Gentle strokes through my hair—felt love. Even with my eyes closed, I knew the presence of mother in those drifting moments before sleep overcame me. The sweeping tips of her fingers tenderly speaking her love drove the fears of night away, reassuring me of her unconditional love. Moments like these are my first memories of my mother. As a little girl, she would tuck me into bed at night, sing a song, and stroke my hair until I was peacefully resting. Eventually there came a day when this no longer happened. I didn’t need her physical presence to know I was safe and loved before falling asleep.
I still needed her in other ways.
My mother was my teacher. She taught me life skills—how to clean, cook, sew, garden, set a table, be a woman always seeking after God. She also taught me school for a number of years. She sat for hours patiently helping me grasp the spatial concept of volume and then later of probability. She gave me my love for research and encouraged my creative and musical endeavors. Somehow she succeeded to not only teach me to work hard and do my best but also to know that my best was good enough. I was pushed yet always affirmed.
My mother is also my best friend. Those lonely years of pre-teens and teens, my mother was my main confidant. She listened untiringly to my fears, hurts, hopes, and thoughts on life, faith, and boys. She never made me feel foolish for anything I thought, but always pushed me back to scripture and truth when I was misguided. When I went off to college we talked every week, and some seasons, every day. She got me through the heartbreaks and disappointments, sometimes sitting in silence on the other side of the phone when I just needed to cry. She still is pretty good at this today!
My mother isn’t perfect, nor am I. We’ve had our battles of wills and words, but always there is forgiveness. Through all my memories one thing has always remained—the overwhelming truth that my mother loves me forever and ever, wholly and completely. Because she loved me, I love her. Her love teaches me of God’s love: “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NIV
Thank you, Mom; I love you!