This letter was written at the request of the organizers of a Christian camp which my mother will be attending this coming weekend (27th June). They will be presenting it to her during their last session of the camp.
“I come before you today and there’s just one thing that I’d like to say, Thank you Lord.” Don Moen
Everyday upon awaking and before sleeping I give praise and thanks to God for blessing my family and me with the mother we have. Like most other people I am grateful for my mother for all the usual blessings: love which is steadfast and unconditional; hard-working to ensure that our lives are comfortable and secure; strong in her convictions and faith; kind as she willingly does as much as she could for us and for others; and beautiful as is evident this evening as you gaze upon her outward beauty but also possessing an inner beauty unmatched by most.
Unlike many other people I have far more for which to be grateful at the tender age of forty eight. Last year could have been one of tragedy for my family; I was the victim of a violent crime in which I could have lost my life. Instead through the grace of God and the loving support of my mother it has set the stage for hope and for glorious times.
“But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” (2 Ki 4:30)
There is so much to say about the tremendous sacrifices made by my mother. She was facing her own health challenge when the news about me broke. Instead of falling apart and questioning the wisdom or ways of God, my mother powerfully held on to her faith; with wisdom and understanding which could only be attributed to God, she was able to extend caring and compassion in a manner which reflected the elegance and sophistication with which she is normally associated.
Her actions were perfect examples for my brothers, son and nephews to follow. Just as she would have done as a teacher, her profession before retirement, mom taught the boys about patience and inspired them with her dedication by her actions. This wise and wonderful, merciful woman was able to put aside all her needs to tend to one who could not look after herself: this she did with no desire for reward or attention; it was all done in love as only a God-fearing mother could do it.
Over the past year my appreciation for my mother has grown exponentially. Every day I am amazed at the energy and vitality of this not so young woman. How does she do it? How does she accomplish looking after all of us, looking after herself, cleaning, cooking, washing… and seeking God daily with the same vigour and passion as she does every single day, as she has always done in the past?
This same mother, who cares for her family, seeks our interest in every way imaginable. She caters to our every whim: she is comical with an excellent sense of humour; she entertains us with the most endearing facial and oral expressions (What??); she is mysterious at times much to our annoyance and amusement; she is influential in her dealings with family, friends, acquaintances and strangers; and she maintains humility despite all these outstanding qualities.
My dearest mother, whose personality is on the opposite spectrum to mine, you are a treasure of immeasurable worth. My gratitude to you for bringing me into this world, for not abandoning me when I was not particularly likable and for standing by my side through my recent tribulations is unfathomable. Just as the stars at night cannot be counted, just as the hairs on your head now (personal joke) are innumerable, so too is my everlasting love and indebtedness.
This encomium to you, my mother, provides but a glimmer of the light that you really emanate around you. My honourable, cherished and respected mother, I leave you with these few words:
Esteemed beyond your wildest dreams,
Held close to my heart with every beat,
I have been deficient in expressing my gratitude,
But now it is time to let you know your altitude:
Higher than an eagle appreciation soars
For my mother as this camp comes to a pause.
I love you Mum. Sincerely.