by Dr. Tony L Lynn
PLYMOUTH, MI – Mom is suffering from Alzheimer’s and is in a memory care facility near my dad in central, lower Michigan. Here is a list of some memories that I cherish knowing that she, in the coming years, will lose these memories. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.
As a preschooler, I was chasing friends around a coffee table with sharp corners until I slipped on a small rug and fell into the table and cut my head open. I remember the warmth of the blood trickling over my face until the embrace of my mother’s arms picked me up and her gentle washcloth compress on the wound slowed the blood and my panic on the way to the hospital emergency to have the wound sewn closed.
I practiced riding a bicycle downhill in front of my Flint home during 1960-something. My parents sat on the cement front porch watching as I improved with each turn until that moment when I over-corrected my steering and fell hard onto the gravel road. With stones embedded in my knees and the palms of my hands, the sting from every bleeding limb felt strange. I didn’t think the sting would ever stop. Mom laid out a quilt on the cold porch for me, and she picked out the stones and washed out the dirt from my wounds. I fell asleep listening to my parents gently talking about our lives.
Two bullies chased me repeatedly off the bus during my elementary years until Mom solved the problem. On the last occasion of the attacks, the boys chased me into the yard where they had been shoving me into the ditch, kicking, and hitting me. On this final day, Mom threw open the screen door of the house and commanded the boys, “Hold it right there you two. You let Tony up. If we’re going to have a fight, we’re going to have a fair fight. You can fight him one at a time. Go ahead. Who is going to be first?” After those words, the boys apologized and a childhood friendship was forged.
While a teenager, I fell in love with Jamie who became my wife in 1977. My mother was good for our teenage relationship overseeing our interaction with the grace that only a godly mother can carry. Somewhere around midweek, Mom would ask me about our Friday night date plans. Without seeming to pry, she would ask questions to make sure our dates were filled with good friends and good activities: “Who are you going out with?” “Where are you going?” “Take good care of our Jamie,” she would say. Mom made us matching shirts and she made the cake for our wedding reception.
Mom could convince me to do anything for her with her gentle voice and her loving smile. It was Mom who, during my teenage years, persuaded me to go to a church where my discovery and calling to follow Christ started. Somewhere in my mid-teens I started towering in height over my mom and her small frame. On rare occasions, I would start a fight with my younger sister which caused Mom to lift the flyswatter off the tack where it hung on the cork bulletin board by the back door. I would run to the other side of the dining room table, and ask my mom to forgive me until we both laughed and she would wave the flyswatter in the air toward my direction and implore me to, “Be good now!”
There is something amazing about a mother’s love and care. This month I want to say how grateful I am for my mother and all the mothers worldwide who raise children to love the Lord and to love others. I am blessed because my mother impacted my life toward Christ and gave me a desire to make a better world. I am doubly blessed because I have watched my wife, Jamie, strive for the same goals. To my mom, Jamie, and my three daughters, Naomi, Bethany, and Amy, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.