A Mother’s Day memory

On a park bench she sat lookingth-8
At the trees that lined the hill
Trying hard to find the words
When she knows she never will
So she watched the sad leaves shimmer
All innocent and shy
As she caught the golden sunset
In the corner of her eye

And I sat there with her wondering
Though she did not know my name
If she could see me smiling
And love me just the same
And I thought I saw a glimmer
Of all the years gone by
As I caught the golden sunset
In the corner of her eye

She didn’t have to say it
Didn’t even have to try
‘Cause she said it for a lifetime
From the corner of her eye

Now she dances by my window
But I cannot let her in
Or recreate the feeling
Of her touch upon my skin
Still I see a ray come shining
From across a broken sky
Like that gleam of reassurance
In the corner of her eye

She didn’t have to say it
Didn’t even have to try
‘Cause she said it for a lifetime
From the corner of her eye

There was a place of total honesty and purity — a place where, in spite of dysfunction and the frailties of human nature, love and truth reigned. It was a place where my mother kept all her hopes and dreams for us in spite of ourselves, hidden, and once in a while, you got to glimpse it there. This was the place where the glimpse came from — from the corner of her eye. She could turn her head slightly and you would see it. It was a place of absolute trust and assurance — where everything was alright, in spite of everything around us that wasn’t. I think all mothers have a place like this.

It was an all-knowing place — a place where there was no doubt or question. A place where God shone through in small quantities, for we could certainly never gaze upon the whole of Him in this life and live. But we got bits of Him there from this place. She shared a little of it. It was like she would go to Him, and then come back and bring this.

It was a place where she knew we would be fine.

It was a place of great strength and certainty — utter backbone — but it was also a soft, tender place. There was no fear in this place. Fear did not exist here.

It was a place where God was God, Jesus was Jesus, the Holy Spirit was alive, and the word of God was the word of God, and if you ever wondered about any of this, you could look there and find it to be true, just as you thought.

It was always there if you looked hard enough, and if she knew you needed it, she would show it to you.

She took it with her when she died, but it still shines in my memory. Of course now, that place — small as it might have been here — has taken up her whole reality. And she is shining like the sun.

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16 Responses to A Mother’s Day memory

  1. That’s awesome! Just shared it.

  2. Just shared it on FaceBook – Thank you John.
    And Happy Mother’s Day Marti!!! 🙂


  3. Sue says:

    So touching…thinking of my Mother…love her so!

  4. Mark Seguin says:

    Another very good Catch Pastor John – Thx 4 it…And wishing every Mom in the land of the Catch – A very Happy Mom’s day – God’s speed and many blessing to each of you!
    PS also to those of you very kind, helpful and gentle woman that don’t have any children of your own – thx for helping me and being my Mom every once in a while – Carole O. 🙂

  5. Martha Nelson says:

    John, Thank you for all your writings. I forward your “Gospel of Welcome” posts frequently. I am so blessed by your ministry! This one hit a distinct note 🎶🎵 with me! My Mama and Daddy had Alzheimer’s. Devastating! The blessing was the constant positive attitude and sweetness of their spirits 90% of the time, their years of excellent health and the timing of the onset. Daddy’s became noticeable when he was around 78. He lived to 3 months short of 90. He had to go to a nursing home but the Lord was gracious and took him home in only 18 hours. We had cared for him and Mama in an assisted living facility for several years and actually longer than we should have to keep him and Mama together. Mama was taking sole care of him in their home when we started noticing her slipping around 85 or so. She lived to 92 but the last 2 years she was in a nursing home. The Lord had His reasons. I was so devastated because they were BOTH such GODLY parents and humans! But then God showed me another blessing – they were never aware of their mental and physical deterioration. Took a while to let this sink in. They both were hard working, generous, loving servants of the Lord to everyone including their family and friends. If they had been aware of their decline it would have been much harder on them. As it was, they thought they were still as busy and vital as they had always been! I used to come in and say, “, Mama, how has your day been?” And she would tell me of work with the Sunday school or grandchildren and just be happy as can be. My Daddy for a time thought every day was Sunday and got up and put his suit on in anticipation of driving Mama to church. Such a wonderful place to live! In the later stages, neither knew who I was or my 2 brothers and 2 sisters. They just seemed to know we were someone important. I had one moment of clarity with each one separately during this time. My Daddy talked to me on the phone one day and told me he had been reading a book of my poetry and songs that I had made for him. He, by the grace of God, not only realized it was me on the phone, but that I was the one who wrote what he was reading. MY DADDY TOLD ME HE WAS PROUD OF ME AND HE LOVED ME!!! I was so PUMPED by his recognition that I floated on it for weeks!! My Daddy was a good Father and man but he never said, “I love you”. I would tell him, “Daddy, I love you!” and he would always say, “Thank you.” Don’t know why he had trouble with the words. We always KNEW he loved us but it would have been nice to hear the words from his mouth. GOD GAVE ME THAT GIFT!!! I the last years, my Mama

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. kevinm1957 says:

    beautiful post John and beautiful share Martha. I just want to pass on something I came accross on facebook today:

  7. John Lovell says:

    Love this! We church primary-school urchins loved “Mother Fischer”…

  8. “Memories” by Chuck Swindoll

    I had just completed a manuscript on Philippians, and my heart was full of joy. Not only because I was through (isn’t that a wonderful word?) but because joy, the theme of the inspired letter I had spent weeks studying, had rubbed off. It was as if Paul and I had shared the same room and written at the same desk.

