Franklin Five

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Birthday Gift

Although the packaging was a simple box with wrapping paper, what lay inside the box was no ordinary gift. This year for my 33rd birthday, my mom gave me a special gift, a gift that took a lot of letting-go on her part. The gift was a ring-a ring that has been in our family for ninety years. My mom's grandfather had given the ring to my grandmother when she was a girl. My grandmother gave the ring to my mom when she was a girl, and I've grown up seeing the ring on my mother's hand. Now, the ring is on my hand.

The ring holds a simple design-a beautiful red stone in a delicate gold setting. The beauty of the ring does not exist in its stone or setting. What makes it precious is the memories it carries.

I cannot think of my mom's hands without thinking of the ring. It was always there. So, when I look at my hand now with the ring on my finger, I feel like I'm looking at my mom's hand. It's a rather strange feeling, and I guess over time, I'll get used to seeing it on my hand. But for now, when I see the ring, I remember my mom's hands.

My mom's hands were always strong for the task set before her. Her hands were covered in dry erase marker in the evenings after a full day of teaching. Her hands were busy in the kitchen making cookies or preparing dinner. Her hands were soft, inviting, and always finding ways to help others.

Now, I am a mom and my hands are busy each day changing diapers, wiping tears, holding the hand of a little child. How will my children remember my hands?

My mom is an inspiration to me in so many ways. I hope that my children will one day remember my hands as I remember my mother's hands. More important than passing down a beautiful ring that I will always cherish, she passed down a legacy of love, faith, and truth.

Today, August 18, is my mother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! As I look at my hand today and see the ring, I will say a prayer of thanksgiving for your life and the gifts you gave me. I could not have asked for a better mom.


Christine said...

Jo, this is beautiful. I remember your mom much the same way since she was my second mom growing up. I remember the great meals I had at your house, how hard she worked tutoring and taking us from one place to another, and what a committed teacher she was. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Latham!!

I can't wait to see the ring!

Nana said...

Jo, what a beautiful thing to say. Thank you so much for the very kind and generous words. I love you so much and now that you are a parent, I think you understand the depth of that love. Thank you, God, for giving me a daughter like Jo.

Kimba said...

Your words are precious!! I am thankful that I have been able to meet your mom as well! I loved seeing you yesterday! Can't wait to see you again!

Anne said...

Can someone wipe the tears from my eyes and flatten the lump in my throat. I am thankful for her legacy in your life as well. We have great mothers don't we!

Perpy said...

Wow! What a testimony! Made me cry!