I’ve always loved children. As a young girl, I couldn’t wait to reach the acceptable age that would allow me the privilege of babysitting. When that coveted age finally arrived, I hit the ground running and catapulted myself into the world and lives of little humans.
Little humans make me happy. I love the way they want to explore the world around them and how the most simple things in life like bubbles, balloons, or silly faces can bring them such joy. I love the fact that a pink, polka-dotted band-aid placed on a skinned knee can make things all better. I love sleepy hair and toddler tummies. Loving and working with little children is just simply part of who I am and who God has called me to be. I know this because of the person God chose to be my own Mom.
My mother always said that from the time she met my Dad, she knew she was destined to be his wife and mother to their children. She simply knew this was God’s plan for her life. I’m not quite sure that my Dad knew it then – he was away attending college on a football scholarship. But Mom was onto something, because it wasn’t long before Dad came home and made her his bride. She became a Mom at the very young age of 20. Some may read this and think that she missed out on so many things, like a higher education or a career. I can tell you that after 55 years of marriage, three children, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild, she excelled at the calling God gave her. She had a way of making children – not just her own – know how very special they were and how much God loved them. She was always there. She never missed making us breakfast, attending a sporting event, sewing a costume, praying with and for us, and simply loving us like Jesus.
As years passed, I became a wife and mother, and our relationship changed. I can truly say that she was not only my Mom, but also my dearest friend. We spoke daily. She listened well and prayed God’s Word over our family. She also loved being a grandmother and was always there for each and every important event in my children’s lives. She was like super-woman! She was definitely the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman.
When cancer found its way into her body, everything changed. My rock, my best friend, my Mom, was hurting. Within six short months her body would fail, and her Savior would welcome her home. Knowing her pain and suffering on this earth had ended brought some comfort, however, my pain had just begun. There would be no more daily conversations, no more advice, no more hugs, and no more homemade coconut cake. There was only grief.
There’s an old preschool song that goes something like this: "Life without Jesus is like a donut, 'cause there’s a hole in the middle of your heart."
Many times over the years, I would teach this song to preschoolers. I believe this song is actually a good analogy of what Mother’s Day is like for those of us who have lost our moms, grandmas, daughters, or others. There is what can only be described as a hole, or void, inside. I wish I could tell you that, after seven years, that hole is completely gone, but I still feel the pain of her loss all the time. However, I can tell you that God is with me, comforting and holding me when the void seems great.
If you are among those of us who have lost someone dear – or if you are someone who desires to be a Mom – and you’re struggling with this type of loss or pain, you are not alone.
Each year, after the children learned the donut song, we would always celebrate with a donut party. Donut holes were a fun reminder that Jesus can help fill that big hole in our hearts. He certainly helps me!
"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."
Robin Cheatham has worked with preschoolers for over 25 years. She and her husband, Don, have three children, two granddaughters, and have been members of Brook Hills since 1992. Robin has served on staff as Preschool Ministry Associate since 2004. She currently works with 4 and 5 year-olds and leads worship for 3 to 5 year-olds on Sunday mornings.