Milestones without a Mom

By Reba Phelps

Without a single hesitation, every Mother’s Day that springs upon me, I wonder what my conversations with my mom would be like today. Just a quality control type check-up. Would she be proud of how her children turned out or would she be an armchair quarterback trying to rewrite plays? I can clearly see her doing both. As the years continue to roll by, I feel like she has missed so many milestones. The good and the bad milestones, all missed.

I wonder how excited she would have been for Kathryn when she made the volleyball team at the high school or if she would have delighted in watching her fine tune her jump serve. I truly think she would have enjoyed the indoor sport better than sitting in the elements at the soccer field watching Meredith perform her goalie duties. I have no doubt she would have been beaming with excitement watching Meredith graduate from college. She would have been entertained and tickled at watching both of my daughters bicker and fuss.

Being the fierce defender of her loved ones, her maternal instincts would have completely taken over when I was going through my divorce. For everyone’s safety, that is a milestone I am glad she was not here to witness.

This is the one time of year that I give myself permission to wonder what she would think of us.

This past week I had the honor of being sworn in as a Presidential Appointee Board of Director for the Louisiana School Board Association in Baton Rouge. It was a really neat milestone in which I do not feel worthy of, but someone thought I was. Or, everyone else declined prior to me. Either way, it was something my mother would have been proud of.

Shortly before we were all sworn in I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow School Board Member from Bossier Parish. We made small talk about the events of the day but soon discovered that we both had Sabine Parish roots. He joyfully let me know that he was a Zwolle High School Class of 1967 graduate. My heart skipped two beats when I realized that he graduated with my mom. When I mentioned her name, he knew her well and went on to tell me that they were classmates for a very long time. I told him that she passed away ten years ago this year.

He already knew, he kept up with every single one of his classmates. His love for his hometown and his school made my heart grow two more sizes that day.

When I came home from my travels I could not wait to share the account of all the day’s events with my daughters. As I began the story of how I randomly met one of Granny Gail’s classmates, my oldest daughter stopped me mid-story. She grabbed both of my hands and stared me straight in the eyes.

I wondered if she was going to tell me she had another place to be or had bigger news. Almost getting annoyed at the long silence she quickly told me, “This was Granny Gail’s way of being there for you today, God let her memory show up in the small details of your day!”

I am not sure how I missed this as it was occurring to me. My writing is based on the “God winks”, I look for the “God winks”, and I never miss them for everyone else. But, I sure missed it for myself until my daughter reminded me. Telling this story was a double blessing for me. For one, it happened and the second blessing was seeing my daughter noticing the kindness and goodness of our savior.

Our savior is so generous and kind to let the sweet memories of those we have lost to be peppered throughout our lives.

This Mother’s Day, please say a sweet prayer for your friends and family who do not have a mother. Whether they are absent in the body or absent due to complicated life’s circumstances, it is never easy being without a mother. If you still have your mother and you are missing a relationship with her, I pray that you both find a way to rekindle what has been lost. Please pray for your friends who want to be a mother but may be having difficulties conceiving.

Having a mother or being a mother is the most precious thing that one could ever experience in their lifetime….but, being a child of a King far more surpasses that.

“As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 66:13

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