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Vantage point

Thank God for godly mothers

My mother’s last several years of life were not pleasant ones. Several strokes left her increasingly incapacitated and, following the strokes, the onset of Alzheimer’s disease took most of her distinctive personality and characteristics. No longer was she the one who always seemed to know when something was wrong. No longer would her love, empathy and prayers strengthen me during difficult times.

But in the midst of her trials, she struggled to give what she could to the body of Christ.

My mother was an encourager. Long active in her Women’s Ministries group, she found ways to touch people’s lives that others missed. Like sending dozens of cards with personal words of encouragement each month. After her strokes the cards didn’t always make sense. She didn’t even get her own name right sometimes. But the message was still clear. She was sending love and she would pray.

The Alzheimer’s eventually took that away, too, leaving her a shadow of the wonderful woman we knew. But that love was still in her spirit. As I would wheel her down the corridors of the nursing home where she spent the last years of her life, she would instinctively reach out to touch people and say, “I love you.”

Mother never knew that my dad had passed away. But I’m sure she missed the company of the gray-haired gentleman who sat quietly alongside her day in and day out. When the call came that she had slipped away, it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. We had really already said goodbye to the mother we knew. And now I pictured her walking through heaven’s gates — and finding my dad waiting for her. She had to be surprised that he was already there.

It’s been a decade since Mother left the nursing home to take up residence in a far nicer abode, so I can’t send her a card or tell her I love her. But I have no regrets. I did it while she was with us … and I’ll see her again.

Thank God for your godly mother today.

— Ken Horn

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