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Mother's Day

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.


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