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'Umbrellas'


A small, brown table sat in my parent’s kitchen for most of my adult life; this is where nearly all my problems were solved. I would sit at one end, my mom would sit on the middle chair and sometimes, my dad would sit on the other end. I would go there for late afternoon coffee nearly every day when my children were growing up. I was able to sit and drink a full cup of coffee without getting up five times; my mom filled in for me.


Throughout the years, this table and this specific chair was where I went to sometimes share happy news and to most always solve many of life’s difficulties; they were always there and always listening. I remember a visit after my mother had passed and my dad was terminally ill; I remember my broken heart asking him how I would go on without this place, without this table and my parents around it, for in that moment, I did not know how that could happen.


The years have passed and, obviously, I have made it safely to this point, but the little brown table and two chairs are still here with me.


This is my attempt at a ‘Mother’s Day’ column, while wondering what more can be said about mothers? Beautiful songs have been composed, paintings have been painted, and lovely poems have been written; our mothers are forever in our hearts, two hearts that, once, beat together; our mothers are irreplaceable. My humble words that follow cannot add to anything that has already been said. I can only share a somewhat sweet piece I wrote many years ago when I was raising my own children…


‘It began with an eerie dream – pieces of my past all tumbled together ending with me standing in the rain trying to get my daughter where she needed to be.

The symbolism was uncanny – me, spending much of my life holding “umbrellas” over my children, stepping in puddles, and trying to avoid downpours all the while trying to point them towards the light, to a place where they belong, a place where they would be flooded in sunshine. I, and all the moms I know, do this, we “stand out in the rain” and are relentless warriors when our kids are involved. We never stop, no matter how many tears are spilled and disappointments dealt. Frustrations and discouragements converge and sometimes slow us down, but never stop us, only our last breath can do that.


The moment in the dream was so intense – it was more of a feeling than an actual situation. I am not sure what God was revealing to me – I don’t think it was anything specific; I think it was more of a flash of fuel and support – telling me that I needed to keep the umbrella handy and that it was my purpose to protect them , to guide them, no matter how big the storm or how powerful the resistance – I have the “umbrella” and tired as I might be or doubtful as I might feel, I open it each day because I know each day a little rain may fall somewhere. There will be a voice within me, sometimes whispering ever so faintly, but if I am still and am in spirit, I will hear it – this I am sure of.


This is the essence of my dream, and this is the manifestation of its message. Thankfully, the sun is shining as I write this, but my umbrella is there, by the back door.”


Mother’s Day blessings to all of you, especially the young mothers whose “umbrellas” are nearly always ‘open’.


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