Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mother, Mum…whichever name you prefer to call her, or prefer to be called if you are one, this upcoming weekend we will be celebrating the life of our Mothers. For some of us, this will be done in person, and for others like myself, it will be done in memory.
Donna Jean Kinkade, my mother, passed away on January 25th, 2013. In the 2 years and 3 months since she has passed, there has not been one day where I have not thought about her. While she left us early, at the age of 62, she taught me so many lessons throughout her life. Many of those lessons still pay dividends. I give my mom credit for so many things I carry with me today, but by far the most important of those is a solid set of manners and protocol for interactions with people. She was very kind and polite to everyone she met. I have never met one person who had a bad thing to say about my mom, and while that alone is neat, the things people told me at her memorial service were even more amazing. I heard about sides of her I did not even know existed, and all of them made me even more proud to be her son. I also, through the mouths of others, heard how important her kids and grand kids were to her.
While her health was failing, I was transitioning through a lot of things in my personal life. During this time of change, my communications with her became more sporadic. While she never said anything to me, and knew my life was so hectic at the time, I am sure she would have wanted to hear from me more. I saw her last on her birthday, December 21st of 2012. After the holidays, I went on a cruise, and at the end of the week I got back, I got the call from my sister. Mom was gone. There is not a day that goes by where I do not regret what happened with our communication towards the end of her life. I, through my own challenges in life, focused on what I needed, more than what she needed, and as a result, I never really got to tell her goodbye…or I love you…or thank you. These are things that I would give anything to be able to do now…but you see, I cannot. Additionally, I do not know where my mom was spiritually when she died. So, I struggle with the thought of not being with her ever again. I would feel partially better about my lack of communication with her towards the end if I knew I would see her in heaven.
I hope she found Jesus somewhere towards the end and that she accepted Him as her Lord and Savior. But, since it will be a while, hopefully a long while, until I know for sure and look for her in heaven, all I can do is take the nuggets of wisdom and knowledge she gave me, and live wise. I can try and look at things through the same lenses of love that she did, and be a better Christian. I can repay the support and encouragement she gave me over the years to those who need it, now. Most importantly, I can do all of those things, every single day. If I celebrate Mother’s Day just once a year, what a poor job I am doing of being the man she wanted me to be. As I think back to all of the things I learned from her, and I think about what Jesus teaches us, I can see a similar line of thought. As it says in Galatians 5:22, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Those things were indeed my mother, and I am so thankful for who she was.
Today, I will leave you with two things: A quick look at how Jesus cared for his mother, and a homework assignment.
I love this scene from the cross; Jesus, as he is being crucified, sees his Mother standing beside John, the disciple. Knowing He will no longer be there to guard His mother, He lays out his protection plan. It is as short and sweet as you could imagine, given the difficulty of what was happening. More than anything else, I love John’s obedient answer to the call from Jesus.
In John 19:26-27, it says, “26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.”
One of His final wishes upon the cross was to make sure His mom would be cared for after He was gone. Jesus had great respect, love, and appreciation for His mother.
And all of this leads me to this: your homework assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have a mother who is living, I want you to pick up a phone, now, and tell her, “I love you.” I do not care if the last time you spoke to her was this morning, or last year, or ten years ago, I beg of you to do this. Besides the fact it will absolutely fill her heart, it will fill your heart by knowing you capitalized on the opportunity to do so. One day, and you won’t know when that day is, that opportunity will be gone. Make the most of it…now.
To ALL of the Mothers who read this, ENJOY YOUR DAY. You make an amazing, unforgettable impact in the lives of your children every single day. THANK YOU ALL for what you do.
In His Name,
Eric J. Wasson