Published May 10, 2016

Shelia Shares
"Mom's Influence"

Growing up in a loving Christian home, I have much for which to thank my own mother, who passed away in April, 2009. This is a tribute to her, filled with sweet memories and a desire to be the kind of mother she was.

When I think of my Mother, I think of open arms. My mother always had time for me. Do I mean she wasn't busy? No. I don't know anyone who worked harder. But, in the midst of all she did, I always knew she had time – and wanted to listen to me. I remember her telling me that she never slept until we were all in for the night.

I wasn't the only one she took time to listen to. Sundays were a time our home opened as Mom often prepared dinner for friends and relatives. She shared her gifts of organization and hospitality. She could cook — and we all benefitted from that. But, it wasn't just the food that drew people. It was the simplicity and genuineness of her hospitality. Food was one way she showed how much she cared for people as she listened to them and encouraged them and loved them.

She also served food for many students from the Mio, Michigan, school cafeteria. Her food was good — as good as cafeteria food could be — but her smile was what attracted students. She accepted students, both their good and their bad. She showed her Christianity in the way she dealt with each student and co-worker and loved them.

Even her plants recognized her love. She raised beautiful baby tear plants and her Moses In The Bulrushes flourished. She tenderly cared for each plant and often people stopped by the house to see if they could purchase some of the beauties to take back down state.

I remember when we were hired to clean the Mio bank for some time. One evening when we went into the bank, we found the big bank money vault was open. She called the manager and he asked whether it looked like someone had broken in to the bank or whether someone had just forgotten to close the vault. She said nothing looked out of place and was told to just close the vault. Why do I mention this? Her honesty was recognized by everyone who knew her.

Most of all, Mom was full of love. Her love was shown in how she accepted people as they were. What an influence she was on the many students she served in the school cafeteria. What an influence on the hurting, lonely people in her church. What an influence on her family and extended family. In fact, how often she put us ahead of herself.

Her love was for her God and from Him. It was her motivation for life. She had a commitment to prayer and the ability to walk with others through life's joys and sorrows. She lived loving God and knowing He loved her. She deserved, and now has, a big crown in heaven.

Mom, I love you. See you later.

- Shelia

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