My friend Leslie, sometimes sat beside me at church told me once that Mother’s Day was so hard every year. She was a wonderful mom to four children and I asked why it was so hard. There was a sad story of loss, a hole left by a mom who had died early in her life.
Yesterday, I sat at church. I looked around and saw a mom in front of me sitting with her mom that was probably in her 80’s. I saw others with their children in their 20’s and I felt alone and saddened by my aloneness. Kelly was on a long weekend in Florida with her boyfriend’s family. Em was probably giggling, chasing Sammie around a park in Ecuador. Jeff was…hmmm, I was always wondering about where that boy was, who he was hanging with and what was he up to next. Well, I thought, I hope he was in Denver. We don’t hear from him when he gets crazy busy. In fact, when he was crazy busy as a young citizen of our neighborhood, it was always hard getting the youngster back within 8 hours to replenish for the next day of fun.
My thoughts moved back to the message…I agreed with Nancy Ortberg, our guest teacher, when she was talking about her son who chronologically was 24 years old and then the aside …really the maturity age being 13. I laughed thinking of my pooch loving, tenderhearted buddy boy. Can I just say that he could always manipulate me into anything! Here he is pictured many years later with our first dog Allie. He cut out adds in the paper, carefully laying them on our dresser daily for months after his 4th grade teacher had read Shiloh. He had wanted a dog, a beagle.
Then it was cars….then it was concerts….then it was travel. Sigh, those were the days, and now I sit here feeling alone and pretty miserable. I wondered if he would even call, I wonder if he would send a card. Ahhh, he was probably still out playing I thought.
The phone does ring. He says, “I miss you mom.” I think you will really be happy with my gift this year. ”
“Oh, I say…I hope it is just a card, because you know how I feel…”
Jeff interrupts, “It was a had week out here at work. Many of the kids in the program have a hard time with Mother’s Day.”
“Well you know, they pretty much have mother’s that kind of abandoned them.” Jeff works with kids 18 to twenty somethings just out of the ‘system’. He continues, “The girls that have their own children now and those who are expecting aren’t expecting much for Mother’s Day, so I thought that I will give your card to a girl and buy a plant with a flower and put it in front of her apartment on Sunday…in your honor.”
“Yep, it would be such an honor.” I say back.
They say the frontal lobe is only fully formed at 25 years. Jeff is 26 chronologically and his heart age really measures up. Jeff will forever be my buddy and forever will be my friend. And he understand what his mother does want most of all…giving gifts of hope to people we encounter along the way.