By Roger Kruse
My Mom never seemed to waste a moment. She was almost always engaged in some task. She began her day making lunches for her five boys. I can still see her fingers deftly folding the wax paper she used to wrap our sandwiches before tucking them into the paper sack we would carry to school. Carrot and celery sticks, homemade cookies and fresh fruit also found its place in the bag. Mom would make time to paint the woodwork, scrub the floors, prepare countless meals, grow vegetables, and tend her many flower beds. For good measure she would stain the dining room chairs and then reupholster the padded seats. Somehow, she still managed to find time to cook meals for the Kiwanis Club each week as well as serve on various church boards. If she ever sat down in front of the television in the evening it was usually with an ironing board in front of her and a mound of shirts and pants, or maybe socks with holes that needed darned. I remember when the bell bottom pants craze hit and she sewed me a pair of psychedelic trousers like never before seen among my junior high classmates. She was always available when we had questions about our homework and knew how to sort out the inevitable squabbles and mischief that five boys can create. She gave hundreds of haircuts to me and my brothers through the years despite changing styles and ungrateful “clients”. On Sunday mornings she sat down at the piano and played beautiful hymns, melodies I can still hear in my mind. Was this actually superwoman in disguise or really just my mother?
By now you get the point. Helen Kruse was a pretty amazing lady. Hopefully the memories you have of your mother are equally happy and appreciated. Of course, some will not be like that. Maybe your mom struggled with issues she never knew how to cope with. Perhaps there were factors that compromised her ability to give you what you needed. Even now, you struggle to figure out what was really going on in your home. Life is rarely perfect or goes according to script. Maybe this Mother’s Day will best be used to forgive, or at least make peace with the glaring gaps in your upbringing.
God can take each of our unique experiences and weave them into a tapestry of learning and personal growth. If we camp out on our disappointments or allow bitterness, we doom ourselves to repeat the same mistakes that were made before us. How much better to trust the Lord and believe the promise He gave to us. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Not everything that happens to us is good. After all, we live in a fallen world where human foibles and failures abound. Nevertheless, God is good. His goodness helps us to overcome all the painful experiences that have left us bruised and broken.
Jesus lived a perfect life. Yet he suffered an excruciating death for your sake and mine. The punishment that we deserved, Christ embraced so that we could be forgiven. His suffering has become the source of our greatest blessing. As you remember that special person you call Mom, give thanks to the God who gave you life through her. To honor her is fitting and pleasing in His sight.
Roger Kruse travels far and wide but always loves returning home to Middlefield. The people here are friendly and caring. Northeast Ohio is a great place to raise a family. Greater Cleveland offers us many reasons to be proud. Go Cavs!