Remembering My Mom

What’s the most special thing about your mom? Do you share a common faith in the Lord Jesus? I’d like to share with you about my mom.

My birth mother was an overwhelmed mom. She was an adopted only-child who married young (age 16) to my dad who was 21. She birthed 7 children – two girls and five boys, of which I am child number four and the youngest daughter. (That’s me and my mom in this photo – I was about 2 years old.)

When my mom and dad were first married, she knew nothing  about house-keeping, cooking, etc. Their beginning reminds me of Loretta Lynn’s story in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter, except my mom did not learn to play the guitar and her father was a carpenter not a coal miner. She did have a good voice however, and was blessed with that exceptional gift of perfect pitch. I’m sure she was influenced musically by my Grandpa, who played the fiddle and accordion – but she didn’t pursue music after the kids came along.

Not enough time. Just keeping up with the laundry without automatic washer/dryer – washing by hand, later by wringer-washer, and hanging clothes on a clothesline to dry. Scrubbing out stains on a washboard, not having all the amazing stain removers we now have.

My mom’s beginnings are vague – she was born to a single woman whom I only knew by the name of Minnie. Her birth mom visited our home only once that I recall when I was age 12. My oldest brother attempted to trace my mom’s genealogy after her death, but he could find no birth certificate or adoption papers in our state or county birth records.

My mom was a nice person and never said a bad word about anyone, or repeated gossip. She was fair-minded: when I complained about something one of my brothers did to me, like punch me, or about mean treatment from a playmate, she would ask, “And what did you do first?” (Of course, it was never “my fault”.)

My mother did not go beyond 10th grade, but she was very intelligent and an avid reader. I remember her reading to me when I was little and helping me to follow the words on the page – I learned to read very early. She cut out paper dolls with me and had a small collection of porcelain dolls.

My mother was also a good listener. She would spend time listening to me recite passages of Scripture that I had to memorize for a Bible quiz team that I was on in high school, insisting that I get it word-for-word, by saying, “Now sunshine, (her nickname for me), that wasn’t quite accurate. Let’s try again.”

Other things I remember about my mom were her frequent headaches, a very messy house, her perfectionism (which I believe hindered her housekeeping), her nervousness over finances (there was always a struggle to make ends meet), and her sadness. I believe she suffered from periodic depression, though I didn’t comprehend that until I was grown and she was gone.

We were not a “huggy” family, but the day I left for college in Philadelphia, having seldom traveled farther than my home state of Virginia, I remember giving my mom a hug which she eagerly reciprocated. From then on it was hugs upon arriving home and hugs when leaving.

Though I often shared my faith in Christ with my mom, in my college freshman year I felt compelled to write a letter to her about her need for salvation. When she next forwarded my mail to me, she wrote a note saying, “I’m not sure how to respond to your letter.”

I prayed very hard, before going home for Thanksgiving break, for an opportunity to share with my mom regarding God’s call on her life. One day we were alone in the kitchen doing dishes together and I knew this was the moment God had prepared. I asked my mom if she had thought about my letter and she said, “A little. I don’t know what to think about it.”

I then asked her if she knew where she would go when she died. She answered, “I would hope heaven, but you can’t know that until you die.”

I then shared with her 1 John 5:11-13 which says,

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

I asked Mom if she had ever prayed to ask Jesus to come into her life and forgive her sins. She responded, “No.” I asked if I could lead her in a prayer. You could have knocked me over with a feather when she said, “Yes.”

After we prayed, my mom (who was 5’ tall) looked up at me and said with tears streaming down her face, “I feel so clean inside.” It was a very special moment in my life to bring my mom to Jesus. My mother died 1 ½ years later at age 47.

I thank God for my mom’s influence in my life, but mostly I thank God that I will see her again one day.

How about you? Will you share eternity with your mom in the presence of our Savior? If she is still alive and doesn’t know Christ, ask God to give you the opportunity and courage to lead her to saving faith in Jesus.

©2012, Marcy Alves


About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on May 11, 2013, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, My Journey, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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