Putting The Lonely In Families

6 03 2013

Photo Effect StudioIt has been a while since I have posted anything on this blog. Simply put, my mother (who lives with us) was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer this winter and so, added to everything else, it has felt impossible to write anything. But I could write; I could write so many things if I had the energy, as my time with my mom has been rich beyond measure.

Perhaps I can say something here and there. I will begin with this.

Last week we moved mom from her downstairs suite, to a bedroom on our main floor so it would be easier for her to get around and for us to look in on her. We were sorting through what to bring up, and in one of her boxes I found an embroidered handkerchief.

I said, “What’s this mom?”

“Oh, that’s very special,” she said, and proceeded to tell me the story.

Some months after my father had died (in 1996) mom was at a church service in Abbotsford, where she lived at the time.  Early on in the service, she realized it was Mother’s Day.  The pastor called the men in the room to recognize the special women in their lives — their wife, their mother — by standing with them and giving them a big hug.

Everyone stood and hugged someone they were with. My mom remained seated, as she was there on her own.

Nearby, a young man noticed her. He walked up to her and said, “Would you mind if I would give you a hug?”

Mom was surprised, and said, “I would love that.”

She stood and the young man gave her a big hug, “The kind a son would give,” she said.

She began to cry as he walked away, and found she could not stop crying! It had been so beautiful to her; to have someone she didn’t even know, see her need and want to offer such kindness.

An older couple sat nearby and the woman came to mom and pulled a handkerchief from her purse and offered it to mom. Mom could see that it must have been a gift. It was embroidered with the words, “There is no dearer friend than a sister.”

Mom said, “I can’t take this; I have a feeling it is something special to you.”

The woman said, “It is. That is why I want you to have it, sister.”

The meaning was clear. The church is a place where the lonely find family. Sisters are not just the naturally born ones; they are the ones Christ binds together in Christian love through His idea, the Church.

It made me think about hugs and handkerchiefs and how we are called to notice people; to move beyond our personal sense of space and what is “proper” to love no matter your age, no matter what you know or don’t know about a person.

God’s calling card is love; it is how we recognize Him.

— Teresa Klassen




3 responses

6 03 2013
arlene w

ok, now i need a handkerchief!

6 03 2013
Chris Labenski

Teresa so moving. Thank -you. I’m watching the statisis with your Mom. Brings back a lot of good memories. My wife “Anne” knew where she was going made things a lot easier as your Mom is. There ok it’s us that think did we do enough . We miss them they don’t miss us. Please keep writing your so helping me. Getting me to look at the good part of it all. Instead of blaming God. TY Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 23:15:26 +0000 To: labenski_8@msn.com

6 03 2013

Blessings on you Chris 🙂

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