God is always present, even as death takes our mothers

By Debra Whittington


Religion Columnist

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies”. Proverbs 31:10

The stores started advertising early with numerous suggestions for gifts. One greeting card reminds us to “send the very best”. Telephone lines are overloaded as they carry more calls in one day than all year. Families gather together for dinner to celebrate the matriarch of the family. Celebrated the second Sunday in May is Mother’s Day, recognized by an act of Congress.

In 1905, Anna Jarvis, a school teacher, was devastated by her mother’s death on May 10 of that year. She took her sorrow and started a campaign to remember not only her own mother, but all mothers. Sadly, later in life she became a critic of the day she helped start. She felt that greeting cards were, “a poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write”. Today she would probably think emails and social media would be a poor excuse for an old fashioned, handwritten letter. (Remember those?)

Like Anna, I too was devastated by my Mom’s recent death. I knew Mother’s Day would never be like those of the past. Just last year, we went to church together, had dinner at a restaurant, and then spent the rest of the day talking and watching television. What precious memories.

For most of my married life I dreaded Mother’s Day because I will never have children of my own. Only two things made the day bearable, talking to or seeing Mom, and the precious children I mentored over the years who remembered me on that day.

A couple of weeks ago, I considered crawling under the covers and spending the entire Mother’s Day in solitude. It was bad enough that I am not a mother, but to also to lose not only my Mother, but my best friend? I thought it would be too much to bear.

It took a dream that I am convinced came straight from God to change my mind. In the dream I saw Mom walking up to me. She wiped away my tears and took me into her arms. As I started sobbing, she gently pulled me away and quietly said, “No more tears”.

This was the same message she gave me for years when I would go to visit her and then prepared to go home. In the early days, I would hug her and start crying. Every time she would say, “No more tears” and then remind me we would see each other again soon.

I know without a doubt we will see each other again one day. I am also convicted that to honor her memory I need to put her words into action this Mother’s Day.

The next day, I woke up to a new attitude that continues today. I am resolute to remember that dream always and do my best to keep the feeling alive. That feeling includes no more self-pity over not having children of my own. I will remember that God gave me a unique ministry over the years that included numerous children to love as if they were my own.

Preparing to write this article, I was reminded that there are millions of people who didn’t have a Mom like mine. In this sinful world there are children that are abandoned or abused physically or emotionally. They have mothers who are critical of everything they say and do and can never please the woman who gave them life. How many children never knew their mother for one reason or another? For these people, I urge them to turn to God for the comfort they seek.

Here are some verses that I pray might bring comfort: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need…” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV), “…No anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…” (Romans 8:39 NIV)

I thought this Mother’s Day was hopeless, but God proved me wrong with the gift of a precious dream. As Jesus promises in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.

No matter what you are going through this Mother’s Day, whether good or bad, trust God. If you need comfort, He will help. I promise.

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

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