Thursday, September 25, 2003

Thank You, Mom

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights….” ~ James 1:17 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Women of Faith conference I attended in Iowa and you might recall that I shared that poem titled “Dust if you Must” along with one of my own poems entitled Kids. It was about how my life with kids is not clean or quiet. Well, today I received a nice surprise in the mail from a small magazine called Happiness. They publish all the weekly television listings along with pictures and poems from their readers. I had submitted my Kids poem for publication and they decided to publish it on Page 7 of the October 4-10 edition. They sent me two copies along with $25.00. That’s a first for me!

This Saturday, September 27th, my stepmother, Barbara Brady, will be celebrating her birthday. I’ve never really liked the term “stepmother.” But then I was thinking about how Barbara helped us carry on after our mother’s death, and that gave new meaning to the word “step.”

Barbara came into our life after we lost our mother to cancer over fourteen years ago. From day one she has filled our lives with love and laughter and she continues to be one of God’s greatest gifts to our family. I was reading one of my journals from about ten years ago and our son Josh summed up our feelings like this: “Grandma gave Grandma to us. Your mom gave Grandma Barb to us, to watch over us."

About ten years ago I was at a loss for words as to how to adequately express my gratitude to Barbara. I thought I would explode if I didn’t get my feelings on paper. Finally one night as I was getting ready for bed, a phrase popped into my head, so I wrote it down. "How do you thank someone? Please tell me how ….."

Please Tell Me How

How do you thank someone for caring and sharing, for
loving and giving from their heart and soul?
Please tell me how.

How do you thank someone for filling your life with fun
and surprises, love and laughter?
Please tell me how.

How do you thank someone for taking you into their heart
and their home, just when you needed them most?
Please tell me how.

How do you thank someone for a mother's love, a mother's
warmth, a mother's hug?

Please tell me how, and I'll do it.


But alas, the dilemma continues. This is my latest attempt to convey my love and appreciation to my stepmother, Barbara.

September, 2003

Thank you, Mom

Mom, thank you for having such a big heart. When you married our dad you treated all nine of us as if you’d given birth to each and everyone of us. We all felt blessed – overwhelmed, really – by all the love you showed us right from the start. God broke the mold when He made you, Mom.

They say no one can ever replace a loved one lost – and that’s true I suppose, because no two people are alike. But I believe that God handpicked you for all of us, because He didn’t want us to be left without the love of a mother. He knew that you had enough love in your heart (even though it had been wounded many times in the past) for our very large family. We felt a void when our mother died, but you came along and you filled it. You’re so good at everything a mother does – loving without condition or question, giving advice when asked but letting us make our own decisions, supporting us no matter what direction our life may take and encouraging us every step along the way.

You’ll never know – you couldn’t possibly know – how much all your love has meant to me over the years. So this is my feeble attempt to help you understand how much I appreciate your love for me and how much love I have in my heart for you.

Thank you, Mom. You are such a gift from God.