Spring showers bring May flowers. May brings Mother’s Day, a distinct opportunity to honor our dedicated mothers who have given so much for us. My mom is now eighty-seven. When asking her what she’d like for Christmas, her birthday or any special occasion, she responds with, “Oh, I don’t need anything. I have everything I need and more. What I’d love most is spending time with you.” Now that I have an empty nest and my children are married, I understand.
It’s very clear that we as humans need and receive personal fulfillment and peace when we stay in right relationship with our parents and children. Even more importantly, we have been given a commandment in Exodus 20:12 to, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
After meditating on this scripture and coming to understand the meaning of honor. Honor is to respect and show admiration for one that deserves so. I personally resolved to express my gratitude and feelings publically to my mother about how she has impacted my life. So two years ago, I crafted and framed a tribute to my dear mom, Dorothea Charlotte Crouch-Lawson. On her eighty-sixth birthday celebration with family gathered, I presented her the following verbal blessing. Honoring the memories and distinct attributes she has displayed to me throughout the years. As you read the tribute, may it encourage and inspire you to convey respect and appreciation to your parents in some fashion in the years to come.
January 9, 2010
Life has a way of passing by ever so quickly, so I wanted to take the opportunity to express my love and gratitude as your daughter. As to how you have impacted my life and have provided me so many precious memories. One way that stands out amongst them all is your passion and love for scripture, as well as your consistency in speaking it over our lives. As youngsters when you bathed us in the tub, I remember you teaching us scriptures such as the 23 Psalm, John 3:16 and The Beatitudes. What strength and hope they have given me over the years!
You also displayed an incredible heart to people who were less fortunate or in need. There were times you’d give homeless off the streets food or you’d take us to an orphanage in Mexico to minister in song and bring the children presents. You took us to visit convalescent homes to encourage the elderly.
Prayer was always on your mind and you modeled it to us every day of your life. I vividly remember you praying for people we’d pass on the road who were just involved in a car accident. Your faith in the power of prayer has built within me that same passion and belief in prayer. It has taken me through many seasons of my life. Some that have been most challenging and others that have proven to be so rewarding. Thank you mom for exemplifying and having a prayer life that prays without ceasing on a daily basis.
Music was always heard in our home and dear to your heart mom, which is why I have a love for music to this day. The exposure to a variety of instruments, taking music lessons and singing as a young girl equipped me with confidence when I sing and provided me with a knowledge and appreciation when I find myself in musical venues. I’m so grateful that you taught me to eat a balanced meal three times a day, always emphasizing the importance of fruits and veggies.
Some of the fun memories as a child were the summer carnivals you’d let us design and set up in our backyard. We’d invite the neighborhood and sell snacks, drinks and feel so official. You let us create a plywood ping-pong table that taught us eye hand coordination and hours of summer fun making time pass quickly. My favorite game to play with Jim and Lydia was restaurant and bank. You’d let us set up a pretend bank under the baby grand piano and let us bake real cakes in our little play cake pans. One of us kids would be the waitress and the others would order the food. Thanks for making our growing up year’s fun along with preparing us with skills for our future.
Mom, as I look back at the vacations to Yosemite, the East coast, June Lake, the Grand Canyon and the many camping trips, I understand the priority you made so our family could relax. We were able to gain an appreciation of our countries beauty and build memories together. You and dad always made it possible for us to attend church camps and participate in sports teams because of your hard work and disciplined budgetary planning. Thank you for considering us kids above yourself when we went clothes shopping. You always wanted us to be able to get something and taught us how to coordinate our clothes to make many outfits from a few coordinated items.
It has been a delight to see you live your later years enjoying your friends, playing games, going to chapel, playing the piano for your peers at Town & Country and going on monthly outings. You deserve this restful time since you have put so much in to mine and my sibling’s life. Thank you for teaching me the ways of the Lord and for loving and supporting me throughout my life. I Love you dearly mom. Happy 86th birthday!!
Your first daughter,
Melody Fawn Heal
Resource: The Tribute and the Promise, by Dennis Rainey with David Boehi
Melody has a desire for women to identify or rekindle their God inspired aspirations and dreams, as well as, making them become a reality. She has been married tO Doug, the love of her life, for 33 years, and they’ve been blessed with two incredible children, Heather and Blake, each married to their Christ-following soul mates.
For 21 years, Melody has had the privilege of impacting lives professionally as an educator serving as a teacher, curriculum director, and currently as the Dean of Academics at Bethany Christian School. Melody’s life-long joy and passion