A Mother’s Steadfast Love

Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away and the garden centers, clothing stores and even supermarkets are prepared. Thousands of pretty items that tug at Mom-hearts are now ready for pickup.

The volume of items and breathtaking cost must create fear in the hearts of men and children everywhere. We once knew a man with several small children and a limited budget. What could he get for his children’s mother for Mother’s Day? Perhaps a day off from cooking? So he arranged for a meal of brats and beans.

Children and fathers, you need to know: flowers and candy are nice, but it really is the thought that counts. A card with a special message, a phone call home, and even brats say “I love you.”

After my mother died, we found Mother’s Day keepsakes among her things. Cards made with glue, paper roses and construction paper, bookmarks made of ribbon and glitter. Mom, who could never utter the words “I love you,” kept these treasures for decades. They’re a reminder that words aren’t the only way to make a statement, for saving those simple items revealed her secret heart.

“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Some women are the essence of good motherhood, and some of us not so much. I, for one, would love to go back and redo my time as a young mother. I needed more patience and less panic. And I wish we had lived closer to the women I grew up with—especially my mother, sisters and aunts.

Currently, I’m working on a book about family. My nephew, Paul Welander, supplied an especially heartwarming story for it about his mother’s influence. As background, you should know that Paul’s mother was pregnant with him when she contracted polio in the early 1950s. The doctors gave her no hope that her baby would live or be normal, but she began to pray for this new life before he was born. Her prayers were answered!

He started his essay by saying, “I can’t hug my Mom anymore; I can’t talk with her, joke with her, or share my struggles with her, but I can share my memories of her and her steadfast love for me. It was her love for me that provided guardrails during some rebellious teen years and continues to influence my life years after her death. Mom’s love had three strong aspects which influenced my life.”

His mother always prayed for him, believed in him, and she always had time for him. So simple, so important.

He summed up the account of his mother with these words, “Perhaps you had such a mother. Even if you didn’t (or don’t), we all have such a Savior whose name is Jesus.” You’ll have to wait to read the rest of Paul’s story, and my sister Donna’s story, in my new book (if and when it’s published)!

The gifts Donna gave her son can’t be purchased, because they came from a heart of faith, hope and love. They gave him a solid foundation on which to build his life. Most of us still need that same unconditional love. It’s found in Jesus, who wants to be our Savior, but is always a wise and loving friend.

“The Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6



Writer News: I’m so pleased to have my essay “Plain View from the Plains included in the Humanities North Dakota Magazine “Sense of Place” issue. The essay actually began as an introduction to the book I’m writing, which has a working title of “Little Sister.”

My first book signing of the year will be at Bismarck’s Northbrook Vender Show in June.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!