Friday, May 11, 2007

A Mother's Hand-Me-Downs

Mother’s Day contests abound. The Internet, television, radio, newspapers, and magazines call for entrants and offer prizes if contestants can tell why their Mom is a “Super Mom.” Or one contest queries, “What is your favorite memory about your mother?”

Another contest asked mothers to send in photos of their favorite family moments. Perhaps the contest judges received candid shots of families at home or posed with pets.

But, cameras don’t always capture the moments we remember. For many adult children, favorite moments about mothers are stored in our lofts. Moms hand off a lot of stuff that is never captured on film such as values, caresses, cooking lessons, recipes, genes, likes and dislikes.

Stored in my memory bank are three favorite movie-shorts of my mom. When I was about nine, I heard Mother talking in our tiny bathroom. I knew spying was wrong but peeked through the keyhole anyway and saw her kneeling and praying. I received a gift that day, a hand-me-down, a prayer of faith.

I suspect it might have been a prayer of desperation poured out one summer day when we’d spilled enough KOOL-AID to drown the cat and slammed the door the gazillionth time.

The second image is Mother’s antics. I especially remember the times she conned the kitchen broom into a waltz. From those memory flashes, she hands down humor.

The third image is of her bent over the sewing machine, guiding yards of fabric under the pressure foot while the needle click-clacked. Out came Sunday clothes, costumes, and curtains. Corduroys, brocades, piqué, gingham checks — all became clothing rivaling any garment bought off of a retail rack. The hand-me-down was selflessness.

Selflessness may be the most outstanding characteristic of moms. Mothers are sturdy, surviving for years on crusts, the last lick of peanut butter, and cat naps.

Tenneva Jordan said, “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people promptly announces she never did care for pie.”

God said through the prophet Micah that mothers in pleasant homes were intended blessings for children (2:9). If you are a mother, learn the lesson of hand-me-downs. Pass along some good stuff.

If your mom is alive, tell her about the snapshots stored in your heart -- the ones only you can see.

Care to comment or share a memory about your mom?

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