Today was a special day throughout the churches across America, but especially in Tennessee. It is on this day that we celebrate our mothers and their influence in our lives.

Almost two-weeks-ago when we were returning form the Michiana Ladies Retreat, Debra and I drove a little out of the way to visit the graves of my parents and my brother. As always, this was a very emotional time for me personally, and the tears seem to flow just as readily now as they did when we buried them.

Today, as I was thinking of my mother, I remembered an example she left for me. I was only about twelve or thirteen-years-old when my mom introduced me to Mrs. Black. This woman was the spouse of one of the men who worked for my father at the Vendome Hotel in Evansville, Indiana, and she was suffering from terminal cancer.

Like us, the Black family didn’t have much, and they lived on the other side of town from us. They had a daughter who was mentally disabled who was about 16-years-old at the time, and lived with them.

Every day, my mother would put me in the car and take me with her so that she could change Mrs. Black’s surgical dressing. This went on for most of one summer until Mrs. Black passed away. I will never forget the smell of the cancer from the woman’s open wound…you could smell it all the way out to the street.

I remember time and again asking my mother why she did this for someone who was not related to her, and that she wasn’t being paid to do. Her answer was the same one she always gave, “…because it’s what the Lord would do.” And, my mother would continue on dressing the wound, cleaning the house, cooking for the woman and her daughter, which she continued to do until the day Mrs. Black died.

This was only one of the selfless acts of sacrifice that my mother did with little acclaim and no earthly payment. But in June of 1991 she heard the words “well done” when she entered to her reward.

I know her influence is greater on my life now than it was then, and I will be eternally grateful.

I trust you will have a great Mother’s Day! God bless.