Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Mother's Legacy

I write heartfelt and inspirational stories about family relationships, stories that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories from which children and parents might derive hope, guidance and a smile after reading them.

I collect written stories and conduct recorded telephone interviews to gather the information necessary to put together a story for my book projects. Stories are not published as submitted or told but rather are used as anecdotes told by me, the narrator, to help illustrate a message about teaching or cherished moments.

Please visit www.gregoryelang.com and click the red corner on the home page just beneath the “Projects” tab to learn more about what projects I may be working on.

NOTE: The deadline to offer a mother-daughter story is in just two days. Please continue to visit this blog for updates on the book as it begins the last leg of its journey toward publication (Spring, 2009).

Now on to today’s post~

"Have you gotten down on your knees?" was nearly always the question that came in answer to most of Emily’s appeals to her mother for help or advice. From an early age Emily knew that was just what her mother would say; in her opinion there was simply nothing too small to pray about.

Emily’s mother had taught her to pray at a very young age, never tucking her into bed without reminding her to say her prayers. Brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, pray and then go to sleep were her nightly marching orders. In this setting Emily came to believe God does hear and answer prayers, and like her mother, nothing was too big or small to talk with God about.

Yet, Emily was at times a difficult child who often tested the limits of her parents’ patience. Her mother often said she hoped Emily would one day have a child just like her. Well, as fate would have it, she did. Today, Emily’s two year old daughter Mackenzie has a personality just like her mom did when a child and young teen. She presses every button she knows about and questions every request or directive her mother gives her.

One particular morning during a time when Emily’s husband was out of town on a business trip, she was running on fumes, having gotten too little sleep and with so many things to do. She was too exhausted to argue with Mackenzie about wearing the old handed down bright pink dance costume adorned with frayed roses and sequins, more than a few missing. How did my mom do it? she asked herself as she gathered her children into the van. She had made mothering look so easy, she remembered. After all, the house was always spotless, dinner was both nutritious and ready on time, there were clean clothes for all to wear, and she always knew just how to make the aches and pains of her children disappear.

It was because of her mother that Emily had dreamed for years of having a family of her own. But, she feared she would never measure up to the example her mother had set. She doubted she could ever accomplish so much.

The last errand of the day was an appointment to get each child a much needed haircut. Struggling to keep her children together Emily herded them across the parking lot and together they nearly tumbled though the door of the salon. The children, just as tired as mom, were loud and whiny and debated about who touched who first on the way in. Mackenzie spotted a basket of suckers on the counter and immediately demanded one. A pink one to match her dress, no less.

After much wailing and jumping about Emily reached her limit with her little girl’s tantrum. “I am going to put you in time out in the car!” she threatened, to which Mackenzie abruptly stopped crying and squirming and sat down in a chair to await her turn for a haircut.

Emily then moved to check on her other children who were already having their long locks trimmed. Before leaving Mackenzie she reminded her to be quiet and added, “fold your hands in your lap.” The little girl grinned wide and promptly folded her hands together.

Moments later Emily glanced over at Mackenzie. She was not only sitting quietly in the chair with her hands folded together but her head was bowed and she appeared to be saying a prayer. This was confirmed when she gave a snappy nod of her head and announced, “AMEN!”

Maybe she was praying for a new mommy or a pink sucker, Emily thought, but neither case mattered much. What mattered was that her sweet little girl with the ratty hair and wearing the needed-to-be-thrown-away dress was praying. And was doing so by her own choice.

At that moment Emily realized she was indeed much like her mother. Dinner may not always be nutritious or on the table at six o’clock sharp and the house may not always be spotless, but her children know that God hears and answers their prayers.

At that moment Emily knew that at least in her mother’s eyes, she did measure up after all.

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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