Tuesday, November 19, 2013


"She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.

When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness.

She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”" - Proverbs 31:25-29

How many times did Mom wash and dry my clothes?
How many times did she turn shirts right-side out, pull sleeves and pant legs back through the right way, work her magic on stains of alien substances and empty pockets of the remains of my day?
How many times did she fold my shirts just so and hang my pants and dresses on the proper type of hanger and match endless pairs of socks? 

Somehow, I don't remember much about the laundry system in my home while growing up, except for the endless pile of my Dad's shirts that needed ironing. And my Mom was the master at it. 
Her ironing skills would make even the best dry cleaner envious. Crisp collars and perfectly pressed seams were her pride and as I think about it now, an act of love that gave the mundane task a sweet sense of accomplishment. 

I am working on laundry in my home today. 
And honestly, I hate it. It's one of the many tasks - if I'm really honest - that I despise about being a homemaker.
But, I was folding a few of my Mom's shirts this morning and it hit me that this would be the last time I would ever do that for her. 
As I ran my hands over the pattern of a blue cotton shirt that she loved, I realized that I would never see her in it again or hear her say (like she did each time she wore it) "Robin, I LOVE this shirt, it's one of my favorites!" And I held it up to my face and started to cry. I just wanted to wrap myself up in it and feel her embrace. One that she always had a hard time offering in life, but one that I needed so often. I wanted to feel the cocoon of that blue shirt around me and somehow will her back into it, just one more time. 

Since Mom was in the nursing center, we had had been doing her laundry each week. And can I just share that I resented it? It used to irritate me to no end that we had to add to the already mountainous stacks of dirty clothes in our washroom. 
I know, I'm awful. Believe me, I know. 
And the ironing. 
Well, for the first few weeks, I tried. I really tried to iron her things. Even Mark ironed a few times. Mom was always so meticulous about how her clothing looked - she loved those crisp collars and pressed seams - and in the beginning I wanted to do that for her. 
I suppose the weight of all the other added responsibility could be blamed for the decision to not iron  her clothes anymore. 
After all, we hardly iron for ourselves. That's what no-iron fabric is for, right? 

I'm hearing myself sigh as I write this. 
Because right now, I would give anything to be able to iron her blue shirt for her again and hear her tell me how much she LOVED it as she wore it. 
Why is it that so much of the detail in our lives has to be understood backwards?

It's the details of the every day that are what's important. 
Not the big, grand gestures or extravagant gifts. 
It's the million little ways that we love the people in our lives. 

So now, I can't iron for Mom anymore, but I can lovingly turn sleeves and pant legs and skating tights for my daughter. And in the doing I can remember what it is about her that I love and be glad that there is laundry to do. 
My Mom would like that.

With a Courageous Heart, 


  1. I love this Robin! A chore I think any woman can say she resents cause it's always there, but you've given a sweet reminder of how important any act within our households is to our family. Praying for you as you encounter these reminders of your mom!

  2. It always comes back to love and our willingness to sacrifice as a testimony of how we love. Thank you. 143


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