Nearly 28 years have passed since Mother died. She had lived a full life of 80 years and had lingered on months after we expected her to depart. I was selected to speak her funeral. The following words were the ones I chose.
I remember Mother, putting my hand in hers when all the others were away to school. I would always say, “Just you and me, just you and me”. I remember Mother, washing nine stacks of clothes every Monday morning and hanging the last on the line when day was done. I remember Mother, standing at the back door, calling all of her children home for supper, the last meal of the day. I remember Mother, preparing our lunches out of home-made biscuits, baked the night before.
I remember mother, baking that large angel food cake, with the dreamy icing on top. We would sell it to the first neighbor who had 50 cents to spare. Mother taught piano to help buy groceries each Saturday evening.
I remember Mother on Mother’s day. We would rise early and fill baskets with periwinkle flowers and form some in the shape of a crown using grass reeds to thread them with. This was her day of coronation when all the flower petals came tumbling down revealing the circular crown that was placed upon her head. Mother was stone deaf and had become a master lip reader.
I remember Mother, who seemed so pleased, as she opened my Christmas gift of a ten cent bottle of old greasy red furniture polish. I was only 5 but she knew that I had already given her my heart. I remember Mother, in her willingness to serve. She made our home a haven for visiting preachers. She always seemed to understand those who did not understand her and her deafness. Her patience and grace was unending. I remember Mother, when she would stand so straight and beam with pride as her seven children paraded by.
I remember Mother, laughing with us but seldom crying with us over trivial things. Hers was that rare dignity that endures sorrow alone, but shared happiness in a ready fashion. She patched pants, darned socks, and often worked into the late hours of the night that her family might have the physical needs for the coming day.
Yes, I remember Mother, who preceded all of her children in life, in example, in service, in faithfulness, and now in death and life immortal.
Paul writes, “Honor thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).
Four of her children remain and await the call of God to reunite the family again. It has been and is a wonderful life.