My Mom

voices2I miss my mom’s voice. This struck me the past week when we celebrated Mother’s Day. For anyone who knows me, I talk a lot, but probably the one person I loved most to hear was my mom. Her voice was the one that would wake me in the mornings, “Time to get up”; the one that would chide me late at night when I was in high school, “Doneta why are you still studying?”; the calming reassurance over the phone line when I struggled with a college course, “It’s okay – you’ll be fine.”

After I was married and made trips from Omaha back to the farm, I treasured the conversations from chit-chat to deep discussions. We would talk over food preparations, or share together standing at the sink washing and drying dishes. During long walks along the county roads, or through the fields our topics covered life, death and everything between. I recalled Friday nights arriving at mom and dad’s after a long day, playing cards, munching on popcorn discussing the week and staying up long after others went to sleep just to talk some more. Then early Saturday morning before the others were awake sitting down with coffee in the kitchen we picked up the topic right where we left off the night before.

Memories of her voice – wow I miss that. As her age progressed, hearing diminished and Parkinson’s took its toll; it was challenging to communicate. Years later, often in her room at the care facility we would write notes back and forth and on an excursion with her wheelchair I would find a quiet place – usually that was the chapel to sit quietly eye to eye. Sometimes there we would find snippets of lost sentences, smiles and hugs, but the voice grew softer, and speaking was more touch and eye contact; and then even that gradually slipped away. Silence.

Mom has been gone five years now and what I wouldn’t trade to stand hip to hip at the kitchen sink; walking outdoors side by side listening to the red wing blackbirds; even slowly navigating a hall way to that chapel. I miss that voice. As I reflected over that lost blessing it made me pause and focus on other voices that I miss; specifically my conversations with my Heavenly Father.

Psalm 5:3 Good News Translation (GNT)

    you hear my voice in the morning;
at sunrise I offer my prayer[a]
and wait for your answer.

I love my quiet devotional time over coffee when we talk in the mornings, but even then if I am honest with myself there are times when I’m preoccupied, when I read through the Psalm not focusing on the words; when my looming work schedule invades and I am not concentrating. Forgive me Father. Are you sad when my voice, my sharing, my focus is absent? I am certain you are. Do you miss the times when I can’t wait to tell you what event crowded my day? Are you waiting now while I flit about jumping from one issue to another? Yes, I am sure you are. Again forgive me because I realize on those days when seemingly one disaster after another confronts me and I feel so overwhelmed – I realize I’ve missed you. I’ve missed not beginning my day, starting that sentence or even forming that thought without giving it to you first. Because when I fail to do that everything seems so horribly wrong and out of sync. Why am I so slow to learn?

I am so weak and you are infinitely strong and patient. I need your voice and I need to hear my own crying out to you, praising you, thanking you, and sometimes sitting with you and voicing my confession and joy of your love with my heart – in silence.

Wow Lord, your voice and presence in my life – where would I be without it? Thank you. Amen.

Blessings as you speak and listen to your Father today. Doneta

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