Mother Love: Never Old

Mother Love

Mother love is never old. Yesterday was my mother’s 98th birthday. She wasn’t present in bodily form; she passed into Glory 22 years ago.

Mother’s spirit hovered around me all day.

Goldie Leona Banks Brooks was no shrinking violet. Or pansy. She was more like the lantana and verbena that bloom in Texas most of the year. I doubt she’d delight in this comparison, but hear me out.

First, these hardy plants thrive in heat and drought and aren’t fussy about the soil. They add bold color to the garden and require zero tending. They’re dependable and determined, and they find a place to bloom, invited or not. They don’t give off fancy fragrances, but they don’t apologize either.

Mother’s favorite flower was the rose (with the orchid coming in a close second). I think she admired their delicacy, and I know she loved the scent of the rose. It’s a good thing she was neither a rose nor an orchid, fragile and fussy about her surroundings. She wouldn’t have managed as a Great Depression farm wife otherwise. Nor would she have survived twenty-five trying years of widowhood, holding onto the home and farm land she and Daddy worked so hard to acquire.

Girl Thoughts

January 17th appears on the calendar each year, and I return to memories of growing up as Goldie’s girl. She had always wanted a daughter, but by 1941 she had given birth to three boys and buried one. So when in 1946 her doctor confirmed she was expecting another child, all she could think were girl thoughts.

Thereafter, she made a pest of herself among church friends, asking them to pray for Goldie to have a girl. (Truthfully, they learned to run the other way when they saw her coming. 🙂 She threaded her days with incessant prayers of her own. Please give me a girl. Please give me a girl. 

But in time she convinced herself it was better to build a wall of defense around her heart than to leave it exposed to disappointment. She entered the clinic to deliver her fourth child on the 5th day of September, telling herself she and Wilson were destined for a household of boys. (Would she have traded either of her precious boys for a girl? Never!) (Tweet That!)

Girl Time

So when the doctor announced, “It’s a girl,” she heard “It’s a boy.” She held tears in check until Daddy entered her room with a huge grin.

“What’re you crying about, Goldie?”

“Another boy.” Sniff, sniff.

“No. It’s a girl.”

“Stop teasing me.” Blub. Blub.

“Goldie, we have a girl.”

She shook her head and turned away.

The doctor entered the room. “You did it, Goldie. You got your girl.”

Wiping her face with the hem of a sheet, Mother sat up … 

And the rest is … Well, it’s proverbial history packed with mother love and gratitude. And a lesson learned: Pray and expect a miracle.

Later, the preacher wrote to friends who had moved away: Praise the Lord! Wilson and Goldie have a girl! Little did anyone know at the time, but eleven years later, Goldie was to have another baby–a boy again, but–oh–how great was the rejoicing.

Indeed, Mother was like our Texas lantana and verbena. Strong. Stubborn. Self-sufficient. At times, overly so. She asked no one to wait on her or tend her. But on this, the day after her 98th birthday, how I wish I could.

Lord, how weak is our faith. We often pray, doubting.
Help us to pray, trusting. For Jesus’ sake.

~

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
Philippians 4:6 
NIV

4 thoughts on “Mother Love: Never Old

  1. I truly enjoyed this, Linda! Your mom was beautiful. A kindred spirit, for sure. I live on a sand ridge in south Georgia. The only thing that thrives here is lantana. I have one rose bush. I love burying my nose in the petals. But, the lantana is the year-round visual beauty I am blessed with. I wouldn’t trade it for a thousand roses!
    Have you written a book with your mom as the main character? I would love to read that story!!

     
     
    1. Thank you for commenting, Gail! Very encouraging 🙂 There’s a lot of Mother in Ella McFarland. Mother was “sillier” at times than Ella Mc … and Mother laughed. A lot. But they are very much alike. I used the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment and decided they are twin sisters. 🙂 My maternal grandmother Ella is in Betsy McFarland. And Lily’s story has roots in my mother’s family. Love connecting with you.

       
       
  2. You must get your spunk and sweetness from your mother! I love your mini-memoirs, which bring us back in time. You have a gift.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Clarice. Mother got into some hilarious situations. We laughed a lot. Thanks for commenting.

       
       

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