I luv you becuz you make me lunch and give me lots of hugs. You or the best mommy in the hole werld.
(6 years old)
You are so cool! Thanks for letting me go to the party on Friday. I know Dad didn’t want me to go but you talked him into it! You’re the best. I love you!
(12 years old)
Sometimes you make me so mad! I don’t see why you won’t let me get my nose pierced! Everyone’s doing it – even Jill’s mom said she could! Maybe I’ll just do it anyway and live with the consequences. It would be worth it! It’s not fair! I’m not a baby! I can make my own decisions! You are so mean sometimes!
(16 years old)
I know I’ve been such a pain for the past couple of years and I’m sorry. You’ve been patient with me and loved me unconditionally even when I was at my worst. I am so glad you were there with me on Saturday when I recommitted my life to Christ. I truly feel like a new person inside and I promise to be the daughter you deserve.
Much love, Kat
(19 years old)
Can you believe I’m getting married tomorrow? I am eager to begin my new life with Bob, but I am also a little scared. What am I going to do without you? I know you’re only a phone call away but still.... You’ve been a wonderful model of what a wife should be and Dad is very lucky man. Now, with God’s help, I will take what you’ve taught me and be a good wife to Bob. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for you and how blessed I feel to have you as my mom.
Love forever, Katherine
(24 years old)
Margaret looked up from the scrapbook as pools formed in her eyes.
“Grandma?” The voice came from behind and Margaret turned her head. She smiled through her tears.
“What do you have there, Sweetie?”
“I picked these,” Maggie said quietly. “Do you think she’ll like them?”
Margaret’s gaze lingered on the small bunch of wildflowers. “Yellow…her favorite.”
Maggie dropped to the grass and reached for her grandmother’s hand. For a long moment, Grandmother and Granddaughter sat in silence. Then Maggie got to her knees and placed the flowers by her mother’s grave.
“She loved me, didn’t she Grandma?”
Margaret searched her granddaughter’s eyes; eyes so much like her Katherine’s. She could have said that her mother loved her so much she died for her. That when labor complications arose, Maggie's mother was offered a choice: her baby’s life or her own. And she chose to save her baby. As desperately as Margaret missed her daughter, how could she condemn her decision? Wouldn't she have done the same? Wouldn’t any mother?
But it was too soon for the details. They would come later.
“Oh, Maggie Joy…” Margaret said, tucking the hair behind her granddaughter’s ear. “I don’t think there’s been anyone – ever, in the history of the world - who loved someone as much as your mommy loved you.”
As Maggie seemed to ponder her answer, Margaret’s eyes fell to the open scrapbook and rested on the last letter she’d ever gotten from Katherine. It had come in the mail two days after her daughter’s death and granddaughter’s birth.
By this time, you’ll have a new granddaughter. I hope she’s just like you – beautiful inside and out. I’ll admit I’m nervous about the responsibility that motherhood will bring – so many new fears have already taken form in my mind. You make motherhood look so easy – how do you do that? I just wanted you to know that for every mistake you think you made while raising me, there were a hundred things you did right. I can only pray that I will be the wonderful mother you are.
(28 years old)
Margaret closed the book and pulled Maggie close. “Wonderful,” couldn’t even begin to describe the selfless woman she was honored to call her daughter. The woman who chose death to give life to her child. Margaret took comfort in the fact that Katherine was now with Jesus, the One who understood, firsthand, how to demonstrate love to His child.
Love and selflessness, like death and life, are intricately entwined... It is impossible to have one without the other.
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