Recently, my 90 year old Mom passed away. My wife Lynn & I had the privilege and honor of caring for her as she lived the past five years in our home. I am certainly not saying that this arrangement is for every family. My feeling is that our society is sometimes too quick to deposit our elders into a “facility”, because we are too busy and do not want to be inconvenienced as we live our own life. If older parents want to go somewhere else and that is their desire, then it is a different story.
This will be the first Mother’s Day with out my Mom. She was absolutely not perfect and she would be the first to tell you. My Mom struggled with a sense of self confidence. She was a very simple woman, who did not have a wish list for material things. The only things she wanted were a relationship with the Lord, her three children and good health. Thinking back over the years, my Mom’s greatest gift to her three children was her unconditional love. In her eyes and heart, we could do no wrong. None of us had to do something to earn it or keep her love; my Mom just gave it, expecting nothing in return.
One of the simple things that I miss is that she loved to recite poetry. Here is one of her favorites that somewhere along the line my Mom memorized.
“I met God in the morning, when my day was at its best, and His presence came like sunrise, like a glory in my breast. All day long a Presence lingered. All day long He stayed with me, as we sailed in perfect calmness, over a troubled sea. Other ships were blown and battered. Other ships were sore distressed, but the winds that seemed to drive them, brought to us a peace and rest. Then I thought of other mornings, with a keen remorse of mind, when I too had loosed the moorings, with the Presence left behind, so I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way, you must seek Him in the morning, if you want Him through the day.”
The challenge for all of us is to value the simple things, to look up from our individual technology devices. Whenever I would come home from the office after work, I would holler down the hallway as I was hanging up my coat and before I would visit my Mom in her room, we would have this exchange;
“Hi Mom, Hi Chris, I’m home, yes you are.” Now I like to think of it this way, “Hi Lord, Hi Pat, I’m home, yes you are.”
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
Chris Ramsburg, CPCU is President of Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services. He focuses on insurance and enterprise risk management for his business clients/friends.