Mother's Day without Mom

I don't have any digital photos of my mom. She passed away before the digital age took off. So I've got film prints to scan into my computer. This is one that I keep on my dresser. It's me, mom, and my brother walking to dinner on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. I think it was taken in the summer of 1993. I was 15. Craig was 12.

For years my mother had been peace broker between the two of us as our sibling rivalry was in all-out warfare. I think it was this summer that I was just coming around to rising above the jealousy and competitiveness and working towards friendship. I can remember my mother repeating this like a mantra whenever we'd have a spar, "Jeff, you love your brother so much you just don't know how to show it." And she was right.

That Fall, Jenny went off to college, so it was just Craig and I at home. With 2 other siblings, there's always a two against one split when it comes to alliances around the house. With Jenn on her own adventure, Craig and I had each other. Come to think of it, I grew closer to Jenn too after she left for college. Just like this whole bunch of sibling pressure washed away.

I'm sure mom was praying a lot about how to bring out the peacemaker in each of us. She worked a mindless job processing paper surveys so that each of us could go to camp for seven weeks in the summer. She got up at 5 am to drive me to swim practice and stayed up late washing loads of laundry so we'd have that "favorite" shirt to wear at school the next day. Mom was so tender and loving, yet there were times when her temper was short. I knew I was in trouble when I'd go off on my own instead of waiting for her to pick me up after school.

Mom would take extra time to talk to me about the Bible, how to pray, how to keep thought aligned with Christ. I can remember many childhood healings when mom would pray: earaches, strained foot ligaments, colds, measles, headaches, and more. Her love for us knew no bounds because she walked so closely with God to reflect Her unbounded love. Thanks mom. Happy Mother's Day.

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