A Father [of Joy] to the Motherless

Recently, friends began posting pictures of themselves along with their mothers on Facebook in order to honor them for Mother's Day.  Since my mother passed away seventeen years ago, I decided to drag out a few old pictures to see if I could find one of my mother and me together.  And, so the search began.

My mother was a very hardworking woman.  When I was a child, she worked nights cleaning buildings.  Later, she served as a housekeeper at a local motel and subsequently went on to be a personal care assistant for her, then, boss's mother.  As one might imagine, she did not have a lot of extra time or money for personal portrait sessions, and by the time I was in junior high, anyone who tried to point a camera at me was met with either the back of my head or a streak of light as I bolted out of the room.

So, this is what I finally came up with to celebrate Mother's Day this year in the form of a "Mommy and Me" picture:

Each and every time, I opened this picture to crop, edit or post, I was gradually moved closer and closer to tears. Ultimately, I wept.  And, wept.  And, then, I smiled.  I miss my mother sumthin' awful (as we say here in Texas).  Yet, I smiled because of two things.

First, I know (as I explain to my sweet little 5-year-old from time to time) that my mother lives in Heaven with Jesus. Because of her faith in Christ as her Savior, I'll get to see her and embrace her again someday.

I'll get to smell her skin and touch her face.  Best of all, I'll get to feel the warmth again.  The warmth that went missing when her spirit left her body.  The warmth I didn't feel anymore as I peered into her casket and knew that she was, indeed, no longer in this world.

In the meantime, she is never in pain, she never cries, and she is at peace.  That brings me great joy.  Did I mention her name was Joy?  Second, God gave me a little piece of her to see and enjoy each and every day in the form of my three little ones.  My daughter, in particular, reminds me of the special mother-daughter relationship that I had with my mom.

Circa 2010

Unfortunately, I am also reminded of how hard-headed I was as a child and how my mother frequently stated through gritted teeth, "I hope you have a child who acts just like you when you grow up!" Ha!  Thanks, Mom.  

After my mother's death in March of 1994, I was basically an orphan.  My father would pass away a mere two years later after a four-year battle with Alzheimer's.  In God's usual fashion, He brought to me, at just the right time, one verse in particular that served as a buoy for my soul as the waves of grief threatened to drag me under.  

"Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  Psalm 139:16

God reminded me that I was not alone after all and that He was always there for me because He always had been. Even BEFORE my mother knew me, He knew me!  How amazing it was to come to that realization.

Now, for seventeen years, I have not been entirely motherless.  For, there are a couple of amazing women with whom the Lord has seen fit to bring me into a relationship. Over the years, these women have held me, comforted me, cried with me, laughed with me, counseled me, rebuked me, loved me and encouraged me.  And, for that I want to express a huge THANK YOU for allowing the Lord to use you in my life.  

Happy Mother's Day
My Dear Friend Karen
My "Adopted" Mama, Nina

I love you!


  1. I am glad God comforted you with this scripture, and that you find joy in looking forward to seeing your mom again. He is gracious when he does not leave us alone, and having hope in him is a gift indeed.
    I really appreciate what you wrote, and will try to be mindful of it next time the sting of missing my father takes hold.

  2. Loved reading about your mom...she would be so proud of the mom you have become! You are truly one of my most precious gifts from the Lord. Ruthie, I am consistently amazed and encouraged by your accomplishments, creativity, sense of humor, tenacity, and especially your love for the Lord as you care for your friends and family. You may have lost your mom way too soon, but her legacy lives strong in your life and in the lives of the little ones the Lord has entrusted you raise...keep up the good work!

    Happy Mother's Day to you, my precious friend!

    Love you,


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