No, I’m not talking about tomorrow, although I grasp every day with my children as the best day ever. I’m taking you back in time… 6 years ago, to be exact… to an entry in my journal from that year. And every Mother’s Day, I think about that one day when Asher was 16 months old.
And I think about my husband. And how amazing he is.
Happy Mother’s Day, y’all.
Written May 12, 2003:
Yesterday wasn’t the Mother’s Day that I had imagined it to be, but it was so very much more. On the way home from my parents’ house last night, just as we were about to enter the interstate, Brian spotted a delapidated, yellow Volvo station wagon wieghed down with luggage piled to its roof, and piles on top of the roof as well. There was a tired looking man and 3 children standing next to its open hood, so Brian pulled over to see what help he could offer. I was tired after spending the day going to church, visiting friends with their new baby in the hospital, and celebrating Mother’s Day with my family at my parents’, and all I really wanted to was to get myself and Asher home to bed. It was late, it was dark, and the last thing I wanted to do was stop to help some broken down old car. (Notice I was thinking about the car, not the people!)
As Asher and I waited in the car, Brian helped charge the man’s battery, and he stood there talking freely with the man and his 3 kids. He was amazed to find out that this Volvo held not only the man and his 3 children, but his wife, 4 other children, and a dog were in there as well! All I could think was, “How on earth?”
Then to add to the adventure, another truck pulled up to see what was happening, and out stepped a man so giddy with alcohol, we didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, Brian had just gotten the Volvo running again, so they didn’t stick around too long, but long enough to freak out the man’s wife, bring the man to tears, and they jumped back in their car and took off not knowing where they were going or what they were going to do.
Their story was heartbreaking, and as Brian got back in our car, he sat down with a heavy sigh…7 children stuffed into the back seat of a $200 Volvo they bought at an auction in Southern California, no car seats, no seat belts, and they had been chased by tornadoes the whole way across the country as they had driven with only $400 to their name. They were headed to Massachusetts, planned to sleep in their car again that night, and hoped their car would make it.
I listened to their tale, and cried at the mental anguish these parents must be going through as they drove their children across the country to who knew what. We sat for a few moments, and then Brian said, “Let’s go find them and get them a hotel room for the night!” Honestly, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Pay for a hotel room? With what money?!” We were “struggling” ourselves. Our bank account wasn’t too full, and I wasn’t feeling too financially secure at the moment. But Brian’s heart showed through, and God spoke to me through the most compassionate man I know, my husband. These people had nothing…we had a roof over our heads, meals on our table, two cars, a steady job for Bri, and a God who had promised to supply our every need.
It was a wake up call that followed on the heels of a powerful sermon that morning in church…a sermon that talked about how God would always provide for us. How we have so much to be thankful for because the Lord is good and His love endures forever. As I looked back at our small son, snuggled warmly in his car seat, sleeping and knowing no cares in the world, I wept at the joys of how much God truly has blessed us with, how blind I am to see it, and how sad the world can be.
We turned the car around, and drove down to the next exit, scouring gas stations and hotel parking lots looking for the family. We finally pulled into the WalMart shopping center, and I said to Brian something about this being a last ditch effort. As we perused the lot, Brian prayed for us to find them, and I told Brian that if God put it on our hearts to help, he would show us the family. Not two seconds later Brian exclaimed, “There they are!” You would have thought we were reuniting with long lost friends, our excitement was so vivid. I had put together a bag full of whatever we had in the car that wasn’t tied down…diapers (their 10 month old had been wearing a diaper for 10 hours… think about that for a second), wipes, potato chips, cheerios, tissues, and Brian pulled up next to the car.
The oldest daughter, who looked to be about 11 or 12, came over and said she remembered us. We chatted with her for a while, and Brian gave her the bag of “goodies”. She was elated, and thanked us profusely. Then Brian got out and talked some more with the man, while she came over to my window to talk with me.
“You sure are lucky to have a man like him.” she told me.
My eyes filled with tears as a I realized how true she was, “Yes, I am, “ I said. “ I sure am.”
Then, with a twinkle in her eyes, she whispered, “ He’s really hot, too!”
I laughed and said, “He sure is! You and I must have good taste.”
We giggled at “our little secret”, and then she noticed Asher asleep in the back seat. “You have a baby, too!”
I told her about Asher and she said, “He sure is lucky to have you for parents. And I’ll bet he’s beautiful, too.”
“He most defnitely is beautiful.” I said, and I looked back at my beautiful boy. And he is so blessed to have such a daddy..such a wonderful, compassionate, thoughtful, and yes, “hot” daddy.
We got their hotel accommodations taken care of and went our way…leaving 2 hours later than we had expected. Our savings account held $80 at the time, and the hotel cost us $65, but at that point, I didn’t care. All I could do was hold Brian’s hand and cry and cry. Here was a family who had nothing but a car and whatever they could stuff into it to their name, and here we were with so much more than we could ever need.
I thought about something my friend, John Thomas, had written, “…our very best times are never so enjoyable as when we have someone with whom to share them. And…our very worst times are almost unbearable with no one to carry the load with us. God gave us to each other to edify and to lift each other up…to walk the road together.”
And I am so thankful, for we have so much…our Father, our family, our friends, each other, Asher, and yes, another little one on the way…so very much more than we could ever have asked or imagined. So, my Mother’s Day? Well, it certainly wasn’t your typical Mother’s Day, but it was the best I’ve ever had!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever!” (Psalm 136:1)
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