Last Friday was the 13th anniversary of my mother’s death. Amidst the views of Spring with blooming red buds, azaleas, plum trees, bluebonnets, and daffodils, I was awash with memories. With thoughts of missing Mom in the physical. Memories of comfort. Memories being comforted. Memories which become more muted every year. But which remain beautiful, comforting, and unfaded.
In the sixties at CyFair High School I had a bleeding blue and gray madras shirt. It was made by HIS. I wore the shirt as often as it was clean and ready to wear. The more I wore it, the shirt became more comfortable and comforting. That shirt was worn as close to me as my skin. As close as the love I got from Mom. The shirt became part of me. Just like all the memories of Mom I reflect on today and every day.
At Cy-Fair there were many times I felt different than my peers. I was not like them. I was in a wheelchair. Then, I had the embarrassment of having the teenage pimples which in my mind were viewed by others as the size of the Astrodome. I wanted so much to be like others and for the girls to like me. When I wore that shirt, I felt incredibly special. Mom made me feel that way. She let me know that to God, I was special too.
Each time the madras was washed by Mom, the shirt bled, and the colors became more muted. Yet, the shirt remained beautifully the same. Muted but not faded. The outside of the shirt appeared a little different after each washing. Yet, it was the same shirt. As Mom aged, as we all age, she looked older and older on the outside. She was still beautiful. She was the same Mom to me. I wore her love the same way I treasured my madras shirt.
Sadly, I do not have that shirt anymore. Neither do I have Mom. But thanks to God I had the blessing of both in my life. I had the shirt. I had Mom. I have beautiful memories of them both, memories that are somewhat muted but not faded with each passing year. As I think about this upcoming Easter and God’s gift of eternal life after death, I thank God that Mom will always remain beautiful and comforted in Heaven. Thanks to the love of God that will never change forever and forever.
I tried to order that same identical bleeding madras shirt from HIS on the internet today. Like my mom, I learned. They do not make them like that anymore.
God has spoken in Scripture on the importance of memories and remembrance of Him.
“I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”
Let us pray.
God, I thank You for the beautiful gift of memory. Memory allows me to relive moments that are so special to me.
God, please help me to hang on to my memories of those who have loved me and touched me in special and beautiful ways. Such memories and those who loved me are treasures of my heart. I will carry them with me until my last heartbeat.
God, on the Good Fridays of my life, when things are dark and dreary, may I be comforted in knowing that Easter always follows Good Friday. That I and my loved ones never die. That in Heaven and on Earth, I am never a memory to You. I am Your child to be loved and comforted in the glow of Your holy light. Amen
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Ann Boland, Jack’s Publicist