Thanks, Mom, for our crazy family

Beth Marshall

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9).

Too often, don't realize the wisdom in our parents' advice until we get older. This is one woman’s story of how time changed her perspective on her mother’s teaching and the difference one mom can make.

Dear Mom,

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years today.

I sent an email to all five of your kids asking how they planned to remember you today, and in that email, I asked them to reply to all. I somehow know this will be a great day.

I will honor you by:

  • Driving behind a speeding ambulance to the Hobby Lobby sale. Who else’s mother did that?  
  • Hanging crime scene tape across a bedroom door, so company will understand not to open it.
  • Smiling as I think about the beautiful woman the grandkids called “Beazy”

I appreciate now more than ever the things you taught your five hooligan kids without ever having to preach a sermon. You were the poster child for being “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry”  like it says in James 1:19. Heaven knows we gave you every reason to lose your mind.

I’m thinking of the day one of the grand kids accidentally spilled two liters of Coke on your (formerly) off white carpet. Some moms would have turned a triple back flip, screaming, yelling and sentenced the child to life in the naughty chair. But your response is still etched in my mind, “No problem with Beazy.” Seriously, no problem. You calmly cleaned it up and suggested they might sit at the table next time. I want to be more like you.   

John recalls the day he came home from kindergarten and with his tiny scissors carved, “I love momy” in your mahogany table. When you discovered his artwork, you quickly helped him understand table carving is a very bad idea; but at the same time managed to let him know you still loved him. The hand-carved graffiti love note now sits proudly in John’s dining room.  

Mike remembers all the times you told us, “Nothing good happens after 11 at night." Your words make a lot more sense to us now than when we were teenagers. Mike gets up at 4:30 every morning now.

Have you thanked your mom lately? If your mom is still in the picture, today is the perfect day to give her a gigantic hug and tell her what you love most about her.

Mom, the joy of the Lord truly was your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

I’ll never forget the New Year’s Eve you drove to the Atlanta airport to bring me an aluminum pie plate filled with sauerkraut and pork. You didn’t want anyone left out of the festivities. Thankfully, the Boeing 727 didn’t have to be evacuated when I accidentally blackened the sauerkraut in the first class oven.      

Remember when 9-year-old Amy decorated her bedroom for you completely in red lights? You were so cool to save the “her-room-looks-like-a-brothel” comments till she was asleep.

Mom, thanks for loving each of your five kids and 11 grandkids the very most. I understand that now.  

I’ll always love you,


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