"Give her that picture." I knew instantly what picture He meant. I turned in my swivel rocker and could see it hanging on the wall in the dining area. It was a narrow, tall, framed picture of a tall vase with three flowers and a shorter vase with one rose in it. It was a beautiful framed picture. I loved it. Mom did too. Often when she visited my house she commented on how pretty that picture was. Mom loved roses. She loved all flowers. I didn't want to give it away.
I had been fervently praying for a couple hours. It was the day before Christmas and we always went to Mom and Dad's for Christmas Eve. I had not been able to find anything I could afford, that I thought Mom would particularly like. I had been praying all along, so it wasn't as if I hadn't tried to find something. I had. Now, I had my answer. I wasn't sure I liked it.
I took the picture from the wall and went to my bedroom to wrap it in pretty paper. It took a while. I was having a struggle. I didn't want to give it up. But, I had prayed, and shopped, and looked, and now I knew. I heard those words and it was not my idea. After about a half hour, I won the battle and was able to give it up. I ask God to help me make it meaningful to her.
That night as we opened gifts I kept a watch on Mom. I wanted to watch her open her package from me. She took the package and felt of it. "Feels like a picture," she said. She tore the paper and a little gasp escaped her mouth. "Oh, she exclaimed, you can't give me your picture, Loretta."
"Yes, I can, Mom. Read it. Read the back." She turned it around and read what I had written.
The frame is a little warped and the picture is not brand new,
but you have always liked it and I'm giving it to you.
Mom, each time you look at it, I hope you'll hear me say,
Mom, I love you.
I don't always act it, and don't always show it,
Sometimes, I don't even feel it. But Mom,
I know it. I love you.
A tear escaped her eye and began to run down her cheek. Mom didn't show emotion easily. She took the corner of her apron and wiped her nose and coughed. I gave her a hug, "Mom, I love you."
"Thank you, I love you too," she whispered.
Mom never hung that picture on the wall. It just sat on the floor, next to the TV, for years. She's gone now and the picture is back on my wall. I hope she never hung it because she turned it around and read what I had written, real often.