7.19.2011

A Mother's Love Never Dies

I was recently able to witness one of the most sweet expressions of motherly love ~ and how that love surpasses even the grave. This story is so sweet and sacred, yet also too touching to keep to myself. So here we go.

My mom was born the baby of three children to Dora and Elvin Hansen. My mom was an unexpected surprise, as her two older siblings were in their teens when my mom came along. My grandmother had a difficult delivery and was left with a debilitating heart condition afterward. My mom only remembers her mother being bed-ridden. My grandmother knew she would not live long with this condition, but cherished the time she had with her baby Bonnie....


Put yourself in my grandmother's shoes. Imagine being bed-ridden and having a terminal condition, with a tiny daughter you know will live most of her life without you. What would you do? You would want her to remember you and the love you shared. You would want her to think of you every day. That's what she wanted, so she made tea towels for each day of the week. My mom remembers watching her mom do embroidery and needle point in bed....









Your heart would ache as you thought of your daughter's wedding you wouldn't be able to attend. But you would want her to have a gift from you that day, something to help her feel your love as she begins her new life.....


I think it's pretty safe to say that every mom wants her daughter to have lovely things, and my grandma was no exception. So she made nice table cloths, napkins, and pillow cases. That was something she could do to ensure her baby girl had a beautiful life....







Maybe, just maybe, she had a mother's intuition of the walk we'd take through the tulips....



She then hand-wrote my mom's name and pinned it on all the items she wanted to ensure would be given to my mom....



My grandma passed away in 1958, when my mom was 13-years-old, leaving a giant hole in my mom's heart and unfinished edges on many of her projects....


Unfortunately, all these lovely items that were made for my mom to enjoy through the years were not given to her as her mom expected them to be. They were stored away in a box that was transferred between her step-mom's basements through the years. I've been told my mom's step-mom was the quintessential "evil step mother". Because I never met her, I can't say for sure, but I do trust the people who have told me some horrific stories.

Then. Just two weeks ago. There was a community yard sale to raise funds for a little girl in our community who is battling leukemia. My cousin was there, helping as people dropped off goods to sort, price and display them. She was about to leave, but decided to help one last car that stopped by. She helped one woman unload her car with boxes that had been stored in her grandmother's basement for years. Suddenly my cousin recognized the woman as my mom's step-mother's granddaughter. Are you following? It's complicated, but stay with me because this is amazing stuff. So she recognized the person, then poured through the items and found this one box of heirlooms.

"Bonnie" was still pinned on each of the treasures!

My cousin immediately packed up the box and brought it to my mom's house! My mom had left for the weekend to go to the cabin and since we live next door, my cousin brought the box to Oby. When I got home from work that night, we dug in and inspected each piece thoroughly. I couldn't get over the detail. My heart ached for my grandma and the gamete of emotions she must have felt while making the pieces. My heart ached for my mom who had lived 53 years without her mom and without these beautiful gifts that were meant for her. But more than anything, my heart rejoiced. I kept thinking of the many miracles that brought these gifts to their rightful owner.... Had the community not gotten together to have a yard sale to help this little girl, had my cousin not gone to help at the yard sale, had she left one moment earlier, had the woman not decided to donate her grandmother's storage items...... who knows if the yard sale would have even gotten $1 for each of the sets! Yet they are SO priceless to my mom! The pieces were created because of countless hours of my grandmother's handiwork.....


I also believe the many miracles that brought those pieces back to my mom after SO many years were also part of my grandmother's handiwork from beyond the grave. This story has affirmed my faith that love never dies, that angels play monumental roles in our lives, and that a mother's love has more eternal influence than any other power on earth.



Oby and I took these cherished items out of the dirty, old peach box where they had been stored for so many years, then we transferred them to gift bags. We were able to deliver them to my mom the next morning at the cabin. It was such an emotional joy to watch her face as she slowly realized exactly what she was holding. Her hand glided over each stitch, her eyes stared in shock at the hand-written names lovingly pinned on top of each set..... I think she might still be in shock today that she finally has these beautiful gifts from her mom. Yet through her tears, what did she say?

"Who do I owe? I need to pay someone for this. I need to give money to the yard sale."

Oh, Mom. I will never be anywhere near as selfless a person as you are. I love you for that.

I want to publicly thank my cousin for being in the right place at the right time. I think this is another testament to the fact that blessings pour from heaven when we choose to serve others. This was truly one of the most beautiful experiences of my life, to get to see my tender-hearted mom get such a sacred gift. I'm not sure my words could ever do justice to this experience or to the depth of my gratitude, so I will just have to leave it at that.

16 comments:

Shelly said...

Wow!! I'm so happy for your mom. She's such a kind and wonderful woman, it's so amazing to hear of her receiving a bit of her mom in such an unexpected way! Wow. Love her and so happy for her!!

Janet "Grammy" Harrold said...

What a touching and amazing story! you first had me tearing up at the beginning as I pictured the little girl on the tea towels being your mom, and picking tulips and doing all of the simple things in life that your grandmother only wished she could do with her little girl. The end of the story was like %Niagara Falls for me, dont know if it is because the story is so darn tohching or because I.ve recently lost my mom. I think it was a blend of the two but honestly Tara, the apple dont fall far from the grave. What an amazing generation of strong woman through the years. And little miss chloe is going to keep it going strong! Amazing xoxo

The Henrys said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful and amazing story. I am very happy for your mother and it is truly a miracle that she can now cherish these priceless gifts from her mother.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Tara, I literally have goose bumps all over right now!! That is amazing. I am so happy for your Mom. :)

Nana said...

Oh my goodness, this made me cry. I am so happy these things made it back to your mom.

MOLLY said...

this is especially touching when i think how much your mom loves you. i didn't realize she had lost her mom or i had forgotten. your mom really is the sweetest. how wonderful after all these years of missing her, to receive such loving gifts

Adriane said...

Wow, such an amazing and beautiful story!

The Green Family said...

I'm new to your blog, just traveling through. Your post was so touching, how incredible it is when those miracles appear. Thank you for sharing and being such a wonderful mother to Chloe

Tinabean said...

Unbelievable! This is such a special & tender story. I am so happy for your mom after all thee years. I can relate to the step mother thing my Grandma had one of those & the stories her & her brothers would tell are heartbreaking. So glad you guys get to have a happy ending!!! =)

Caitlin Pehrson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Your stories are always so beautiful and often bring tears to my eyes. This was no exception!

April said...

Oh Tara,
That story really touched my heart. What priceless treasures. There is love in every single stitch.

Grand Pooba said...

Are you kidding me?! That is incredible!!

Wow.

Mrs. Love said...

Tara, you are so eloquent. Keep telling stories. The world is a more beautiful place because of it.

David Love:) said...

Big hug from heaven :)

Bugg's mama said...

I.N.c.R.e.D.I.b.l.E!!!!!