So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

I stared at the empty notebook page where I was to summarize my mother’s life. Thirty-nine years of her being mine all tied together in a four-minute speech. 

Her funeral was the next day. I just had to start with one word. Bracing myself for the heavy emotions and Kleenex by my side, I placed my pen down on the paper. 

To my surprise, the words poured out of me effortlessly. My pen danced its way down the paper as I wrote about how much she meant to me.

RELATED: Only a Motherless Daughter Knows

How she would chase us down in the driveway after family dinners with Cool Whip containers of leftovers. This would prolong our goodbyes for another 10 minutes before she would stand at her door waving until we drove off.

I wrote about how her family meant everything to her. 

I could hear her contagious laugh as I wrote about how she would get lost in the same mall we had shopped in for decades. We used to laugh until we cried when she could never find Sears. “It’s still by the food court, Mom.”

Her eyes lit up when her grandchildren barged through her door for sleepovers. I wrote about her making me text her confirming that I got home safely even into my 30s.

I wrote about her hugs. They felt like home.

As I read the final draft, something dawned on me. Do you know what didn’t make the final cut? When I sat there and reflected on my mother, not once did I think about the dishes in her sink or if she baked or bought cookies for my bake sale. I couldn’t remember what was in those boxes under the Christmas tree or if she kept the house spotless. Nor did I recall if she dressed perfectly for occasions or planned the best vacations.

All of this landed on the cutting room floor because when it’s all said and done, these things just aren’t the most important. 

What could never be cut is how she made me feel.

How she just knew I was down after not being asked to homecoming and took me for ice cream to take my mind off it. How she was my biggest cheerleader until the very end. Her cool hand on my forehead when I was sick when she checked on me throughout the night. The stories she told me as I lulled to sleep. 

And those hugs I miss so much. 

RELATED: A Mother’s Love is Home

So I ask all the mothers out there to think about when your children reflect on their life with their mother, what will make the pen dance effortlessly on that paper?

And what things do you stress so much about today that will ultimately end up on the cutting room floor?

Kristie Reitz

I am a mom of 3 kids and a teacher of the visually impaired in Cranberry Twp, PA. 

A Mother’s Love is More Powerful Than Pain

In: Motherhood
Woman holding daughter, black-and-white photo

When I was six, I almost died. To find out what was wrong with me, I had to have a spinal tap. My mother was with me in the little room. It was late. The lights were dim. We sat together on the bed. She behind me. “Breathe in slow, and out slow,” my mother said to me. “It’s what I did when I had my babies.” RELATED: The Shape of a Mother’s Heart is Love Our hands interlocked. Mine small, still with a little chub. Her long piano-playing hands gripped mine. “Squeeze my hands,” she said. I breathed in...

Keep Reading

The Legacy of My Mother’s Hands

In: Death of a Parent, Grief
The Legacy of My Mother's Hands www.herviewfromhome.com

They were freckled and toasted by the sun, like the rest of her, from years of play and horseback riding on the sunny beaches of Southern California. It was a place I knew about from a few occasional visits to see Grandma and Grandpa—but mostly through her hands. Besides, it had already changed so much from the place of her youth, which was part of the reason we went north. Sitting on our front porch surrounded by cool evergreens and fresh scents of grass and warm blackberries, I traced each line on both sides. I liked to play with the bumpy,...

Keep Reading

Home is Where My Mom Is

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and daughter

Once during a rare solo shopping trip to TJ Maxx, I came across a small sign that read, “Home is Where Mom Is.” I immediately threw it in my cart without even checking the price tag. Normally, I’m very cautious about what I spend, but this time, I knew this sign just had to come home with me. (I did breathe a sigh of relief at the checkout when I discovered the low, low price of $4.99.) RELATED: Dear Mom, You’re My Biggest Fan and it Means So Much At home, I hid this under my bed for four months...

Keep Reading