It isn’t her birthday. It isn’t Mother’s Day. But, that doesn’t seem to matter. Tonight I am remembering my mother.
It started when I picked up a couple of damp dress shirts hanging on the back of a kitchen chair. I decided I would iron them while they were still damp—no steaming. And flashback—my mother doing laundry for a husband and five children. I think it was on Monday. She hung all the clothes on a line outside. When they were dry she brought them in. Then she got out a pop bottle with a cap on it that had holes in it. She put water in it, shook water on the clothes and rolled them up. And at the end of the day, she had another pile of clothes.
Tuesday morning was ironing day. And she got out the old dark iron with a detachable handle, placed it on the stove and heated it up. Then one item after another, damp clothes were pressed. The iron would get cool and so she put it on the stove again, reheat and repeat. Over and over.
And she did that for years. I am sure when she finally got a steam iron some years later she was like a kid in a candy store. Thankfully she had the steam iron when she taught me to iron (I had to learn to iron and cook before she would let me leave home—this was way before most clothes didn’t need to be ironed).
But, as I stood and ironed the shirts tonight, I was overcome with appreciation for the sacrifices my mother made for me and my siblings. I didn’t always appreciate her. I didn’t understand what all she had done in those days of no money, little resources and many children. She lived with so many things I take for granted.
And every morning she began the day with this scripture: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Thank you mother, for your love and persistent caring. You are not forgotten.