Monday, May 2, 2011

A Mother's Day Tribute

[Reviewed and updated May 1, 2022]

Your mother will never leave you.  She persists like an echo after the source has gone.
  ~ Unknown

The following was written for Good Housekeeping Magazine by Temple Bailey in 1933.  In the days leading up to Mother's Day this year, I offer it here as a special tribute to my own mother, and to yours:

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."
The young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, she fed them and bathed them, taught them how to tie their shoes and ride a bike, and reminded them to feed the dog and do their homework and brush their teeth.

The sun shone on them and the young mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."

Then the nights came, and the storms, and the path was sometimes dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her arms.

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 as they climbed they learned to weather the storms. And with this, she gave them strength to face the world. Year after year she showed them compassion, understanding, hope, but most of all unconditional love.

And when they reached the top they said, "Mother, we could not have done it without you."

The days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years. The mother grew old and she became little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.

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 so much and are now passing these traits on to their children."

And when the way became rough for her, they lifted her, and gave her strength, just as she had given them hers. One day they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide.

And the mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk with dignity and pride, with their heads held high, and so can their children after them."

And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her.

And they said, "We cannot see her, but she is with us still."

A mother is more than a memory. She is a living presence. 

The following poem was written by Deborah R. Culver to honor her mother, Joann L. Force, who died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, 1985 after a long battle with breast cancer. It is printed here with Deborah's permission:

Your Mother Is Always With You 
Your Mother is always with you
She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street 
She's the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick , the fragrance of life itself 
She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well 
She's your breath in the air on a cold winters day
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a rainbow 
She is Christmas morning 
Your mother lives inside your laughter
She's the place you come from, your first home
She's the map you follow with every step you take
She's your first love, your first friend, even your first enemy
But nothing on Earth can separate you
Not time
Not space
Not even death

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  1. Marty,

    This made me cry, just so beautiful and reminded me of how my mum raised me. To face any challenge and to see the beauty in this world...and to be grateful for that gift.

    Thank you for sharing, only yesterday in Walmart a lady brushed by me with my mum's youth dew perfume on...and in an instant Mum was there beside me.

    Happy Mothers Day to you Marty
    with love
    Diana x

  2. For me, it's lilacs and lilies of the valley. Bless your very sweet heart, Diana, and happy Mother's Day to you, too, my dear friend!

  3. Hi,
    My name is Amanda and I'm a student in high school. I am doing a project and a part of it is finding a blog. I wanted to find a blog that would help me with the loss of my mom. I lost my mom when I was 14 years years old, and she was my best friend. Reading this story brought tears to my eyes... it is very inspiring. Not long after my mom died, I started feeling her by my side when rainbows were present. My mom loved rainbows, and I feel that she shows that she is okay through them.

    1. Amanda, my dear, I have no doubt that your mom is revealing herself to you through those rainbows. And know this: Your mom is always, always with you, just as long as you keep her memory alive in your mind and in your heart. Love is eternal, and the love you have for (and from) your mom will never, ever die. Love and blessings to you, dear one, from my heart to yours ♥

  4. Beautiful. Thank you. My mother died one year before my husband, but she had been "gone" a long time with Alzheimer's, so there was some relief in her death. Still, I remember the protection and love when I was a child, tucking myself under her wing as a chick hides under a hen.


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