for your love for Daddy.  You two showed me every day what love is – the ability to care for another more than for yourself, to set aside self to serve another, all that the Scripture tells us love is.  Not holding on to little irritations, but leaving them behind, working together to make a life of oneness.  I know you miss that so terribly, and knowing you will be with Daddy again will make it easier for me when it’s time to let you go.

Thank you for your good humor, and showing me how to be honest about difficulties with those close to you without losing the bigger perspective of God’s love, in it all, even in the hardest of it.

I have friends who have walked life with me, who have loved me and prayed for me, and I am grateful for them all.  But, Mother, you are the one who will always hold a place that no one else could fill – your love has shown me how to love, and your love will always be the most important guide on earth to me.  All that is good in me has come through you and Daddy and the One you have always pointed me to.

Thank you, I love you, and happy Mother’s Day!

Mother and Daddy's wedding photo.

Children and Children-in-law and Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren . . . (and missing a fair number of them, too!)