“No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother’s love.”
My mom is turning 70 this week. Last Saturday we celebrated by taking her out to dinner and to the symphony in Oklahoma City. While that may sound simple and easy it involved 12 family members, 3 vehicles, 2 states, many hours of travel, and finding a day where 12 of 14 of us were available. However, seeing the light in my Mother’s eyes was worth any amount of effort involved in the preparations. It was a splendid evening.
My mom, Mary Jacquelyn Russell Antwine, lights our way. She is steadfast; unflinchingly convicted to keeping our family connected in love. Mom is a reflection of all that is pure and right and graceful. While she honors my Dad above all others and considers him the leader of our family, it is undoubtedly the beacon of her love that both sends us each on our own journey while lighting our path back home.
Mom is a very young 70. She still works full time and manages to take care of my Dad, my specially-abled sister, Martha, and anyone else who crosses her path in need of care. Mom never seems to tire of giving to others. She is simply the most modest, humble, servant-spirited woman I know.
Mom is also one of the most talented women I know. She sews, She cooks. She paints. She decorates cakes. She creates more “somethings” out of “nothings” than you can imagine. Mom was reusing, recycling and renewing way before it was cool. One of my favorite memories from childhood is when she taught Sunday School and ran a mother’s day out program. She was so creative and innovative that she was asked to present her ideas at a teachers’ convention. She and my Dad loaded up her original creations in a borrowed Winnebago and headed out to share those ideas with others. There was no amount of show. No “look at what I can do.” Simply, a modest exchange of gifts.
That’s the way it is with Mom. She simply lives her beautifully ordinary life, sharing her extraordinary spark with all those around her – without even trying. Everyone who knows her, loves her and feels welcome in her presence.
One of the songs I learned while growing up in her Sunday School classes goes like this: This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine all the time. Let it shine.
Thank you, Mom, for lighting our way. Thank you for reflecting the love of God in a way that warms our hearts and our spirits and gives each of us permission to shine.
Happy Birthday, Mom! Keep on shining!