By Joy Boyes
How do you describe mom? She was 'just mom' in so many ways. She was always there for us. She filled the house for us youngsters with her love and attention. Yet she made time and had energy for all the activities we were involved in. She was my Pioneer Girls Leader; providing interesting crafts and giving animated Bible stories and songs. Other girls said, "You are so lucky. I wish she was my mom." I shrugged cause she was 'just mom'.
We accompanied her to Morningside Bible camp Winfield. Being a Jr. camper, I could join in many of the activities and story times. It was after the story of the "Lost Lamb" that I climbed into her lap and after her explanation, I asked Jesus to be my Savior. How satisfying it was to understand God loved me so much he would find me, forgive and teach me his ways. Again she was "just mom" guiding me along.
She rallied us to go into full-stream clean ups. We were each given a task to fly at when a call alerted us to company arriving within minutes. She had a way that made it exciting and fun. We were eager to play the game with amazing results as we stood in smiling conspiracy together. She was "just mom".
How hot it was in the summer trying to get to sleep in our upstairs attic style bedroom. Silk nighty, legs and arms spread, and the comforting melody from down stairs of mom playing the piano to lull us to sleep. That was "just mom". She taught us harmonies and we regularly stood around the ornately designed old piano to sing together. She was neither hurried or frustrated but encouraging and affirming until we sang confidently; thinking we were better than we probably were! That was "just mom".
Bursting in the door after school, calling her name and knowing she would be there, often sewing in the far room with her old black Singer sewing machine. All our clothing was hand-made in those days. Party dresses, petal pusher and pop tops, nighties and coats; what ever we had outgrown or needed. As we girls grew older it was fortrel pant suits, gored skirts and matching dresses. Davie got the matching ties. There was always a wonderful new outfit at Christmas time. I did feel bad when she knit a florescent orange cardigan for me and I did not care for the color. I wore it anyway because I knew she had made it in love for me and she was not a fast knitter. I suspect she knew but did not make me feel badly. She was "just mom".
She loved my husband and included him as one of her own. He joined us in the skits and antics she always found herself to be heading up; church suppers, young married couples, and extended family gatherings. We followed along quite willingly in the wake of her enthusiasm. She was "just mom".
When our children arrived, we had relocated approximately 5 hours drive away. Apart from regular visits, she and dad came to attend special events like baptisms, and graduations. She had role modeled to me all my life and now she mentored me. She brought care packages of sewn clothing for the children and snacks and groceries we all appreciated. When they left I watched the car drive away with tears in my eyes. How I missed mom.
When we moved to Alberta years later, it seemed so far away. We committed to going home 4 times a year. It started out well but gradually the times lapsed until it was only 3 times a year. She was always so happy to see us. She was so full of the latest stories. People who were precious to her and who she was able to share her relationship to Jesus with. She talked and talked making up for lost time. She invited family over to enjoy the company altogether. Her Bible and note book were always out on the table. She spent time studying a passage of the Bible each day and if she missed, she caught up by doing two. She continued to be a example of how to live life. She was 'just mom".
Mom sometimes was worried about 'losing her mind' when she got old. We assured her regularly that there were no signs of that happening. God answered her prayers and left her mind intact. He mercifully hid from her and us the growing disease, giving us a short but sweet time to care for her like she had cared for us. 9 days we came together to meet her physical needs the best we could, sing with and to her and read to her words from the Bible. She continued to care for us even through her discomfort and medication, hoping we were ok, assuring us she was not afraid, she was ready and eager to meet Jesus. She was now showing us how to die. She always taught us by love and example. That was "just mom".
I am so thankful for mom. And eternally thankful she is now safe in the arms of Jesus. That does not mean I will not shed a few tears now and then as we grieve her loss; she was "just our mom".