My mother still lives quite near Lea and me, so we were able to have a special cookout with her Friday night here on our patio, and Lea is in the kitchen preparing a special Mother’s Day stew for her to share after church today. I always think of my brother and my sons on Mother’s Day. They don’t get to be with their mother very often. 

I recall once, many years ago, dedicating and reciting a poem to my mother on a radio show in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was in broadcasting school then, learning to be a radio-tv announcer, and had a little late-evening jazz show on WIST.  I was far away from home for the first time, and still recall that feeling of distance. 

 I no longer remember that poem, but know the sense of longing is the same felt by my brother and my sons. I’ve heard it said that, no matter what your relationship is with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone, and I know that to be true. I think often of the passing of Lea’s mom and dad as well as the passing of my father and grandparents. I don’t want to have any regrets if my mother passes before I do.

Lea received flowers from our son Lance last night, and I was struck by how thrilled she was to receive them. That was a real highlight for her, and her delight worked on my subconscious all night, I guess. I also thought about those who are posted away from home, in the military, protecting freedom and mothers everywhere.

So, I wanted to post something a little special for all the boys who are not with their mother’s this morning. The following text isn’t original to me; I received it via email, and just modified it somewhat to correct some of the grammer, and to reflect my personal feelings. I hope it provides some comfort for those distant hearts longing for home.

“The young mother set her foot on the path of life. “Is this the long way” she asked. And the guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them, and the young Mother cried, “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this.”

Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother  drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, “Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come.”

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children,” A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, “Mother, we would not have done it without you.”

And the mother, when she lay down at night looked up at the stars and said, “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of difficulty. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today, I’ve given them strength.”

And the next day came with strange clouds that darkened the earth; clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up. Lift your eyes to the light. ” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little, frail, and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her,for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill. Beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said, “I have reached the end of my journey. And, now I know the end is truly better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said, “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.” They watched her as she went within. Joyous singing and choruses of wonderful melodies arose as she neared, and the gates gracefully closed after her. Her children said: “We can no longer see her, but we can still feel her. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

Your Mother is always with you…. She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street; she’s the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she’s crystallized in every tear drop.

She’s the place you came from, your first home; and she’s the map you follow with every step you take. She’s your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space… not even death!” And, thank God, one day you will be together again for eternity. (Amen!)

Below are some shots of Lea receiving her Mother’s Day flowers at 8:35 PM. Needless, to say, she was elated!

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