You Can’t Hug Pictures | A Few Encouraging Thoughts for Mother’s Day

I miss her. I could selfishly say that I miss her carrot cake, her chicken and rice, or her homemade sugar biscuits, but truthfully, I miss her. And of all the things I could miss, what I miss most is her unshakable confidence in her convictions.

We used to joke that Grandma Ham could stare at a menu for ten minutes without making a decision on what to eat. When it came to her faith, however, she knew exactly what she wanted—intimacy with the Father.

She built her life on this foundation. It was her Rock. Because of that, her life radiated stability and assurance in spite of the storms. Whenever the winds of doubt and fear began to blow, she responded with courageous faith.

Her tattered Bible looked more like a weapon used in battle than an idle bookend. It was a weapon—her sword. She used it daily to pierce the armor of the enemy.

She used it when her husband, my grandfather, committed suicide after an exhausting battle with lung cancer. It was her fortress when her twin sister succumbed to the same, awful illness. But perhaps the most beautiful example was during her own battle with that uterine cancer.

Before each chemotherapy treatment, she would read her Bible. She said that it gave her the strength. Then, she would sit for hours as drugs dripped into her bloodstream in an effort to slow her spreading disease.

Despite discomfort, she smiled and faced her sickness with certainty. No matter the outcome, she knew that her outcome was sealed

As her treatments wore on, she began losing her hair so she covered her balding head with a night cap. From time to time, we would catch her rubbing what she called her “peach fuzz”. We’d burst into laughter as someone would eventually shout, “Cover that thing up!”

Oh how I miss that sweet, precious time.

I can still see her sitting in her recliner, flipping between the Weather Channel and Andy Griffith reruns as the smell of something sweet lingered in the air. If I could go back, we wouldn’t even have to speak. It would be a treasure just to know that she was there.

It has been three years now. Three years since she asked that we place our boys with her in her recliner, on Mother’s Day, to get one last picture. She knew it was time. Less than a week later, she went Home.

This is a picture I will treasure forever.

Grandma Ham and the boys

Grandma Ham and the boys

But as much as I love the picture above, I can’t give it a hug.

On Mother’s Day, I’m reminded that while pictures should be treasured, we need to treasure those that we are with today. We need to kiss our mothers, our wives, and the women who have selflessly cared for us. We need to tell them that we love them and slow down long enough to enjoy the simple pleasure of each moment.

Some day, all we will have are pictures and memories of sugar biscuits. And while we will almost be able to savor them, they will never be as sweet as the real thing.

Today, may the memory of those who have gone before us be a warm ray of light upon our face. And may they remind us of what matters most.

To love the Lord with sword-wielding faith, to laugh in the midst of the storms, and to rest in the confidence of an eternal inheritance.


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