Precious: valued, cherished, treasured, dear, dearest, beloved,
darling, adored, loved and special
Look at you, sitting there in your favorite blue chair, my lap quilt folded, quietly waiting behind your head of gray curls. Did someone say something? Your face is turned to listen, gentle smile showing your inner glow. Those little gnarled fingers hold on to each other, soothing the ache as you sit in joy with us around you. I think you were always happiest when we were near.
We love you so much. We know your life was not easy but you gave your all to us and to whoever needed you: babies in grocery store carts, stray dogs, adoring needy grandchildren, distant cousins. Your listening ear made us all feel like we were your favorite and we did our best to please you. It wasn't hard. Just our very existence was enough to make you smile and thank us over and over.
When sitting with you, we experienced as Pat Schneider writes, "I see in her eyes that I am seen, in her listening that I am heard - and in that attention, I see and hear myself." You did that for us. It took years to understand what it all meant but your unconditional love gave us hope.
Rejection is a cruel teacher that either leads you to turn and reject others, or, by God's grace, you reject it, vowing to never do the same to another. You were of the second persuasion: accepting, non-rejecting, non-pushy, patient, consistent and faithful.
Precious, yes, you are my mother.
1 Peter 3:4 Her beauty came from inside, an unfading loveliness of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth (precious) in God's sight and in ours.
Eight years ago today she died, our treasured one. She was warm and full of understanding. Prayer was her strength; kindness surrounded her as a shield. Listening over a cup of tea elevated her to a position of wisdom while faith blossomed from her gentle heart. And we loved her. She let us be ourselves, trusted us, led us to Jesus and to prayer. Her example of loving acceptance led us to not be judgmental, but rather, grace filled folks, fully aware of our own inconsistencies, our own heartbreaks. She walked past bitterness while welcoming forgiveness and let grief do its healing work.
Mom gifted us with an uncompromising faith, a realistic but hope-filled look into what makes life worth living - worth giving - worth loving.
Thanks Mom. We miss you.