From my middle school years on, our family lived in a house on Pleasant Ridge Loop.
And it was Mom that made it home – truly pleasant, a place where we all wanted to be.
The way the house looks now is slightly different from when we lived there. The outside has been painted, along with the shutters, and there is a new door with a detailed frame above.
But I haven’t been inside the house since we moved, so it all still looks the same in my mind.
There were wooden floors and high ceilings and voices easily traveled throughout. There was a staircase, and Mom and Dad’s room was at the bottom of it. At the top of the stairs were three more bedrooms and a balcony that overlooked the living room below.
The rose-colored room on the right was mine. An assortment of half-filled journals could be found, along with drawing pads and ballet shoes and remnants of little girl-hood coupled with confirming signs of growing up.
A Jack and Jill bathroom – whose walls continually echoed with pre-bedtime laughter – connected my room to a light blue one that belonged to my little brother. There was a small basketball goal on the door, a massive Chipper Jones poster on the wall, and quite possibly the largest collection of Nike wristbands in the closet. Some sort of possibly random but really good music could be found playing, and the ceiling fan was never less than full-blast.
At the end of the upstairs hallway was the cream room belonging to my older brother, just 18 months older than myself. A worn, comfy couch sat under a large window in the back of his room, making this place warm and cozy in the summertime but slightly more chilly in the winter. Here he studied hard and read long and – at one point – could be found sleeping on the floor at night in preparation for the summer he would spend in China.
Three very different children, very secure in the love of our home. Our parents made sure of it.
Mom would call us downstairs for mealtime, and the high ceilings would carry her voice over the balcony.
We would expectantly gather around the heavy wooden table Mom had bought years prior with money she had earned from a craft show. The table was nestled into a bay window just off the kitchen that overlooked the long back yard Dad kept so neatly mowed. There was a railroad track behind our house, but the tall bushes made it discreet until the daily train passed, right on schedule. We thought we would never get used to that train. However, as years went by, it was nothing short of a comforting sound of normalcy.
Mom, Dad, and three children pulled up chairs to the table with gratitude. Before us was hot spaghetti noodles, meaty Prego sauce, buttered and seasoned hot dog buns toasted and transformed, and the sweetest sweet tea in Alabama.
As Mom poured the tea over cups full of ice, she was unaware of all that she was really pouring into her children.
As Dad prayed over the food, his meal-time intercession represented years of bed-side prayers he and Mom had lifted on behalf of their family.
The day was discussed and laughter was shared. Mom was always intentional to not only make sure bodies were fed but that hearts were fed, too.
At dinner’s end, the children they were working hard to raise pushed back from the table she had worked hard to buy . . . and no one was fully aware that when we rose from the safety of our seats, we would one day find ourselves scattered to various parts of the world.
So, after taking this sentimental stroll – on behalf of my brothers and me – I wanted to make time to honor our mom, Teresa. Besides “Mom”, she has also been known throughout the years by a few different titles: “Mother Teresa”, “Mama T”, “Sweet T”, or a simple, endearing “T” these days, primarily by her grandchildren.
But we want to specifically thank the Lord that Mom has been “Pouring T” every single day of our lives – pouring love and affirmation, wisdom and discipline, patience and grace.
How we wish we could squeeze you right now, Mom, smack-dab in the middle of a big Pugh pile!
But until the day that becomes reality again, know that we are holding you tight in our hearts and bowing to our knees in gratitude for all of the years of your selfless pouring out.
You have been a channel of grace to your three children, and the Lord knew that we needed YOU – all that you poured into us was exactly what we needed to fill us up and to prepare us for what He has had in store.
We love you, Mom, and we appreciate you – more than you will ever know.
Happy Mother’s Day.