Discovering Mom on Mother’s Day

Elaine, Mom, Cadence, and Me. Mother’s Day, 2007.
Her Legacy Breathes
Rich and I made two trips to San Diego, about eighty miles away, this past weekend. On Friday evening, we hurried to San Diego to attend a surprise birthday party for my daughter Elaine, planned by her husband Rob. Her birthday was yesterday; a Friday-night party prevented her birthday from being buried by Mother’s Day celebrations.
She’s Surprised!
Watching the house fill with people who love my daughter lightened my heart. Catching Rob’s broad grin as he surveyed the scene, filled with balloons, streamers, noisemakers, and joy, delighted me.
Sunday after church we returned to San Diego to celebrate Mother’s Day. We stopped to visit Rich’s parents, delivering purple roses, carnations, freesia and mums, tempered by white hydrangea, lisianthus and more mums, to his mom.
Then we met up again with Elaine, Rob, Cadence, and baby Sawyer at her father’s house. My dad joined us after he’d been to the cemetery where my mother rests.
Elaine, Me, and Cadence. Mother’s Day, 2011. Note the Elmo picture, colored by Cadence, on the back of the card I’m reading.

In addition to being Mother’s Day and my child’s birthday, yesterday marked my parents’ wedding anniversary. We now count them as “would have” anniversaries: Yesterday, had my mother lived, would have made fifty-six years.
I chose to spend my day among the living, skipping the cemetery visit. Cadence ran to the front door, shrieking, “Lala! Lala! Lala!” as Rich and I approached. My son-in-law called me to watch as he bathed my infant grandson. Mom would not have wanted me to exchange these moments for a visit to her ashes.
Sawyer, Rob, Me.
I realized, as the afternoon spent itself, that Mom was right there with us.
I saw my mother as my daughter listened to Cadence’s stories, as she swung Sawyer high, high in the air, engaging her young sons the way Mom engaged me.
I saw my mother in Cadence’s bright-blue eyes.
I heard my mother in Sawyer’s baby belly-laugh.
Mom was in the pink carnations–her favorite flowers–that my dad brought to my daughter and me.
Her legacy breathes. It sweetens my grief.
26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27 She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29 “Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Proverbs 31:26-30 (NASB)

I’m linking up this morning with Laura Boggess’s Playdates with God at The Wellspring.


I’m also linking with L.L. Barkat’s On, In, and Around Mondays at Seedlings in Stone.

On In Around button


  1. This is precious, Sheila. We live on–not only in memory, but in the faces of those who carry our legacy, don't we?

    It sounds like your weekend was a busy as ours. We have two Mother's Day birthdays and a college graduation! We celebrated with one big cake for all!

    Such lovely thoughts to share this day…thank you!

  2. Thanks for coming by, Laura!

    I think our busiest.weekend.ever was 1991, the year my brother completed his MBA. His graduation was held on Mother's Day/Elaine's birthday/Mom and Dad's anniversary weekend.

    We all went to Disneyland 🙂

  3. Janis@Open My Ears Lord

    What a lovely way to see your Mom–in the faces of all those who carry on her legacy. I will have to remember this.


  4. Thank you, Janis.

    I miss her terribly.

    All the same I get a thrill each time I discover some of her in my daughter, my grandsons, my nieces and nephews…

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