Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Today was full of anxiety among my kin. Mother had surgery this morning to remove a tumor on her right maxillary sinus. She is doing well tonight, and the doctor gives us reason to hope that the mass was benign.

Thinking of mother so much today and remembering with gratitude all she has been and is to me, I found a poem I wrote 8 years ago and decided to post it here in her honor. I love you, Mother.

Decades of MOTHER
Dedicated with love and gratitude to my mother

A baby girl is born in a cotton mill town
Joyfully welcomed by loving parents and ten siblings.
In her ninth year, happy days of hopscotch and marbles are
Darkened by the death of beloved “Papa.”

A vivacious teenage wife sees her husband off to war,
Crying tears of loneliness and fear.
Then taking up the mantle of family responsibility,
She becomes, for a time, both Mommy and Daddy to two little girls.

A beautiful twenty-something homemaker buys no pretty new dresses --
The four children need shoes and school supplies.
There are few evenings out with her husband – money and time are in short supply.
Family sharing, homework help, and spiritual guidance are first priority.

A tireless thirty-something mother helps her husband earn his degrees,
Wipes runny noses, cooks nutritious meals, encourages interests,
Sits by sick beds, listens for a call in the night,
Talks to teachers, waits for a teen to come home.

A lovely forty-something woman goes off to work each morning --
And home to work each evening.
She studies toward her college degree late at night.
For this mother of seven and grandmother of two,
The true necessities of life are ample stores of stamina, hope, joy, and faith --

A fifty-something matron sits, arms around a teenager.
Her older children are parents; her younger ones face adolescent agonies.
Bouncing an infant grandchild on her knee, she listens intently to her teen’s heartache.
She offers concern, insight, wisdom, prayer, and love.

A sixty-something student -
becomes a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Divinity.
A sixty-something wife -
grieves the death of her husband of forty-eight years.
A sixty-something mother/grandmother -
comforts her family, gathered in common grief.
A sixty-something widow -
adjusts to the foreign aloneness of the once bustling home.

A seventy-something pastor ministers to others’ needs.
She listens, comforts, prays, encourages, challenges, and shares.
She is mother, grandmother, confidant,
and mentor to many not of her blood.
The story continues -
joys multiplied, sorrows divided, and love shared.

-- JST May 1997


Carol said...

How beautiful, Joanie! I still have tears in my eyes from reading your poem. It's beautiful.

Terry said...

Thank you, Joan. She's something ain't she!

And so are you.

Jane said...

What a beautiful tribute. Your mother is a truly remarkable woman and I am honored to be her niece.

Janice said...


What a beautiful poem! Thank you for writing such a fitting tribute to mother. Your imagery for each decade is so meaningful and brought back such memories!



Lyn said...

Beautiful. You are such an expressive writer! I love the poem and have tears in my eyes as I write this comment.
Love you!

lilsis said...

Thank you for this Joan. A wonderful tribute to Mother.