“Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Ex 20:12
Today is the 54th day (by my count) of quarantine, and during it all, I have been writing a couple letters a day. When I was growing up, letter writing was the social media of the day. After all – long distance phone calls cost money back in those days, and the internet – well – lets just say it was a twinkle in the sky waiting to be pulled down to earth.
When the day came to clean out my parents’ home, I found lots of letters and postcards stuffed into corners, boxes and even a tiny suitcase. Letters from friends who had moved to other states, extended family who lived outside an easy drive, WWII buddies who had written to Dad, brothers who were serving in other countries, sisters who lived just 50 miles away. Letters unfinished in notebooks.
It was a treasure chest of times gone by.
Most of Mom and Dad’s letters were written on plain paper or notebook paper. I still have a couple they wrote to me in college, and a couple they wrote to each other during WWII that are beyond precious to me. Every now and then – when I just need to hear their voices in my head – I will pull out those letters and read them again. It is like an audio that never gets erased.
As I grew older, I noticed when Mom did buy cards, she would buy special ones. She bought one for my Mother-in-Law when she was battling cancer. Helen cried as she shared it with me; telling me how special it was because of the letter and the poem. Mom’s favorite cards usually did have poems written by Helen Steiner Rice. So as I wrote letters during this time of isolation, I pulled out some of Mom’s old cards and some of the poetry books that she collected by this poet. Thus, I included one with every letter I wrote as a tribute to her.
So – since tomorrow is the 55th day of quarantine (by my count), I am writing my Mother’s Day Card to Mom and my Mother-in-Law, Helen, in Heaven. Couldn’t ask for two better mothers who brought so much wisdom and love to my life. Needless to say, I’m enclosing a Helen Steiner Rice Poem.
“A Mother’s Love”
A Mother’s love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.
– HELEN STEINER RICE [personal image]