White Carnation


Today I keep a white carnation in my heart for the woman who gave me life, cleaned up my messes, cried for my soul, sacrificed herself for her children always, was always home when I got off the school bus, hugged and kissed and slobbered all over me, dressed me for church, kept long night vigils for me when my life hung in the balance, let me cry when I was bullied, walked me home from school when the deep snow scared me and I wasn’t sure I’d find my own way, wanted only the very best for me, made home the place I always wanted to come back to, and who battled cancer heroically and showed us what a good death looks like. I owe you, Mom. I miss you.

If you wear a red carnation today, thank the Lord. And call your Mom. Don’t take her for granted because she’s a hero. If your Mom has passed, walk through the hallways of memories and thank God today that you were blessed to know such a woman.

As I walk through the museum of my memories,
I owe you—for your time. Day and night.
I owe you—for your example. Consistent and dependable.
I owe you—for your support. Stimulating and challenging.
I owe you—for your humor. Sparky and quick.
I owe you—for your counsel. Wise and quiet.
I owe you—for your humility. Genuine and gracious.
I owe you—for you hospitality. Smiling and warm.
I owe you—for your insight. Keen and honest.
I owe you—for your flexibility. Patient and joyful.
I owe you—for your sacrifices. Numerous and quickly forgotten.
I owe you—for your faith. Solid and sure.
I owe you—for your hope. Ceaseless and indestructible.
I owe you—for your love. Devoted and deep.

–Charles R. Swindoll, Strong Family


4 thoughts on “White Carnation

  1. Mandy Houk says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve lost your mom, Scott. I lost my dad almost 8 years ago, and I truly do not think it gets any easier. I think of it less often, but I find that I only miss him more as time goes by.

    Sounds like you had an incredible mom. Thanks for sharing her with your readers.


  2. Jerald says:

    I had one of those too, Scott. Actually, she was a mom who mothered lots of boys and girls that I grew up with besides my brother and me. I’ve got a friend today who lovingly remembers my mom teaching her in “Juniors” Sunday school at Gordon Street Baptist Church in Westend Atlanta.
    My mom died of the effects of cancer too and I remember our last words on the evening before she went to be with her Lord. I remember trying to tell her something and she said, “That’s nice, son. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” One day soon it will be “tomorrow” for us to talk about everything. I can hardly wait.

    Those kinds of memories are precious ones to be sure. I suppose it reminds us that we make memories for our own children too. I know that your son will fondly remember his mom and dad on mother’s day and father’s day too. He won’t remember the other “stuff,” but only the love becaue it’s the love that lasts. Everything else will fade except that.

    Praise God that I can wear both a white carnation for Ruth and a red one for Eva, my mother-in-law who tells everyone that I’m just one of her “boys.” It’s good to be one of mom’s boys, you know.
    Thanks for reminding us about some of the other things we need to remember about mom too, especially the last one on the list.


  3. pasturescott says:

    Hi Mandy, my cyber-friend: thank you for your kind sentiments. I too am sorry for the loss of your loved one and, yes, it does get more poignant and deeper even when the years start spreading apart…


  4. pasturescott says:

    Jerald, you are a writer! When can I expect your blog to begin? I was so touched with the last conversation you had with your mother. I am SO thankful I was with mom right up to the very “end”. Those memories are a treasured keepsake!


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