Special Memories with My Mother
Memories are special when they are of special people in our life.
This document is reprinted from a paper I wrote
for a class at Ashland Theological Seminary
for a class called Person in Ministry.
This paper reflects a special day that I visited
my mother in Sidney where she lived. Since
I live in Columbus, driving and visiting took
most of the day. She was always happy that
I could visit and generally planned errands or
tasks. On this day in June 2011, we revisited
some family memories. One was new to me!
A paper written
Don Elijah Eckhart
June 22, 2011
Jesus Christ is at the center of my life. I am a follower of Jesus and I am led by the Holy Spirit. I still make mistakes, but they are mine, not God’s. I am still learning, and I long to grow in faith.
I have compassion for people and have helped many people by God’s Spirit.
Faith in Christ leads to action
I visited my mother who is 84 years old and lives in Sidney, Ohio, where I grew up. I generally visit her once each week, sometimes more often on special occasions. She attends church, volunteers at a thrift shop, and has led a small group Bible study in my parents’ home.
After lunch at a popular local restaurant, I suggested that we go to the cemetery where my dad and grandparents (her parents) are buried. She was happy that we would be able to visit the cemetery. We stopped at my dad’s grave first. Her name is also on the tombstone. My dad died on May 5, 2006. My mother commented that it had now been over five years since he died. I asked if it seemed like a long time. She responded that it is starting to seem like a long time ago. Even though my mother and father were married for over fifty years, the last five years have slowed down for her. I heard the sound of a peacock from a nearby farm, reminiscent of the peacocks blending with “Taps,” played by the military bugle on the day of my father’s funeral.
We then walked to the nearby graves of my grandparents. I remember when my grandpa died. I was a senior in high school. I heard the phone ring in the early morning. My mother said that she wished that she would have told me what had happened before she and my dad left for the hospital. The call was a surprise because my grandpa was expected to be released the next day. My mother explained that intuitively she stayed longer that night, and she did something I had never heard her tell. On his last night, she kissed her dad for the first time (as an adult). She explained that such affection wasn’t generally expressed. My mother also talked about being with my grandma when she died—being there with her when she took her last breath. Earlier that night, according to my mother, my grandma exclaimed that it was harder to die than she thought. All of my mother’s memories underscore the importance of family for her, even at death.
After leaving the cemetery, we drove by the small family farm. My mother now has a cooperative agreement with a nearby farmer. She was pleased to see that the corn and soybeans are growing. At her house, I checked the gutters, but there was nothing to clean out. Then we played a game of chess. I believe she likes it because it stimulates her mental activity, although she hasn’t won lately. When I play quickly, she has a better chance of winning. She studied her moves and she won! We then went out for ice cream, to a place where she said that she and my dad used to frequent. It was a good day, and the strawberry/hot fudge sundae was delicious.