Friday, May 11, 2012

Lessons My Mother Taught Me

Around 1980

I remember walking out of the hospital on Valentine's Day (the day my mom was officially diagnosed) not knowing how I was going to make it through this with her. On my walk to my car I asked, "Heavenly Father, how are we going to get through this?" My answer came quickly, "She taught you everything that you need to know to get through this." The "she" the spirit was referring to was my mom.

Mom taught me many things during our time together. Some of it was structured learning, like family home evening, piano lessons, or helping me ride my bike. But many of the great life lessons she taught me came simply from being by her side and watching the way that she carried herself everyday, in times of joy and in times of trial.

 I would like to share some of those lessons with you this Mother's Day weekend...

Lesson #1: Pray Always

Of course Mom taught us how to pray. Kneeling next to our beds at night helping us with words and sentences that would be our prayers. Then later kneeling next to our beds and listening to our nightly prayers. What I remember most though is not something that she taught me, but something that I observed, Mom's belief in the power of prayer.

When we were small, Dad was a long distance truck driver. There were times when his truck would be broken down, he would be traveling through winter storms that created dangerous road conditions, or he would be stuck in the snow somewhere. During these times Mom would gather us together in a little circle in the front room of our house and we would pray that Dad would make it home safely.  At those times Mom knew a prayer would help Dad. To this day he has always made it home safely.

Just as Mom knew that a prayer would help Dad make it home safely, she knew when a prayer would help one of her children. I had my gall bladder removed during an emergency surgery when I was 20 years old. Even though I had a hard time coming out of the anesthetic and I was running a fever the doctors sent me home later that day. I was too sick to argue with them and I absolutely hate hospitals anyway so I let my mom take me home. I was so sick and laid on our couch and slept for hours. I awoke to Mom praying for me. We never talked about it, she never knew that I was awake, but I will never forget the spirit that I felt as Mom prayed for me.

Mom believed that faith and the power of prayer could bring about miracles. I never saw my mom pray harder for miracles than when my cousins were sick. Even when it seemed as if my cousins weren't going to get big miracles she prayed for the big miracles anyway. Once again she would gather together her children, usually my brother and myself, into a small circle on the front room floor and we would pray for our cousins. We watched and we waited, our big miracle never came. Even in the tragic loss of both of my cousins, her testimony of the power of prayer never wavered.

I realized that this lesson had come full circle in April as I knelt next to her bed and prayed for her.

 Christmas 2003 

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