Mother’s Day: For Mom

When I was 15 years old, my mother and I signed up to work the nursery at church on Sunday mornings during the summer. It was a job she and I had done together several times. She enjoyed it more than I did, but I think it helped her to stay busy, especially after my father died.

I remember one Sunday morning in particular. A lady in the church came to pick up her child and as I handed their diaper bag to her, she looked at me and said, “Jason, you’re looking just like your mother.”

I turned red with embarassment. There are fewer things a 15-year-old boy wants to hear than how much he resembles his mother. Since my father’s death 5 years earlier, I desperately wanted people to see him in me. As much as I loved my mother, I fiercely clung to my father’s image. He was who I wanted to look like, talk like, act like. Being told I looked like my mother was terrible. I considered the comment an affront to my manhood. The truth is I didn’t want to look like my mother.

Fast forward another 15 years to my niece’s baptism. Sunny and I returned to Lebanon to be there as Hope, my sister’s daughter, was baptized. Afterward, as we were standing around talking with people, a dear sweet lady approached me, a friend of the family I’d not seen in years. After introducing her to Sunny and the kids, she looked right at me and said, “Jason, you look just like your mother.

Her comment caught me off-guard. It’s been over 12 years since my mother passed away. I don’t live in my home town anymore and I’m very rarely around anyone who even knew my mother. I can’t remember the last time someone mentioned either of my parents in conversation with me. But her comment nearly brought me to tears. It’s not so much that I think she’s right (I actually don’t think I look much like my mother at all). I guess it just meant a lot to me to hear someone remember my mother. Today, I consider it a supreme compliment to be compared to my mother.

She taught me about compassion and faith, love for God and love for others.

She said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” a pithy saying when spoken tritely…a powerful testimony when lived out through adversity.

She saw the potential in me when others only saw an angry young man.

If she were still here, there are so many things I would say to her on this Mother’s Day.

Mom, because of you, I know how to love other people.

Because of you, I know how to deal with adversity with strength and dignity.

Because of you, I have great respect for those who would be mothers.

Because of you, I know Jesus.

On this Mother’s Day, know that you are remembered. I cherish the person you were; I cherish who you are even now to me.

If I bear any semblance to you, Mom, I’m the lucky one. I love you.

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7 Responses to Mother’s Day: For Mom

  1. BIGSIS says:

    Hey little Bro..Your comments moved me to tears. Yes, it is a rare moment when anyone here at home ever mentions them to me either. Do they even remember?!! Seems like our parents didn’t exist to the rest.It’s the EYES Jason, the huge baby blue ARMSTRONG eyes that resemble her (Joshua got them too didn’t he?) I see Dad too though. The smile, they way you stand with hand on hip and one foot ahead of the other (Ethan does this too). You sound just like him when you cough,I have to do a double take..I do not recall anyone telling me I resembled either parent. As a child, I often wondered if I were adopted, or ir they mixed me up at the hospital and I grew up with the wrong family. Hey, we don’t even look like we are related either except for the feet. That’s how I know we are kin! Our parents were two unique people, an odd pair, unlike anyone else I have ever known. I am amazed and blown away by their continued influence over me. Although they are gone, their example is ever so present in my life and it is a powerful one. I miss them terribly too. We got the torch passed to us way too early. We weren’t ready to carry it. But we didn’t get a say in that did we? Because of who they were, we knew we had to pick up the torch, hold on tight, and carry it on – for their sake, for our sake, for our children… Mom and Dad, we proudly carry the torch and we hope we make you proud……….

  2. Jason says:

    I suppose we’ll always be heavily influenced by our parents, even though they’re gone. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. It’s uncanny how I catch myself doing and saying the same things they did, especially now that I’m a parent. Weird.You’re right, the torch was passed a bit too soon. But I know our parents would be so proud of you and your life and your family. You’re everything to your children that our Mom was to us. That would make her proud. Your children are believers. That would definitely make them both proud. And we live each day with the hope of eternity in our hearts, knowing that we’ll all be together again in a little while. That’s something we’re all looking forward to. Love you, sis.

  3. scott says:

    Jason, I thank you and your sister for allowing me to read something holy, touched by God, today.

  4. -Lane says:

    Jason, and Tara as well,Sorry, I’ve had a hard time logging in to read blogs this week. The influence both of you have had on my life is overwhelming. Tara always let Jason and I run wild in her house as teenagers. Even though I never met your father, I knew your mother pretty well. She was always kind and compassionate towards me. She will exist as a memory in my mind always. As for saying that you wonder if your parents existed to everyone else, I just want you to remember back to the day of your mother’s funeral. The entire College Street church building was filled. She had an impact on so many, and her and your father’s impact continues through you both.

  5. Jason says:

    Lane,Thanks for your kind words. Like I said over at your page, I think back to that time in my life quite often and I’m thankful for your presence in my pain. One of the images that gives me peace is the one you alluded to…the auditorium at College Street filled with those who were influenced by my mother. What a blessing. Thanks for your words & thoughts.

  6. Jason says:

    Hey Tara, you should get in on this blogging thing. It’s great. I’d love to read your insights.

  7. Jason says:

    Reblogged this on already & not yet and commented:

    I first wrote these words 12 years ago. They still express what is in my heart today on the 24th anniversary of my mother’s passing.

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