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Over the years, my mother
has slowly given me some souvenirs from my childhood. Baseball cards, my
first books, you know, the kind of things that I left behind when I was
packing to go to college. Recently she gave me back some gifts I gave to
her when I was younger, things like my senior picture and a plaster-of-paris
hand print that I made in Bible School as a kindergartner.
While thinking about Mother's
Day this year, I thought about a gift I gave her as a young child. It is
a piece of cardboard covered with green burlap with a candle I made out
of yarn and glued on the board. Above the candle is a poem I wrote for
her. The poem began, "I love my Mother, better than any other . .
. " Not exactly e. e. cummins or Robert Frost, but it expressed a
little boy's affection to his mother.
I don't get sentimental about
motherhood. I'm sorry, but in a nation where women "have the right
to choose," but a baby doesn't have the "right to life"
I don't equate pregnancy with virtue. Some mothers abandon their children,
abuse them or treat them as if they are a bother. It is not motherhood
I honor. It is my mother. She is a godly, kind, caring, friend who at my
hands, suffered the pain of childbirth, teenage rebellion, and watched
me become a man. She's fed me, changed me, sacrificed for me and loved
me. I can never repay her for what she's done--all I can do this year is
what I did as a child writing her a poem and say, Mom, I love you.
I've always sent Mom clippings
of my published articles and copies of the books I've written, but I have
an idea that she cherishes that simple poem more. It is the only piece
of my writing that she hangs on her wall and probably the last memento
from my childhood she'll ever return to me.