Thursday, May 7, 2015

My Nominee for "Best Mother in the World"

As Mother's Day approaches, I'd like to present my nominee for Best Mother in the World. 

She lives in a modest house in a small town with a man she married over 60 years ago. She is of average height and average weight and has gentle eyes of blue.

She has never held public office, has never traveled overseas and has never participated in a conference call.

She couldn't act her way out of a wet paper sack, she has no impressive degrees on her walls, and I doubt her singing would win a Grammy.

Although she doesn't have a computer, WiFi or a TV, she is never bored. If she isn't whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, she is working on a quilting project, crocheting something special for a friend or winning another game of dominoes.

And speaking of friends, she has them around the globe. At all hours of the day, they call, seeking expert advice and words to live by. She is generous with both, and she cherishes each friendship she's made. Just last week, when discussing getting a new phone, she was worried about possibly losing her 300-plus contacts.

With my dear Leslie, many years ago.
When her grandchildren were young, her favorite pastime was playing board games. For hours, she would sit, tossing dice, spinning wheels or handling play money like a pro. When asked if she would rather be doing other things, she would smile and say no. She was busy making her mark on the next generation.

Some say she raised children like a pro, too. As the mother of three, she spent many hours guiding little feet in the paths of righteousness. Not with long, lecturing sermons of "do as I say." But by example.

Her three girls: Elaine, Dayle and Gayle

She never pointed out other people's faults. She never gossiped. She never raised her voice unless it needed to be raised. She honored her husband and put her children's needs ahead of any ambitions of her own.

She had no time for disobedience and disrespect. Her discipline for such offenses was swift and sure.

If money was a problem, her girls never knew it. They always had food to eat, clothes to wear and plenty of dirt outside to play in.

In her myriad years of living, she has suffered disappointment, heartache and grief. But she never complains. She believes all things work together for the good, and that silver linings are found on the darkest of clouds.

With her great-granddaughter, Audrey Emeline - a bright light in my life.
Today, her three daughters each have a grown daughter, and those three daughters have daughters of their own. She wishes she could see her children every day, but she makes the most of the time she is given.

Occasionally, someone says I look like this nominee for Best Mother in the World, and it is a compliment, for sure. But more than anything, I want to be like her. Hard-working. Faithful in small things. A woman who loves her family, values her friends and leaves a mark on generations to come.

Happy Mother's Day, dear mother. I love you beyond words.  ♦

This post is a revised version of my original column that appeared in The Dallas Morning News in 1999.
Original article was shared HERE.
Linking to Spiritual Sundays


  1. A wonderful, wonderful mother's day tribute to a very special lady. You are very blessed.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom..... Hope Mother's Day is amazing for you and your entire family!!! Soooooo enjoy reading your blog!

  3. Oh my goodness Gayle, you could have been describing my own mom here. Mine went home to be with Jesus 5 years ago on April 30....and she had 8 children...and no twins, although she was one, herself! I nearly cried when I read Dayle's post too, as it reminded me so much of my own sweet mom. This is a wonderful tribute to your mother and I hope all you "girls" have a wonderful weekend as you celebrate together!

  4. I love this tribute to our wonderful and amazing mother.

  5. You and Dayle both wrote wonderful tributes about your mother. I must go tell her so!

  6. I'd vote for her.
    She is a Mother's mother for sure. One we should all emulate and strive for.

  7. What a are blessed beyond words. Happy mother's day to you both!

  8. This is beautiful.
    Simply beautiful.
    I am adding you to my Dashboard now,
    I don't want to miss another post. : )

    1. Thank you, Billie Jo. You'll soon find out that my posts are sporadic at best. I try, but life gets in the way. I think that might be a good thing though. :-)

  9. Such a lovely post and beautiful photos.

  10. Such a lovely post and beautiful photos.