Friday, March 4, 2011

Mothers Live Forever

I dreamt about my Mother this morning. It was one of those reality-defying, vivid dreams right before waking that refuses to dissipate with the morning mist.

She and I had been to a church service and she was driving us home, both weary and hungry and needing an afternoon nap. I kept looking at her, touching her, amazed she was with me - breathing, laughing, alive.

The dream took on an Alice in Wonderland quality, featuring exploding-with-color scenery and animals acting like people. The seasons were overlapping, so even as purple crocuses, lemon-yellow daffodils, and red-lipstick tulips were reaching for the sun, the leaves on the trees were scarlet and sunset-orange, just starting their final flight to the earth.

As we were driving and chatting we saw three cats, holding paws, rise as one on their hind legs so they could practice walking upright. They were having so much fun, we laughed in delight at their attempt to be human. I grasped my Mom's hand and told her these were precious moments. I didn't know how much time we had left and wanted to burn every image into my memory forever.

She smiled at me, her sky-blue eyes shining with understanding. A Mother's love never dies...

I woke up to my husband's laughter. My Mom's best friend was on the phone, calling to celebrate the day. It was my Mom's birthday today. She would have been 84. She lived life with such zeal and zest, I expected her to live into her 90s. I needed her to live into her 90s...

She would call every Sunday afternoon and we would talk and laugh about our week. Now Sundays are never quite 'right' anymore. When she visited us, our kitchen would magically transform from grungy to spotless, all the holes in our clothes would be mended, and we would cook lavish meals for the simple joy of doing it together.

She taught me to cook as a young girl and there was nothing the two of us wouldn't tackle. From homemade bread, pizza, fruit pies and traditional Mennonite delicacies like perisky (pie-by-the-yard), to Chinese, Greek (calamari) and German dishes, my Mom and I conquered them all. When I cook now I conjure memories of our time together to make it seem less like work...

What I miss most is the mind-reading. She could tell how I was feeling even though we lived 800 kilometers apart. She would phone (on days that weren't Sundays) to ask what was wrong. We were so close, we felt each others pain. Just as now, I get glimpses of her joy...

My best friend grew up eating my Mom's perisky and asked my Mom to design her shining, satin wedding gown. Wendy wrote me this poem shortly after my Mom died. Through it she captured the trinity of our relationship - my Mom and I and He - her love for her Lord and her love for me.

Her work-weathered hands
Held yours, smooth, young,
And His, work-weathered, too,
Enfold the both of you.

Prayer, prayer
His hand in hers,
And hers in His,
Over the dark face of the water
Chaos, fear,
Smoothed to ripples
Peace, be still, my daughter!

His heart in hers
And hers in His
Intertwined like careful stitching
Satin shining
His bride
Her heart on fire inside.

Her plans in His
And His in hers.
Deft fingers weed neat rows of sod
And seeds planted deep within you
Burst their casings, stretching up to God.
He smiles,
His garden well-tended.

Her work in Him
And His in her
Her pastry-floured hands
Lie still
And His, wood worker rough,
lift her gently to her
New home.

Her eyes shine in His
And His in hers
they reach the sky
and paint
sunsets in your favorite colors
Her whispers in His ear
Carry soft prayers,
Comfort in the night
Her hands softly stroke your shining hair.

Someday soon
It won't be long now,
Can't you smell the fresh cut timber?
Her work-weathered hands
Will reach for yours, smooth and young,
And His, work-weathered, too
Will enfold both of you
For always

I can hardly wait to enfold her work-weathered hands in my own again!
Do you treasure the moments you have with your Mother? What special memories do you have of her if she is gone?


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mother, Doris!! She sounds like such an amazing woman!! I wish I could have known her! And I'm sure she was as honored to have you as a daughter (and to hold you again!) as you are to call her mother!
    Your dream is amazing too... it's like God gave you a chance to experience her again for a minute. I also see something else in your dream though... You mention Alice in Wonderland and I think it might have been a character in that who said something about 'things are never as they seem'? (I might be wrong... haven't read that book for many, many years!!!) But that's what your dream speaks to me of... animals 'being' human, fall and spring overlapping, ... 'normal' being completely and joyously overturned... and your mother, passed on but in true reality (nothing is as it seems) still breathing, laughing, and very much alive.
    What an amazing poem that is!! Absolutely beautiful! I can just imagine how you must treasure it!!
    I need to treasure my mom more... time goes to fast, life is too fragile... treasure her HERE while I still have the opportunity.

  2. Joy - my friend Wendy, who wrote this poem, also said this dream and experience was a special gift from God. Do treasure everything you can about your Mom now! Those memories will be a blessing later on.
    It's interesting that I often dream about friends or family on their birthday. This has happened numerous times and I think it's more than coincidence. What's your analysis?

  3. Interesting!! I wouldn't doubt that it IS more tha coincidence. I'm not sure what to think of it though!! Let me think/pray about it.