My Motherís Legacy
By Debbie Sickler
As a young child, I remember waking up early and creeping downstairs to watch cartoons. Iíd invariably find my mother sitting at the kitchen table, her well read Bible opened, a cup of hot tea and buttered toast beside it. Sheíd always have a notebook, pen, and several highlighters with her as she studied Godís Word in depth.
Iíd straggle in, blurry eyed from staying up past my bedtime reading Nancy Drew mysteries or rushing to finish forgotten homework. She would always greet me with a pleasant smile and a joyful, "Hi babe!" followed by the latest insight God had shared with her. My mother always seemed in good spirits; so much so, that if I bought into that whole reincarnation hooey, Iíd have to think she had been a cheerleader in a past life.
Her good-natured attitude didnít come from a past life, though. It came from the deepest faith in God I have ever seen, besides possibly the faith of my maternal grandmother--the apple didnít fall far from her family tree. Throughout my childhood, my family had many rough times, but my mother taught us, through her living example, to rely on God.
When I was in fifth or sixth grade, my Uncle Richard, Momís only sibling, died. Her parents were understandably devastated, especially Grandma Mary. Mom stood by them, praying for us all, and seemed to never lose faith that God could work this for his glory, despite her personal agony over the loss of her little brother.
Our family has never been well to do as far as money was concerned. In fact, many times there was no money at all--not even in our sofa cushions. My father typically found odd jobs in the field of construction. Often there was just no work available. Despite the continuous financial setbacks, my mother has always been quick to give God praise.
Just before I turned sixteen, my dad was arrested. When I first heard the news, I assumed it was because of his very delinquent taxes. My mother had the burden of telling me it was due to molestation allegations, which were eventually verified as true. He wouldnít be coming home.
Because of the previously mentioned taxes, my momís wages were eventually garnished. She was left to live on a portion of what was barely more than a pauperís salary to begin with.
Our garage was full of Dadís tools, ranging from small and common ones, to job-specific whatcha-ma-callits Mom didnít have a name for. Dad mailed her a list of their values, and told her to sell all of them in order to keep a roof over our heads for a little while longer.
Mom knew that a yard sale was the only solution, but looking at Dadís list, she still had no clue which price corresponded to which bizarre device. Some were very pricey and could really help us if sold at value, but Mom worried that her ignorance would allow her to be taken advantage of. Her faith was put into practice yet again.
She placed an ad in the paper and prayed honest men would come and buy up the entire collection. Soon after she had laid everything out on the lawn, my brother-in-law, who lived out of town, showed up unexpectedly.
His presence was an answer to Momís prayers because he had actually worked with my dad. He was knowledgeable enough of the tools, that he was able to take over the burden of pricing. The sale ended up being a success, which meant we could stay in our home. Mom sighed in relief, along with her praises of thankfulness.
Now as an adult, I sit at my kitchen table reading Godís Word. The fragrance of hot tea drifts up to my nostrils, and I close my eyes, inhaling deeply. The aroma takes me back to those early childhood memories. I think of Momís quiet times with God and her less-than-quiet faith. I pray that I can live the example she has, allowing my sons to see my faith in action.
My son Jon wakes up, rubbing his eyes, and comes to sit on my lap. I cheerfully say, "Hi babe," and squeeze him tightly.
"Watcha doing Mom?" he asks, looking down at the array on the table before me. I smile, as the doorway is open to pass down my motherís legacy.
Debbie Sickler began writing less than a year ago, and has enjoyed seeing her works published, both online and in print. She has a wonderful husband, who has enabled her to become a stay-at-home mother for their three sons, ages 8, 3 and 1-year-old. Currently, Debbie is busy crafting a world for the characters of her first book, a Christian fantasy, entitled "Neíikioís Journey." If you would like to write to Debbie, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.