Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Subject Was Roses

You cannot turn on the television or radio without hearing commercials advising what your mom wants for Mother's Day this Sunday. I admit to confusion most of my life on the matter when it came to the woman who gave me birth. This will be our fifth Mother's Day without Mom. If you didn't know her, I hope this entry from Mothers's Day, May 14, 2006 sheds a little light on an absolutely wonderful Christian woman.

It came from a little Mother's Day feature in my hometown newspaper, the York News-Times. Now, it sits in an old scrapbook, yellowed and fragile beneath a plastic cover. There are three of us in the photograph: Mom, my younger brother, Scott, and me, posing in front of a tree in our Nebraska backyard. The caption reads as follows:
There are few quiet moments in the busy household of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hawley. Shown with Mrs. Hawley, a teacher at Lincoln School, are two of her sons, Steve, who will graduate from York College and Scott, a News-Times carrier. Another son, Dave, will graduate from Harding College at Searcy, Ark. The Hawleys' daughters are Cecilia Keller of Culbertson, Mont., and Sandy Massey of Salt Lake City, Utah.
I can honestly say there is only one Mother's Day I remember and it is related to that scrapbook item. The article failed to mention the time frame of my brother's and my graduations. On a Friday afternoon, I graduated from York College. Forty-eight hours later, Dave would receive his diploma on a football field seven hundred miles to the south. The News-Times also failed to include the very important blurb that Dave was getting married to the breathtakingly beautiful Sally Kritz either the next weekend or the one following in Hutchinson, Kansas. It was a hectic time in the annals of the Hawley clan. The Sunday of Dave's commencement happened to be Mother's Day. I would estimate there were one thousand mothers on the lawn there at the Harding stadium. Nine hundred ninety-nine were sporting beautiful flower corsages. Guess whose mother was decorationless? I don't recall Mom saying anything or crying- she didn't have to. I do remember that her feelings were critically bruised. After the tremendous blessing she had been to us, we let her down on one of the two biggest holidays of the year for women. The confusion surrounding our chaotic schedule during that fortnight made it an understandable oversight, but it was still inexcusable. For the next several years, we made doubly sure to take care of Mom on the day that is set aside for all of her calling. I can't say we erased the obligation but we put a dent in it. Some mistakes can never quite be taken off the book, especially for those who rang up the debt in the first place.

My Dad reads these devotionals to my Mom every night. If the thoughts register, they quickly fade from her mind. The Alzheimer's will not allow her to retain much of anything anymore. She doesn't remember the story I related and she might not recognize herself if she saw that newspaper clipping. But when I look at that crumbling picture, I marvel at the woman who was, and is, my mother. The lives she touched through her family, her mentoring, her teaching in elementary classrooms, her marriage seminars, her quiet grace, and her humble example can't be calculated by any normal accounting method. I call my parents every evening, speaking first to Dad and then to Mom. He has to remind her which end of the receiver to speak into and he tells her who is on the other end. But, there is one thing she needs no help in remembering. I complete each visit with, "I love you, Mom." Her reply is always consistent: "I love you, too, sweetheart." Her best memory has become my best memory. Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I Love You.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...since the payment is pure love."
Mildred B. Vermont

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Jon said...

how about them astros... HAHA

Family fun said...

such a touching story! how marvelous that you recognized that her feelings had been hurt; did you have to be told, or did you recognize it?

your mom is a rare rose! she has blessed so many around her by the fragrance of God's love that flows from her!

Thess said...

My mom is my best friend, if there's a woman in the world I want to be, it's my mom.

She's not as wordy as I am but she loves and serves unconditionally, she's a very strong woman. I'm the only girl in the family but i never miss having a sister because my mom is my sister and my best friend.

Sorry to know your mom has passed away. I bet she was an awesome woman and mother, she raised a son like you :)