Sunday, January 13, 2008

For Momma

She was sent, not to take the place of the little girl whose tragic death had struck the family, but to help ease the pain that the family felt since the death. Jo came to the family in the usual way babies were born into all families. She was tiny, soft and pink. When you touched her hand, her little fingers grasped yours and held on tight. The family gathered round in wonder and watch the tiny miracle that helped to heal their hearts.

As Jo grew up on the farm with her Mama and Papa she was happy, content and basked in the love and affection the other family members gave. Eleven years plus separated her from her brothers and sisters in age. Most were grown and married, raising their own families.

She looked on her older brothers and sisters with love, adoration and great respect. They loved, protected and cherished her. She spent her days following behind Mama as she gathered the eggs, churned the butter, and other numerous farm tasks; chattering with each step.

Mama made her the most beautiful dresses from flour sacks. She would don her new dress, parade around the house and eventually end up on the top of the quilt box where she sang and danced for hours.

When Papa came in from the fields he would pitch in to help Mama finish her chores so they could enjoy the evening together. Jo never witnessed an unkind word spoken between Mama and Papa and grew up assuming everyone spoke with soft gentle speech.

The family cradled and protected Jo, but life has a way of reaching in when least expected, to make you hurt and break your heart. When Jo was 12 Mama died unexpectedly, filling Jo’s heart with hurt, pain and the awareness that her happy little world would never be the same. Nothing eased the pain, only time seemed to lessen it.

When Jo was 20 she married Ross. He was impulsive, humorous, and his eyes held a special twinkle. They laughed together, shared together and loved together. Two little girls were born to them, two year apart, Melinda and Monalea. Six years later a son, Trey was a welcome addition to their family.

Ross was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Three years were spent in treatments, surgeries, specialist and promises. These years were spent in fear, hope and then more fear; yet life marched on unaware of the pain. Once again Jo felt the hurt, pain and emptiness brought on by loss, but this time she was responsible for 3 small children; three small children that continually reached out for comfort, stability and with questions. That same year Jo lost a much treasured sister, Katy and her dear sweet Papa.

Three years past and Jo held the small broken family together with courage, strength and love for God. Time once again lessened the pain and loneliness of loss.

In time Jo fell in love with Lawrence. And along with Lawrence came 3 beautiful girls Cindy, Stephanie, Melinda and precious boy, Bruce. Jo found herself the mother of 7, ages ranging from 4 to 14.

There were mouths to feed, laundry to wash, chores to be done, budgets to be kept and love to give. Quickly Jo learned that God made a heart so that the love inside never ran out. In truth, the more love you gave, the more love your heart produced.

Time has a way of trudging on. Where did the child go that danced on the quilt box? Where did the girl go that laughed and took great pleasure in school chums? Where did the young mother go full of hopes and dreams? And who was the stranger that now gazed back at her in the mirror?

Mom and Dad’s home is quite now, all the children are grown and have families of their own. If you listen closely you can hear laughter in the hall, children’s voices in the yard and the sound of games being played at the big dining table.

As I search the memories on my heart I see that Mom provided us with a home filled with:

A Constant
And the most important – The love for God!

Proverbs 31:28 "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her"


David Kirk said...

What a blessing! May God bless your mother and the rest of your family!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Monalea for the wonderful things you've written. I tried hard to be that kind of mother but I know I failed in lots of areas. I do know one thing is certain I love my family and I love you 2 3 6 for all the joy and encouragement you give me. Mom

Matt said...

I always thought your mother must be one great lady, to be able to handle both Trey and Bruce and all you girls, Now I know the, "rest of hte story." Thank you for sharing your blessing with us.

Monalea said...

Thank you David for your blessing!

Mom, you are the greatest. I think realizing you fail is what makes you a great success in God's eyes. Thank you for loving us enough to give us the best years of your life. Most mom's don't see the value in giving themselves for their children.

Matt, you are so right about being able to handle Trey and Bruce, they were a handful. She deserves a reward.

Stacie said...

That is so sweet, sounds like you have the most amazing mom. That is where you get it!!!



You described mom perfectly. We have been so blessed to have her as a mom. Obviously God knew we needed her bad.

I love you mom...

nb said...


Kara said...

what a great tribute, my friend...there's so many ways i feel i failed my mom that i SO wish i could make up for but now it's too her and honor and acknowledge her all the days of your life and you won't have any regrets...there's no telling how many women's lives your mom has influenced one way or the YOU have and are currently're following in Jo's footsteps!!!! I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TREMENDOUSLY TO CROSS PATHS WITH YOUR FAMILY!!!! yes, even TREY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love all of you guys and i thank you for being warriors for our God....In Him Always, Kara

Monalea said...

Stacie, You are so precious! Thank you for your kind words.

Trey, You are so right we were so blessed and we did need her badly.

nb my prized friend, your one word says so much.

Kara, I too feel like in so many ways I have failed my mom, but a mother knows in her heart the truth. It is never to late to give tribute to your mom, do it by the way you live, the words you speak and the thoughts of your heart. My family too has been blessed by you (even Trey (Hee Hee)).


preacherman said...

Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. A wonder mother. Incredible tribute. I am still wiping the tears from my face. You are such a wonderful daughter to do such a beautiful post.

Cornelius Crew said...

She is such a wonderful woman, one I learned and still learn many important lessons from. Mostly how to put God first and to share lots of love! I love you Aunt Jo!

Monalea said...

Preacherman, once again you have touched me with your kind words.

Dixie, you are an inspiration.


ROD said...

Great heritage!!

Anonymous said...

Well done, as usual, Monalea. You continue to be a treasure of all our lives who know you.

Anonymous said...

I am the anonymous above. Couldn't remember my own username or password, but it's Stan. Bye.

Monalea said...

Rod, I'm really glad you stopped by and left a comment.

Anonymous Stan, Thank you for your precious words and for chiming back in to let me know who 'anonymous' was.


"Uncle" Roy said...

Monalea, you're responsible for the mist in my eyes as I read this post. How well you described your sweet mother, a very special aunt and mother-type to me. Toward the end of the post, as you described her looking in a mirror asking, "Whatever happened to...?" really hit home, as I have looked into my own mirror and asked many of the same questions. The answer is in the lives of my children and grandchildren. But I still wonder at times, where did the time go?

Monalea said...

"Uncle" Roy, I appreciate your insightful words. I love you 2-3-6