An open letter to Mother

May. 10, 2013 @ 09:54 PM


Dear Mom,

Mother’s Day is here again and my thoughts turn to you. I would like to rent a sign that says, “MOM I LOVE YOU” and put it someplace for all the world to see. Since I know you’re watching from heaven, let me say some things here I’ve long wanted to say, and any who read this can listen in.

Mom, thanks for loving me. More than anything else that’s what stands out in my mind about you. You loved me. Always. Sometimes I didn’t make it easy to do, like in those years of rebellion when I often made your and dad’s lives miserable. But you loved me in spite of myself. That’s a terrific gift.

You always made me feel wanted and special, even though you had three other kids. Each of them would undoubtedly feel the same way. You instilled in each of us a sense of self-worth the hardships we face can never diminish.

Thanks, mom, for always being there when I needed you. You held me when I was sick, waited up for me when I was late, cooked enough for my voracious appetite (and, boy, could you cook), made me go to Sunday school and church even when I didn’t want to. You disciplined me when I was out of line. Thanks for all the little things you ever did which I didn’t even notice then. They mean a lot to me now.

Thanks for teaching me. You taught me how to work and the value of a dollar. You taught me right from wrong and other important values. And forgiveness. You forgave me when I wronged you and, from your model, I’ve learned to forgive others. That’s important in this hurting world.  You were a great teacher in the school of life.

Mom, thanks for holding onto me when I needed security and turning loose when I needed freedom. I’ve tried to do the same with my children.

So much of what I am I owe to you. Sometimes we went a long time without being together. Sometimes thousands of miles separated us. But your shadow of influence was always with me. I think I understand better now the old saying, “God couldn’t be everywhere so God made mothers.” It may be poor theology, but its good sense.

Finally when your death separated us for a while I thank God for your faith. Because of that, even death can’t keep us apart forever.

Mother’s Day, mom. I wish I could be with you today. I love you.


Your son, Roy


P.S. Lots of you may like to say something like this to your mothers. So maybe lots of moms will read this and substitute your name for mine. I hope so. God bless all mothers on their special day.


Dr. Roy E. De Brand is emeritus professor of homiletics of Campbell University Divinity School. He recently completed a 22-month interim pastorate at First Baptist Church of Henderson, following which he and his wife Carolyn decided to move here.