My mother By Don Short
y mother was born in 1916. She had eight children, seven of whom are boys. I am the second youngest in the family. For a mother to connect with eight children is very difficult at best. I am sure that each of my siblings has their own story, but this is my story. I know that my mom remembered my birth well because I weighed 12 lbs. when I was born. My mom was a hard worker and always did her best to see that our needs were met. We were a “poor” family not unlike many of the other farming families that lived near us. We lived on an 80-acre farm and raised most of our own food. Both of my parents, but my Dad more so, bore the scars of the Great Depression, which gave them the skills to make a little go a long way. Mom would dish out the food at the dinner table to make sure each of us received what we needed and there was always enough to go around.
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Church was an important part of our family as we grew up. We were Mennonites and grew up knowing the importance of family, faith and hard work. This heritage shaped me as I was growing up and it is still a significant factor in my life today. Two songs that my mom loved were “This Old House” because the house we lived in at the time was old and in need of repairs and “This World Is Not My Home” because life was hard at the time. She was well aware of how tough life could be and how her relationship with Christ would help her through the difficult times. She knew this world was not her home and that she was just passing through. She also wanted to do her best to make this world a better place but never forgot that a better place waited for her in Heaven. She valued her faith and her personal relationship with Christ. She desired that all of her children come to know Christ as our Savior—to love God, to love each other and to try to make this world a better place while we are here. I don’t have any memories of my mom complaining or being ungrateful. I have many memories of her being there for me, of laughing together and, from when I was a teenager, of working together. Her unconditional love was always a stable
and firm foundation for me as I dealt with struggles in my own life. It was through the sharing of these emotions that we built strong connections with each other. She taught me how to live in the present, work hard and to trust in God. Those connections and teachings laid a foundation that still creates meaning and purpose in my life. The four key stones in this foundation are: 1) Love God; 2) Love your spouse; 3) Love your children; and 4) Honor God through your work no matter what your vocation.
Thanks Mom; I will always love you. My mom passed away when she was 89. I grieved her loss but I know that the home in Heaven she used to sing about is now hers. She is there was my dad and my son. I am looking forward to seeing them some day after I finish my time here on this earth. My mom made me a better person and I am trying to make this world a better place as I provide counseling to individuals and couples. This world can be a better place.
Don Short is a licensed counselor with After Hours Counseling. He and his wife reside in Acadiana.