    I was smiling and humming the little chorus “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice!” as I inserted the books I had used back onto my library shelves. As I shoved the last volume in place, my eyes fell upon an old work by a British pastor of yesteryear, F. B. Meyer. It was his work on Philippians, but for some reason I had not consulted it throughout my months of study. Thinking there might be something to augment my now-finished manuscript, I decided to leaf through it before calling it a day.

    It was not his words that spoke to me that evening, however, but the words of my mother. For as I began looking through it, I realized the book had once been a part of her library; after her death in 1971 it had found its way into mine. In her inimitable handwriting, my mother had added her own observations, prayers, and related Scriptures in the margins throughout the book. Inside the back cover she had written: “Finishing reading this, May 8, 1958.”

    When I saw that date—1958—memory carried me back to a tiny island in the South Pacific where I had spent many lonely months as a marine. There, in May of ’58, I had reached a crossroad in my own spiritual pilgrimage and committed myself to a lifetime of ministry.

    Amazingly, it was the same month of that same year that my mother had finished Meyer’s book. As I scanned her words, I found one reference after another to her prayers for me as I was far, far away . . . her concern for my spiritual welfare . . . her desire for God’s best in my life.

    As I slid Meyer’s book back on the shelf, I thought of the invaluable role my parents had played during the formative years of my life . . . and how the torch had been passed from them to Cynthia and me to do the same with our children—and they, in turn, with theirs.

    I could almost hear Mother’s voice saying, “I’m still praying for you, Son. Keep walking with God. Finish strong!”

    What treasured legacy has been passed on to you? What prevailing prayers, lasting love, wise warnings, hearty laughter? What are you passing on to your children?

    Excerpted from “Day by Day with Charles Swindoll” http://www.insight.org/resources/devotionals/memories.html

  9. Okay, I said I would not come back, however, I knew Mother’s day was now here, so suck it up and I hope I am better than this:When I was born and you brought me home, I thought you would claim me and consider me your own.
    Life was good in the early years; you taught me how to walk and wiped away my tears, but then something changed in you, you had your own agenda, I don’t if it was life in which you grown.
    It wasn’t nice what you did to me, you left me out, yet didn’t set me free. You condemned for they way you wanted to be. I told you once and I told you twice, that your new husband wasn’t very nice, and again you betrayed me…..
    It was looking good for you, but this time you didn’t want to loose your dream, but again you didn’t think of me it seems.
    Then I learned the truth, I have never mattered to you, like you said, I wish I never had you.

    I walk in this world looking for love, because you never accepted who I was, yet the man you married had appeal for me, this is not the life I chose for me. Yet you chose him over the truth and I am left with the bitterness that holds me.
    Chorus: I laid down my life for you and allowed you to believe what you thought was true and then you gave him a son, who would have known a new life begun, but you still lived the lie that he was still a great guy, abandoned me……..

    Years later you wanted to talk and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to be around a woman who tossed her child to the wind, because I ran away to begin, a new life.Yet you couldn’t let go and always tried to gain control, while you begged me to come, only to hurt me again.
    I did everything for you, yet you never had a clue, in spite of what you did for I still believed you loved me too, but that was lie… You proved it once and you proved it twice, how much more should I sacrifice?
    Chorus: I laid down my life for you and allowed you to believe what you thought was true and then you gave him a son, who would have known a new life begun, but you still lived the lie that he was still a great guy, abandoned me……..

    I wish to God above that He can forgive you, because I do not, you hurt this child who needed you, yet you never followed the right thing to do. You left my dad to fulfill your dreams, yet you left me and my sisters in a stream to fend for ourselves as we lost our dreams, because it was always about you!

    Again I apologize for the long post

    • Mark Seguin says:

      My friend no apology needed @ all, except the one you’re surely deserve, of which you’ll may never get from her, so I’ll express I am so sorry for the miss treatment you had to endure… I wish you didn’t go through something so terrible – you are often mentioned in my prayers…

    • Mark Seguin says:

      And welcome back to the Catch – you’ve been missed! 🙂

    • “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

      Welcome back, Colleen, and Peace be with you. Shalom…

    • jwfisch says:

      Wow. So much pain. Lord have mercy on Colleen, and open her eyes to see you have been there all along. You know what this pain feels like since you bore it yourself on the cross. Bring peace and comfort.

  10. Thank you Mark and Bob on the welcome. I am just really upset and wonder sometimes have I been a better mother than the one that was bestowed me. Yeah, I appreciate she gave me life, but the life she gave me frankly sucked! I apologize to anyone who is offended, but you really don’t know how horrible my mother really was and the cruel things she did to me, before her husband started to abuse me.

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