Not everyone can write another ending to the Cinderella story, but I can. Not everyone believes that a person as kind, gentle and patient as Cinderella could exist, but I do, because someone like that is my mother.
Just as Cinderellaís mother died when Cinderella was a young girl, so did my motherís mother. Just as Cinderellaís father remarried with the help of a matchmaker, so did my motherís father. Just as Cinderellaís stepmother brought her own daughters and introduced Cinderella to favoritism, so did my motherís stepmother. Just as the often not-so-nice stepsisters were under the controlling thumb of their mother, so were my motherís stepsisters. Just as Cinderella was intimidated by her stepmotherís commands, so was my mother. Just as Cinderella obeyed her father so did my mother. And just as Cinderella loved all of Godís creatures, so did my mother.
The only difference between my mother and Cinderella is that when Cinderella married, she moved into a palace. When my mother married, she moved into a farmhouse.
However, that was a perfect place for someone who loves Godís creatures as much as my mother does. She and my father lived in that farmhouse for 40 years, raising kids, crops, and critters.
The first six years of marriage were difficult for my mother because she and my father lived with his parents. Mother had to share the kitchen and the entire house with her mother-in-law. Not until the year I was born did my grandparents retire from the farm and move into town.
Motherís gentleness in caring for animals is a memory etched deeply into my mind. As a young child I watched her blow life into the lungs of a newborn calf. I watched her bottle-feed piglets in the kitchen. I watched her use the old wood-burning cook stove to warm life back into many baby farm animals born in spring snow storms.
Motherís skills were many and self-taught. Her cooking talent was well-known throughout the farm community, and she was often asked to cook for weddings and church dinners. She was also an accomplished seamstress, sewing well into her 80s. She frequently altered prom dresses for the local teen girls and sewed bridesmaid dresses, including three bridesmaid dresses for my own wedding party.
Throughout her early 80s, Mother volunteered at the local nursing home to help ďthe old people,Ē as she called them, play their bingo cards, serve them desserts, or wheel them back into their rooms. Their faces would light up when they saw her, and though many of them were younger than her in age, her spirit embraced them all in her Cinderella-like warmth.
Mother is aged now, almost 90 years old, but her purpose in life has always been to care for others. She found joy in that. Now she is unable to do much physically, so she reaches deep inside to care for us spiritually through her prayers. When she wonders why God hasnít called her home yet, I assure her that God must still need her to pray for me and others on earth. She is Godís prayer-warrior, but she is my very own, real-life Cinderella. She is a living example of pure love fulfilling Godís purpose.
What a beautiful testimonial to a life devoted to the Lord. Your mother overcame difficult hardships. Through the way she lived her life she taught others how the Lord wants us to live and love! This is a wonderful tribute to a woman you clearly love, evidence that your mom's efforts were not in vain. Very nice piece of writing. P.J. Watkins