Posted in Life

A Tribute to Mom

Mom (Nancy Douthwaite) in a 1993 photo from our home in West Des Moines, IA
Mom (Nancy Douthwaite) in a 1993 photo from our home in West Des Moines, IA

How many blog posts will be written about moms this weekend? Lots and lots, I’m sure. Well, I’m not going to be left out! Here’s my tribute to mom, someone I don’t think I’ve ever written about before.

My mom died a little over eight years ago, finally succumbing to a ten-year battle with cancer. Married to my dad for fourty-nine years, her faith, love and talents live on in the families of her children.

Mom was a nurse, graduating from Philadelphia General Hospital. She wore white, wore a cap (a unique double frill), and worked weekends. That’s when my dad learned how to cook. Thank goodness for Hamburger Helper. She talked me into volunteering at the hospital, getting ice water, giving up meal trays, feeding those who needed help, and occasionally moving a corpse to the morgue. I’ve always believed that those experiences helped me feel comfortable making hospital visits.

Mom was a musician. She was a talented pianist. In my mind I can still hear her playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and accompanying some family singalongs. That gene was passed along to all of us kids and grandchildren.

Mom was a writer. She took a creative writing class, and I am sure files of her manuscripts are still in the basement of our home in Ridley Park. She always had millions of notebooks and pens around the house, filled with lists, ideas, doodles and bible passages. She just loved the feel of the ages of a brand new notebook.

Mom was an artist. She did some oils but I especially remember some of her charcoal sketches. A few swipes across a piece of paper and suddenly she had drawn a picture of you. Amazing.

Mom loved chocolate.

Mom was a Christian. She and my dad were absolutely faithful in worship, she taught Sunday School and Bible classes, loved to read books about spiritual topics and was amazingly active in sharing her faith, especially with the family. I vividly remember our family devotions after supper each night. We three kids rotated through the duties of lighting the candle, reading the scripture and then the My Devotions article. Our family life was intricately interwoven with the life of the church all throughout my growing up years. Do you think God was able to use her to raise up a few pastors (my brother and I) and an organist and teacher (my sister) for His church? Yep.

Mom probably had no idea how many lives she touched simply by being who she was, following Christ and loving her husband and children. Not perfect, just redeemed. Not famous, but definitely remembered.

(Stay tuned: I’m writing about dad on June 16.)

2 thoughts on “A Tribute to Mom

  1. Your mom was a great mentor to me as a student nurse and new young nurse. Her legacy endures in the lives of many. She still wore her PGH cap proudly even when the rest of us stopped wearing ours.

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