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Walking in my Mother’s Shoes

December 28, 2019

In Cedarfield tradition, the Pastoral Care Team created this compilation of holiday memoirs by team members and residents. We will share one a day through the holidays. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Beth Burrell, Team Member

Christmas for my family was filled with excitement, wonder, and faith. My mother’s walk took many journeys, and I still can remember her telling me many times through my youth and early adult years, “you will understand when you walk in my shoes.”

During the Christmas of 1970 the one gift I was focused on was a guitar. I don’t remember why, but I do remember going to Sears and gazing at the guitars on the shelves decorated for the holidays. Christmas morning, I felt mom’s reassuring tug to wake up. Christmas was waiting under the tree. Both my younger brother and I rushed downstairs to find guitars with big red bows placed under the tree for each of us. Oh, how we loved our presents! I hate to guess how many hours that day and months to come we strummed out noisy sounds, sour notes, and silly rock and roll poses with dancing.

If you’re wondering where that lead musically, neither my brother nor I ever had any skills on any musical instrument, just fond memories of that year. I realized when my own son came along 20 years later, anything that makes loud noises, among everyday parenting, can test a mother’s patience both mentally and spiritually. But my mom knowingly (I’m sure she had to talk Dad into going along) accepted the soon-to-be commotion and uproar to the delight of seeing our happy faces that Christmas.

What I did realize years later with children of my own was what true gifts those guitars really stood for — selflessness, giving from the heart, and endurance. All these gifts defined the foundation of my own spiritual journey, and not only impacted my life, but shaped the person I am today. I smile thinking about walking in my mother’s shoes, experiencing the same wonders, joys, heartaches, parenting challenges, and the same thankfulness for God’s own gift of assurance and unconditional love each day.

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