"Just talk to me." That’s what I used to say when I telephoned my mother. I was in my early twenties, living alone for the first time and feeling completely overwhelmed by life, and from time to time I’d call her up, crying, and I’d say, “please just talk to me.”
And she would. She chattered on about the repairs to the roof that my father was finally getting around to, or the neighbor who’d thrown a loud party last Saturday night, or the book she’d just gotten from the library and couldn’t wait to read. She talked and talked about ordinary things until she sensed that I’d calmed down, and then she’d say, quietly, “So tell me what’s wrong.” And I would, and whatever the problem was, she helped me solve it. As soon as she spoke those words, I knew that, somehow, everything was going to be all right.
These days my mother is living with Jesus and the saints in heaven, and every time something in my life feels too challenging, too difficult, I wish I could reach for the phone and just hear her voice rattling off the minutiae of everyday life and then tossing me that that lifeline: “So tell me what’s wrong.”
I think that many of us have stories like that about our mothers. Times when they were our rock in a very stormy sea. Moments when they were the only ones whose voice could comfort us. The special bread they baked, the way they kissed us good-night, the smile that could light up our world.
It’s trite, but true: there is no one in our lives like our mothers!
This Mother’s Day, we at Pauline Books & Media are featuring four beautiful, meaningful gifts that I so wish I could have given to my mom. Maybe you can do it for me, by giving one of these gifts to your mom! I’m sure she’ll be delighted.
- Cherished by the Lord: 100 Meditations Sr. Katherine Hermes’ wonderful meditations will guide your mother through whatever she’s facing and affirm that she is beloved by God. They’re short (we know Mom is busy!) and offer Scripture passages and prayers as well.
- Our Lady’s Garden and CD set: Your mother can listen to the exquisite voices of the Daughters of St. Paul choir as she de-stresses and meditates with this beautiful adult coloring book.
- Blessed Are The Stressed: Sr. Lea Hill is our own “crabby mystic,” and she’ll offer your mother the opportunity to explore the Beatitudes and apply them to her own sometimes stressful life.
- Your Love Carries Me: This CD is filled with songs of inspiration and hope, perfect for springtime and Mother’s Day!
These days, I still need my mother’s lifeline. I still feel overwhelmed sometimes, or sad, or scared. When that happens, if I can, I’ll go sit by the ocean or in my parish church or in the woods, and I’ll whisper, “please just talk to me.” And I imagine her telling me about what’s going on right now in heaven, and I have to smile. I think about possible solutions to my problem du jour. And when I find one, I like to think that she helped me think it through.
It’s been decades since my mother died, and she’s still a part of my life every single day. I miss her voice, but not her presence. Peter Marshall, who was at one-time chaplain to the United States Senate, wrote, “Those we love are with the Lord. And he has promised to be with us. If they are with him, and he is with us, then they can never be far away.”
Whether your mother is in heaven or in the next room, please know that you—and she—are in our prayers.
Jeannette de Beauvoir