Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Mothers (05/02/05)
TITLE: The Second Row of Pews
By Kathy Warren
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This Mother's Day I sat in the second row of pews at our small church. The church dates back to the early 1900's. It is a small, quaint building, not pretentious by any means. It lacks many of the finer niceties of more modern church buildings, but it serves our needs quite adequately. In addition to me, not only are there other mothers in attendance, but the spirits of countless other mothers which have attended services here faithfully over the years. These earlier moms have sat in the same pews as I. They have been farmer's wives, wives of insurance salesmen, plumbers, truck drivers, dairy farmers, city councilmen, bricklayers, lawyers, preachers, and doctors.
Today, seated next to me is my nine-year-old son. I remember thinking when I found out that I was expecting a boy, "What am I going to do with a little boy?" Another mother said, "Just love him." I do. I love him in a way that I never knew possible to love another human being. He smiles at me and my heart melts. I don't look forward to the day I will be replaced by another woman in his life.
Seated on the pew across the aisle from me is my thirteen-year-old daughter. She was my first born, born five weeks premature. Her body was so tiny, no baby fat to speak of. Today, she is blossoming into a beautiful, young lady. I am only beginning to come to understand how much she is like me and yet how different she is. I remember one day when she was only a few weeks old, holding her in my arms as she slept. She had just finished nursing. She had a funny, satisfied look on her tiny face and I thought to myself, as tears of unknown origin sprang forth from my eyes, "She is so perfect, peaceful, and beautiful." A mother bear's protective instinct could not come close to the over-powering love that I then knew as a mother's love.
As singing starts, my thoughts are turned to my husband who is now standing in front of the congregation leading the singing. I look at him, my husband of twenty-three years, handsome in his shirt, tie, and matching slacks. His dark hair is beginning to thin, and his closely, trimmed beard is streaked with grey. He is the father of our two children and the man who I hope and pray will be with me to my dying day.
Sitting on the pew this Mother's Day, I wondered if the mothers of the past had the same hopes, dreams, and fears as I do for my children. Did those mothers love their husbands and their children as I love mine? I believe they did. We mothers are not that different one from another. Out of the love we share with our husbands, we are given the gift of our children. We love our children with a love so deep that it hurts.
I wonder, if in another hundred years on Mother's Day, if another mother will be sitting on the second row of pews thinking of her children and how much she loves them and whether the mothers of the past loved their children the way she loves hers.
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