I came across a photo today that had been given to me quite some time ago. Due to a life-changing event and an eventual move… I had lost track of many things. I’d thought this photo was lost forever… until today. To simply say finding this photo was a source of great joy…is an understatement of vast proportions.
This photo was of a very special “little girl” at about age three. It showed her sitting in a little rocking chair…the chair was on a hardwood floor. She had on a dress; her socks had a little ruffles around them, her shoes looked perfectly shined and had a strap across the top. Her hair was short…and she had bangs. Her beautiful smile was radiant. However, it was the joy within her eyes is what I found to be most captivating!
I must have stared at it for about an hour, emotion overcame me and I began to weep. The only reason I could think have that evoked such emotion was that I was keenly aware of having missed the opportunity to have a friendship with this “little girl” at that age. You see, this “little girl” grew up to be my Mother…so a regular friendship as children was not even in the realm of possibility. Nonetheless, I wept…and then began to wonder what that “little girl” must have been like….
It didn’t take long to discover…although, this “little girl” grew up to be my Mom…she most likely was just like me at the same age.
Sitting for so long…gazing at her beautiful expressive eyes and gentle smile…I quickly got up from where I was sitting and looked at recent photo of this “little girl”. Yes! These are the same eyes…same gentle smile. However, in this photo, the “little girl” was surrounded by her children (except for her oldest child…who just happens to be the smartest even if it is within her own mind)… Yes, it was clear to see that her eyes were exactly the same. The beautiful smile… also the same.
Yet…this “little girl” is not only a wonderful Mother…she is also a Grandmother and a Great-Grand Mother. I began to think about all the comfort that the hands of this”little girl” have brought to so many.
I thought of all the tears this “little girl” had dried for others…especially those of her own children. Then I thought of all the tears that this “little girl” has surely shed over the years. I was about to say to myself “Who was there to dry HER tears”…when all of a sudden, I “heard” within my heart…the Lord say…”I am always there for this child of Mine”.
(The brown-eyed “little boy” that became the “little girl’s” husband is on the left.)
Next, I thought of how the eyes of this “little girl” must have smiled as she…for the first time…saw the “little boy” that was to become her husband…and the father of their six children. OH MY! He is so handsome! Therefore, this beautiful “little girl” became the bride of the handsome “little boy” with brown eyes.
Then…my eyes were drawn downward to the hardwood floor upon which her rocking chair was sitting. I wondered how it must have sounded to hear her little feet scamper across that floor. The grins and giggles that must have taken place…surely filling that home with great joy. Did she play on that floor with blocks, or tinker toys? Did she put her little dollies on the floor to dress them?
Yes, I think if I could “rearrange time”…I would want to go back so I could meet this “little girl” during that time of her life. If this were possible, it would give me an extra 20 years with her. An extra 20 years…Oh my! Just the thought of that fills me with delight. Then I remember that one day when we are in Eternity…20 years would be nothing compared to the joy that awaits us.
I want this “little girl” to know…that although, I was not there when this photo was taken…the love, gratitude, and respect and honor that resides within me…is far more than 20 years could have produced. A love like this is timeless. I “learned love” from the influence of this “little girl” and the brown-eyed “little boy” that became her husband. Their love is one that is rarely seen. They lived their love in front of their six children. An amazing heritage!
(These are the parents of the “little girl”…and my Papa and Grandma)
As I’m writing this, I recall a humorous instance in this “little girl’s” life. I am unsure of her age at the time, perhaps five or six years old. For some reason she did not want to go to school this day. She came up with rather a cleaver idea…she decided to hide.
Her parents kept the dirty clothes in a barrel in the basement. She quickly scampered down the steps into the basement and hid in the laundry barrel. I have no idea how long it was before her parents (my Grandparents) noticed that the “little girl” was nowhere to be found…I’m sure they must have gone to the basement.
Since I was not there, I can only imagine the scenario. I imagine the “little girl” heard the footsteps of her parents coming down the basement steps. I can also imagine her peering over the top of the laundry barrel…eyes wide with wonder. ‘Will they find me?”
Another thing I remember her telling me was that if her Dad (my Grandfather) would take her to school…and if she cried, he would bring her back home. Like most children, I’m sure she used this to her advantage. Since she obtained a good education, is evident that she came to love school.
This information regarding my Grandfather didn’t surprise me at all…not one single bit! He was a wonderful Grandfather. We all called him “Papa”. He was such a softie when it came to all children…especially his grandchildren. My Papa went to heaven when I was 22 years old. I miss him to this day.
(These are the six children of the “little girl” and the brown-eyed “little boy”)
The “little girl” is my Mother…and I am her oldest child. She is my best friend. When I was going through a very dark time due to domestic violence I was hundreds of miles away from her. This event caused me to flee my home and live in a shelter for battered women.
She was my lifeline to emotional sanity in the midst of such chaos. I would call her many times…as late as two o’clock in the morning. Most times just the sound of her voice was the comfort I needed. She was always there, always willing to listen. Because she was there is the reason I feel I survived.
How can I possibly show this “little girl” the depth of my love for her? Yes, she gave birth to me, yet, because she was there during this darkest of times…her love, reassurance and calm demeanor is what let me step out of such chaos and begin living again. The debt I owe her could never be repaid in ten lifetimes.
Out of all the women on earth…the Lord allowed her to be my Mother. Surely, the Lord knows what is best for us. As a Mother, she is as close to perfect as I could possibly imagine. Her influence and constant love has truly been like a safety net.
There are literally 101 other things I could say about this remarkable woman. I simply wanted to write a post to honor her and to remind her that I (her oldest daughter) am extremely proud of her. Her example is a picture of true womanhood and an example of what motherhood is all about.