I’ve never had a home office. My home is small, and I’ve shared it for many years with my mother, who was not well. When she died at the end of last year, the house suddenly felt cavernous. Slowly, I’ve become accustom to the quiet and the idea of having a home office. Of all the places I could put it, her room was the obvious choice.
It’s been easier than I expected to claim the space as my own because I know how happy it would make her to know I am writing in her room, which my niece and nephew still call “Grandma’s room.” I pray they never stop calling it that.
However, there have been moments the task of going through my mother’s things overwhelmed me, flattened me to the ground, and left me feeling like grief had me by my throat. Last night was one of those moments. My mother was a Presbyterian minister, and I found her sermons, over thirty years’ worth crumbled and jammed into plastic crates. They were handwritten or printed on everything from yellowed mimeograph to crisp copier paper. She’d scribbled last minute notes in the margins. More than her clothes, more than her possessions, her words made me crumble. Whether written or spoken, a person’s words are the closest someone can ever be to another person’s thoughts and who he or she really is at the core. It’s too hard for me yet to be reminded of my mother’s thoughts. She was closer to God and more deeply thoughtful than I could ever hope to be.
This has made me think of my own mortality. Maybe too I am preoccupied with it because the last few months my life has been filled with probate, wills, life insurance, and beneficiaries. Being surrounded with those things, I can’t help but worry what will happen when I die. Someday, I will have to leave my niece and nephew with the task I now bear for my mother. I pray it is a long time from now because I want the honor of watching them grow up into the man and woman God wants them to be. But when I do pass away, what will break them?
I pray nothing brings them sorrow, but if something does, may it be my words. I’m an author. When I die, I will leave millions of words behind. When my dear ones are ready, I hope they will read my books again and laugh at what a quirky imagination I had.
Last night, I only read one paragraph, one paragraph of one sermon, and I had to stop. But someday, I will retype all of her sermons and put them in a book if only for myself and my family. Just not yet.
12 thoughts on “My mother’s sermons”
Amanda, what a touching post. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you. My Mom died two years ago. I have some of her things wrapped and stored under my bed. I am aching to sit down and go through each and every item that I have. I am not ready to go there yet.
You story really touched my heart strings. I lost my Mom in 2006. I have some of her things and will always treasure each of them. I think of her all the time and still talk about her like she is still here at times. You never get over losing any of your loves ones, but they are always with you because you carry them in your heart and thoughts.
Amanda, to create a book of your mother’s words would leave behind a legacy beyond description, and also help you as you grieve and heal. I would like you to know that my prayers are with you, now and forever. You, too, are a remarkable woman. I’m so sorry for your heartbreak and loss. God bless you!
Thank you, Kim!
so precious…the things we leave behind
Oh, Amanda, I so totally understand your grief. After my eighteen year old son died of cancer, I eventually moved into his bedroom when I started college. It’s where I studied and wrote my papers. I’ve saved the poems he wrote and the pictures he drew and many other things. I can’t part with them. It was hard losing my parents, too, and very hard losing the brother closest to me three years ago. The older we get, the more we have to suffer the lost of loved ones, and it doesn’t get easier, but trite as it sounds, it does soften with time. Be thankful you have those sermons. Yes, you’ll shed tears every time you read them, but it is something special that most people don’t have. In that, you are lucky as well as being fortunate to have had such a special mother.
Amanda, I was so touched by your post, and it brought back many memories of when my dad, also a pastor, went to be with the Lord and how it was going through his desk, books, and so on. I pray that God will continue to comfort and strengthen you and help you accomplish what you desire to do.
Thank you, Dali! ❤
What a lovely post and what an even lovelier idea to make a book out of your mother’s sermons. I know that when the time is right, you will find great comfort and joy in reading her words and turning them into something special to you. Your mom was always so proud of you and I know she would love the idea of you bringing joy to others with your words from your new office. ❤
Amanda … I just stumbled across this on the internet and wanted to tell you how pleased I am with your words and your life. Your mother and father are very proud of you, this I am sure of….