31 Letters to my Mother {Day 24} Hymns and Spearmint Gum

 Dear Mom,

It’s really early, 4:45 AM actually.  The kids are both sick, although Noelle is the only one running a fever.

I have some soft, instrumental hymns playing in the background as the tea kettle starts to whistle over my shoulder.

“Be still my soul: The Lord is on your side.  Bear patiently the cross of grief, or pain.”

“Did e’r such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?”

“Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee, how great thou art!”

“Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with thee, thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not…”

You know what’s funny about Hymns?  They almost always take me back to Baldwin Street CRC, the evening service when Dad had run out of peppermint Mentos to keep me quiet.

It was utter torture for me to have to sit through two services, I remember grabbing as many kids bulletins as I could, trying my hardest to sit quietly and wait the whole thing out.

More often than not I would burry my face into Grandma Mac’s Sunday coat, which smelled like windbreaker and spearmint gum.  I’d snap and unsnap the pockets over and over again, fold gum wrappers and check the order of worship.  I’d exhale heavy sighs and pray for the doxology to sound from the Organ so we could all go home.

You grew up in those same pews, did you find it hard to be still or did the threat of being taken out and spanked work as well on you as it did on me?

As much as I hated those Sunday services I miss sitting there with you and Grandma Mac, between the safety of the two of you.

You’re the women I come from, who I look like, who I long for.

I want to hear your advice about life, kids and marriage.  I want to curl up in your laps again and fall asleep to the smell of polyester and gum.

I want to sneak out in Grandma’s red convertible, the one she used to help me play hooky from school after nearly every orthodontist appointment.

Will you tell her hi for me?  It took an early morning of hymns to remember how much I miss her.

I love you, I miss you (both)