Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Patricia Carol GerhardsteinTrent
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
I come from a long line of mothers. Well, I suppose we all do at that. I’d like to honor mine today with Mother’s day upon us.
My mom taught me much, handed down from her mom. Precious lessons that just in my generation have grown antiquated. It’s a sad loss for generations to come.
My mom was a homemaker, as was her mother, as was I for as long as I could pull it off. My mom was at home when I left for school and at home when I returned. Dinner was a family of four around the kitchen table every evening. We were not busy. I attribute this largely to the role of mom, who was about the work of our home during the day to create evenings to just live and be and become. A few nights of the week we visited my grandparents homes for an hour or two. Church was presumed into the schedule. And that was all. Evenings were for dinner times, school work and playing outside until street lights came on.
We lived in a structured environment that appeared effortless. Bedtimes and bath times. Sunday school and birthday parties. Diet was healthy and portions were controlled without talking and reading and battling our bulge. We wore boots and mittens and hats in the winter time because it made sense and not because it was or was not fashionable.
The phone didn’t ring late at night because evening was for winding down and preparing for sleep. Daily my mom talked with her mother on the phone and family connections remained constant without having to “find a minute” for one another.
My mom and her mom and myself for a few years in the beginning had a job to do, and did it. Children knew what was expected of them and had someone to hold their hand while they did it. Food was a matter of love and nourishment and not of last minute grabs at the end of hectic days. Stuffy heads and sore throats meant staying home and sipping tea on the couch because my mom had a job to do; and it was to watch over me and nurse me to health when I needed her. I had warm clothes and warm meals and high expectations at the hand of my mom.
I could list forever the tasks and talents my mom poured over my life but I believe it all comes down to wisdom. She had an instinct that drove her toward the care of myself and my sister. It was a direct connection to God. I learned that lesson above all the others. That life may not work itself out in the manner that you would choose, but God will lay His hand over it all in the end. My mom didn’t have a large and luxurious home or a bottomless bank account to fund her attempts at creating a home. If school work was too hard, if we were sick, if times were bad there was a common answer for us. Let’s pray about it. That was the lesson of my childhood.
I wish I could’ve been a homemaker forever. I wish time and society hadn’t marched forward demanding second incomes just to survive. I wish I could’ve spent my kids’ entire time at home as mine was spent, with a mom making them a home that appeared effortless. Most of the stuff of my mom’s child-rearing days was obsolete when it was my turn to raise children. Most, but not all.
I too, knew that bad times call for prayer. So do good times and sad times and confused times.
So for the dinners for four around the kitchen table, for the cupcakes for my classroom on my birthday, mittens in snow storms, visits to grandparents, sick days on the couch and a home made for me; thank you mom.
For the lessons of Jesus loves me this I know; let’s pray and being steered by God through thankless loads of laundry and baked chicken; I owe you my life.
For Patricia Carol Gerhardstein Trent; thank you God.
Happy Mother’s Day, to us all.
(p.s. that's my grandma with daboyz in October 1989 in the upper left and my mom with me in June 1967 lower right!)