A letter of gratitude as Mother’s Day approaches

Dear Mom,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately as Mother’s Day approaches. Seems almost impossible it’s been 20 years since you passed from this earthly home to your heavenly home. I know you’re having a big time there walking on the streets of gold.

But knowing you, you probably still have your arms wrapped around Jesus’ neck and have been busy praising him. As I reminisce, I’m reminded of some of the lessons you taught us 10 kids about living a Christ-honoring life, one that would make Jesus proud for us to wear his name (Mathew 5:16).

I remember listening to you as you talked about growing up in Kentucky and how you, being the oldest, had to quit school during the Great Depression when you were 12. You went to live with another family during the week in order to help them care for their children and do housework. On weekends, you came back home and gave grandma all your pay so you could help put food on the table for your family of 13.

Thank you, Mom. You taught us kids that the sacrificing you did for your family was nothing compared to what Jesus sacrificed for us (1 John 3:16).

I remember, every Thanksgiving and Christmas, you prepared a big plate of food and had Dad take it to the bachelor up on the hill so he wouldn’t be left without a nice meal on those special days. You did this even before Dad asked the blessing for us to be able to eat. You were always watching out for Mr. Carven, making sure he was taken care of and not forgotten.

Thank you, Mom. You showed us kids to care and watch out for others, making sure no one did without, even when this meant we had to do with a little less ourselves (1 John 3:17, 18).

I remember you coming home from a hard day’s work at the factory. You had to have been dog-tired, but you insisted on fixing supper. After that, you did laundry, or mended someone’s torn shirt, or went out to the garden. You never sat down and you never drew attention to yourself.

You got to bed late night after night and you never complained about anything. Thank you, Mom. you showed us kids the importance of working hard and doing our best without complaining (Philippians 2:14, 15).

I remember when someone did you wrong, rather than retaliating you let them get by with what they did without saying a word. They hurt you, but you quickly forgave them even though they never did ask you to. You just let it go and left it with God. Now as I look back on that time, I know in your wisdom you knew God would be harder on them than you would be.

Thank you, Mom. You showed us kids when anyone did us wrong by lying about us or harming us in some way, rather than to retaliate, to forgive them quickly and leave it with God. You would be proud of me to know I’ve matured enough in my walk with Jesus that, today, I can even ask God to bless them (Romans 12:17-19).

I remember, the last few months when you were dying, you still wanted me to read your Sunday school lesson to you. At the end of your life, when you couldn’t talk and you lay motionless, I knew how important it was to you to be faithful to the end, so I continued reading your lesson to you. Your last lesson was about Paul and Silas in prison, found in Acts 16:25-34.

Thank you, Mom. You taught us kids how to run the race that Christ followers must run in order to make it to the very end (2 Timothy 4:7).

Even if I could, I wouldn’t ask you to come back now, but I sure do miss you. Thank you for being the best possible mother God could ever have given us kids.

And Mom — happy Mother’s Day.

Your loving daughter,

Nita Jean

Columbus’ Nita Evans is owner of Confidential Christian Counseling, focusing her work especially with ministry leaders and their families. She also is a Columbus Police Department chaplain and a national retreat and conference speaker. She can be reached at 812-614-7838 or by visiting specialspeaker.com.

Brian Blair is a Republic reporter. He can be reached at 379-5672 or bblair@therepublic.com.