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I’m still celebrating Mothers’ Day, a bit every day

My aunt Theresa sent me a sweet poem for Mother’s Day, written for all who have stood by our mothers’ gravesides. I thought it ironic that she sent it because I had been considering the same thoughts — a mother’s lasting handprints on our lives.

God has a miraculous way of bonding wonderful memories in our minds that are associated with our parents, but in such a way that we don’t live in the past or remain paralyzed in grief.

I will confess that there are still moments when I feel like a wide-mouthed Charlie Brown shouting, “I miss my Mama!” Yet, even with the occasional clouds of nostalgia, I rejoice that my memory holds moments and images time hasn’t erased.

I remember Mother converting the dining room into her sewing room where she would cut out a new fall dress on that mahogany surface and make her Singer machine sing. There’s one specific dress I remember — a blue-green plaid with a gazillion pleats in the skirt. It required way more time than I required for my taste, but it was the latest style, so Mother kept making pleats.

It never dawned on me as a child that Mother’s closet had a lot more space than my sister’s and mine. In years to come I would realize more of her sacrifices for her four children.

When I think of VBS, I think of Mother. It was so special to me that she was the principal, the main person in charge. I thought she was an outstanding story teller. She always gave vivid word pictures of missionary lives and how God always met their needs.

Through her, I visited remote jungle villages and glided down the Amazon in a canoe with missionaries sharing the Gospel. I sang the Psalms to present day tunes and learned pledges to the Christian flag and Bible— all under the tutelage of my mother.

I loved the way Mother loved my daddy, how she trained us to appreciate and look for dessert after every lunch and dinner, how she hung a line of clothes like the military might have ordered, how she saved all her empty spice tins and oatmeal containers for our playhouse, how she let us have a real but small fire to cook our mud pies, how she taught us to sit still and quiet through some very long sermons, how she made our being sick almost better than being well due to her constant attention and special treats, how she loved musical performances by her offspring and how we knew she loved us unconditionally.

Life lessons, intentional and unintentional, were forged into my years by my mother and daddy. I know they weren’t perfect, but time has a way of dissolving the flaws and polishing the jewels.

So . . . I’ll always celebrate Mother’s Day a bit every day because her influence goes with me every day. Whoever set aside one special day of remembrance surely realized motherhood celebration runs nonstop every day of every year. To have a mother and to be one has made me rich beyond man’s measurements and extremely grateful that God made Eve.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camilleanding@gmail.com.