She made toys for us – a doll cradle out of an oatmeal box, a big button and a string made a fascinating whirling toy, or just a string gave hours of fun as we played cats in the cradle. I am glad to have such good memories. Mom was a homemaker, loving and nurturing. Our childhood was the best anyone could want.
For my first birthday, Mom made a doll out of an old pair of Dad’s black socks. I still have that old doll. She is 60 now. Her name is Mandi and she sits on my dresser. She was nearly loved to pieces and she has some holes, but I keep her and always will because when I look at that doll, I don’t see a doll… I see love. I see how my Mother loved her baby enough to make my first doll out of what could be found in our old farmhouse. I have often imagined her hand stitching the doll in anticipation of the surprise for her baby girl’s birthday. I’m told it was love at first sight – Mandi and I. Mom gave me so much more than an old sock doll. She gave me a lifelong reminder of a Mother’s love.
I’m not special, nor did Mom have a favorite child. She was careful to treat my sisters and I equal. My sisters have their special memories too. This one is mine.
We grew up in a time when money was scarce but Mom was thrifty and budgeted well. She made a lot of our clothes. She baked cakes, pies, cookies – even bread. We did not know lack. We had a rich childhood.
When tragedy strikes a family, often we ask God why. We don’t understand why Mom had to leave us the way she did. We are wounded by the harshness.
I find my comfort in the promises I find in my Bible – I am comforted by the Book of Ecclesiastes. God’s Word tells us that there is a time for everything under the sun.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love and a time to hate; A time of war and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
November 11, 2008 was Mom’s appointed time.
God’s word also tells me that God gave her life and that her spirit has returned to God:
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the well. Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:6-7
We know Mom has returned to God. We know her last days were spent where she wanted to be and that she was happiest when she was at the farm.
Mom lived close to 81 years. She had a full life. Her life was not cut short – she had a full measure and now she is back home with God.
We have the comfort of knowing that we will see Mom again, according to the scripture found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18:
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
When the trumpet blows and Jesus returns for us, Mom and all of our loved ones who have gone before will be resurrected first and we will meet them in the clouds. What a glorious day we have to look forward to!
Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
So, for now we say goodbye to Mom for a season but we have the assurance that we will see her again one bright day. Then we will be with Jesus forever more.
I love you Mom… I’ll see you soon.
Grace Kirk Watrous
1/7/28 - 11/11/08
I wrote this and read it at Mom's graveside service on 11/14/08. At the service were former high school classmates of my Mother (Class of 1946). I thought that was pretty special that they came to the service because it was a cold, windy day. One of Mom's friends gave me a couple of old snapshots from the '50's. The images were small and hard to see. I scanned into my computer, enlarged and was delighted to find the following picture of my Mom...