May 24, 2023
My Mother’s Hands
Friend to Friend
She held out the soft white blanket scalloped in pink ribbon. “I'm not sure I want to give it to her,” my mom said. The stitches were a bit looser than my mother's past handiwork. When I studied her hands, I saw the beginnings of arthritis. I could also see love in every crocheted inch of the blanket she held out.
That was nearly 13 years ago. That first great-grandchild is almost a teenager. Several other great-grandchildren have come along since. When I hold my mother’s hands in my own today, her fingers are bent and swollen at the joints. The arthritis that was just creeping in way back then has taken over many of her joints. She continues to crochet, holding the needles for hours and days until her work is complete. She has made hats, blankets, and scarves. Every stitch speaks a language of love.
There's an old 70’s song that says, “Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future.” There is truth in those lyrics as I see the passage of time in my mother's hands.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul reminds us of a simple truth.
"Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT).
Maybe, like me, busyness feels overwhelming at times. We work. We fill our calendars with activities, dentist visits, showers, weddings, and so many other things. For me, I realized that taking time with my mother was moving further down the list. I loved her with my whole heart, but if I’m honest, it wasn’t just that I was busy. It was harder. As she aged, it took more effort, time and, planning. Days would slip by, and despite my good intentions, the time between visits grew. One day I received a text from a friend. Her mother was sick. For a few weeks, I read every update she sent. Then I received her latest – her beautiful mom was gone. I read the text and wept.
It was a wake-up call. The greatest gift I could give my mom was the gift of time. To her, that felt like love. The next day I made a date with my mom. She responded like a little girl! She laughed on the phone as we made plans. It wasn’t anything big. We played games at the kitchen table. I made a simple dinner. She loved it. Though my calendar was still full, placing a note on it with her name circled was just as important as those other things.
My mother is 85 now. Life hasn’t slowed down, but I don't want to forget that in the grand scheme of things, holding my mother's hands is one of the most priceless things I get to do.
Dear Father, thank You for my loved ones. Life gets so hectic, and sometimes it's hard to slow down long enough to show them how much I care. Please help me to slow down so that I can invest in people in my life who hold such immense value. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
These are some small ways to show love to your mother or a mother figure:
● Leave a note in an unexpected place.
● Spend time with no strings attached (help work in the garden, go to lunch, sit and chat).
● Touch or hold their hands, especially if your loved one is older or widowed and they are not touched in positive ways anymore.
● Tell them one encouraging thing that you believe about them.
What is one small way you show love to your mother or mother figure?
More from the Girlfriends
I realize that for many of you, this topic can feel so hard. Perhaps you had a mother who was neglectful or whose addiction or abuse hurt your heart. Suzie’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places is a practical, gentle book to help begin the process of healing.
It will help you mend those hurting places, with God’s help. It will help you as you mother your own children. It will offer tools to help you work through healing with someone close to you.
© 2023 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.