The Greek origin of the name Margaret is pearl, a thing of great rarity and worth. My mother’s name is Margaret. I have no real memories of her, as she died probably two and a half years after this photo was taken.
As I look at her, looking at me, I know I was loved. I don’t remember her voice, but I can almost hear her saying, “I love you.”
I’ve never had a Mother’s Day with her that I am aware of, but I honor her just the same. The young mother she was. The love she gave, the tenderness that this picture shows. I cherish it.
I cherish her.
Most of my own experience as a mother has been fraught with questions and uncertainty. “Am I doing this right?” As if any of us really knows the one truly right way to mother. It’s mainly a lot of trial and error, flipping a coin, and lots of praying.
My daughters have had to grow up without a grandmother. It seems so unfair, and it saddens me to think of the loving relationship they missed. My beautiful mother was not allowed to grow older and be the grandmother she would have wanted to be.
Whatever good I have done as a mother – whatever I have done right, I owe it all to a power greater than myself, and to my mother. Somehow she would whisper encouragement to me on the flutter of Cardinal wings or show me the way to go with a gentle nudge or knowing. She might not have been here for me in all the ways I needed, but she sent a charge of angels that ensured I would grow up to be okay. She made sure I would have photographs and mementos from those who knew her well. She made sure this photo would be unearthed from a box of old pictures almost exactly on my seventieth birthday.
My mother knew I would need her love and so she sent it to me through other souls, close friends, and strangers. She sent her love to me on sunsets and early morning walks on the beach. She sent me love through faith and heartfelt prayers. She will always send her love until we meet again among the stars. Mothers don’t just love their children every now and then, it’s eternal love, a forever love.
It’s love without end. Amen.