Mothers Day is a happy day, and also a sad one for many. Mothers are both biological and spiritual. They find us as divine grace in life. If we lost one too soon, God seems to put strong, caring women in our lives somewhere to help us survive and grow up into life. I have been blessed with a loving Mom who loves her children and stood by the four of us as we meandered toward adulthood. I am grateful. But I have known extra mothers–my wonderful mother-in-law, teachers, mentors, and an unfair overabundance of wise older women because of my vocation as a pastor. My wife is the greatest mother on the planet. I still learn from her. I am grateful for them all.
As my mother has battled cancer (and is now in remission, thankfully) this last nearly two years, I have become more grateful for the journey with mom and moms everywhere. For all of us, thank you. And so, a poem I wrote not long ago while thinking of my mom as the “teller of stories,” and women in churches who keep the stories that make us human beings. It’s not about any particular person, but an imaginary woman whose life has made a difference, even if unseen. Hope you have a day of peace, today. And remember, whether you had kids or not, someone in this world needs your wisdom. We appreciate you.
Gary Allison Furr, April 15, 2019
To a man in a hurry,
She was an old lady driver
a Lincoln Town Car getting in his way
to the pharmacist and doctor
a gold mine of prescriptions
a pill for every ache and pain
Young men once longed to meet her
Her husband once pursued her
He saw the future in her deep blue eyes.
She raised babies safe from fear
Made decent people of her children
And gave them confidence to try.
She’s the best friend of her Ladies class
She never fails to write them
That she missed them and remembers them in prayer
Strangers who walk past her
in a hurry to make money
barely notice that she’s there.
When her late husband was angry
at the world he didn’t ask for
she waited for him to come back alive
While he huddled in the storms
he kept making for himself
until he found a clearing in the sky
She’s the woman who remembers
Now her loved ones come to render
thanksgiving in these hours before they grieve
and all the people that she prayed for
the children that she cherished
Wait here by the bed from which she’ll leave
She’s breathing slow.
They all know
her departure’s drawing nigh
Her labored breathing is the only sound
God never forgot her.
Now these people she remembered
Are gathered here to sit near holy ground.