The Power of our Mother’s Stories – Mother’s Day Contest Entry

Curtis van Gorder - memoriesThe Power of our Mother’s Stories

By Curtis Peter van Gorder

I was visiting my mother who was 82 years old and suffering from cancer. I asked her if she could relate to me what she remembered of her life.

She told me, “My dad got a new car, which had a rumble seat in the back – a bench that folded outside the doors of the car, so you got the full effect of the wind. Betty Jane, Annabel, and I would sit in that seat and sing.”

She wrote a poem about that experience.

Chevy Coupe

By Erika Lutsch van Gorder

I remember our first family car,
A golden Chevy coupe with a rumble seat.
I remember, too, my father’s pride
As he buffed its sleek and polished frame.
This car was Papa’s gift to us and to himself.
It was the celebration of the truth of thrift
And the immigrant’s dream.
I remember the wondrous rumble seat
That unlocked new vistas on my narrow world.
On summer Sundays it hugged three happy girls
Singing and laughing as we bounced along.
Our little Chevy briefly set us free to sing.
Whatever became of rumble seats
And dreams
And three happy girls who felt summer
And knew the words of its bright song?

Chevy Coupe

Chevy Coupe

Mothers give so much. Their entire life is a gift of love to their family. We journey far from our beginnings and then something tugs our heartstrings home to rediscover who we are and where we came from.

I sat down with my mother a few months before she passed away and asked her some questions about her life. If you have never done it, I suggest you do. It might help you to appreciate your mother more.

She told me much about her life – her dreams – unfulfilled and fulfilled.

“If I could, I would find more country lanes, bake cookies, plant more spring bulbs, swim at dusk, walk in the rain, dance under the stars, walk the Great Wall, wade along the sandy shores, pick up sea shells and glass, glide through fjords of northern lands, sing country ballads, read more books, erase dismal thoughts, dream up a fantasy.”

I asked her, “Is there any message you would pass on to your children and grandchildren?”

Her words have never left me:

“Stop waiting to live until your car is paid off, until you get a new home, until your kids leave the house, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds. Pray for what you wish, for God loves to answer, because answered prayer deepens faith and adds glory to His name.

“Savor the moment. Savor walking and talking with friends, the smiles of little children. Savor the dazzling light of morning. Savor God’s great earth, rolling hills, the birds, the blooms, the diamond dewdrops glittering on a crab apple tree – all wonders from His hand.

“What special poet makes your heartstrings ring, whose finally honed words gives you songs to sing through cold, winter nights? Who opens new sights and puts lights on dark hidden corners of despair, easing the ache, chasing out care? Who makes your feet to dance and your hands to clap? When you have found this, you will have found a treasure for how wonderful it is – a thought to hold.”

Curtis van Gorder - MemoriesMy mother’s farewell poem to us read:

My love to souls whom I have known.
With thanks for tender mercies shown.
Your prayers have long sustained me
Through the leaden hours
Rekindled hope at winter’s door
And sprinkled petals on the floor
To soften summer’s way.
Be not disheartened, weep not for me.
For I am now and forever free from
This confining body that traps infirmity
Let me soar to the heavens
Where the angels play.

Of course, we let her soar; we could do no other. But the beauty of her soul lives in our hearts. She has given much and we have gratefully received.

Mothers are our wellspring. By discovering where we came from, we can understand better where we are going. We are the sum total of all that our mothers dream and desire. In discovering our mothers, we discover a part of ourselves. Let’s not disappoint them. Show much love to them today.
About Curtis Peter van Gorder: I am a mime, storytelling, workshop facilitator. Writing is my passion. I love to discover insights and share with others my experiences.

[Like this story on our Facebook page to help the author win Positive Parenting’s Mother’s Day Writing Contest! (You’re welcome to “like” it here too! :)]


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on May 2, 2014, in Mother's Day, Special Days, Writing Contest and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: