An Open Letter To My Mom

Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Dear Mom,

I’ve thought of writing this letter many, many times. I’ve planned it in my head but all of those plans didn’t make it into long-term memory in their exact form, so I’ll start over.


I don’t know if you realize just what a precious gift you were to us. To me. When you came to our home we were a fractured family; heads down, just doing the next thing that needed done while coping the best we could with the tsunami caused by Mommy’s death. Oh, we had love. We had family support. We had friends. We had an awesome Daddy.


But the hole was immense and deep. An endless chasm.


And then you came.


The relief was immediate and exhilarating. Well, at least until you fixed creamed tuna and spinach. (Smile). You came with your new foods, your new ways, and your breath of fresh air.


You were really “cool” because you had been a single missionary. You were the most amazing woman in the world because you got my mass of thick unmanageable hair cut into a shag! We came home from school one day to find you and Daddy had redone our bedrooms with new comforters and paint. Oo-la-la!


Of course, you were firm. You were the Mom and that was an interesting adjustment for three children who had been “motherless” for long enough to have developed some independent ways. That’s all I’m going to say about that.


I have a strong memory of the first time I remember an adult apologizing to me. That was you. It wasn’t anything big. It was just something you said in front of others. Something I’m positive, looking back that I would have said in the same situation. But, when you apologized to me it did something inside of me. It made me feel like you were someone I could trust. Someone who would do right no matter what. I learned that while saying you are sorry is VERY hard, it is the right thing. That, very possibly is the most important lesson you ever taught me.


During all of my  years of being single you were my map. You were the one who reminded me that God has a plan. I just needed to wait. I’m thankful I had that example. It helped more than you know.


Of all of the things you did or were, the best was that you loved our Daddy. You made him so happy and that righted our world in ways I can’t even describe. You continued the pattern we had seen in our parents—that of servant leadership. It’s a lesson that has become part of who I am, who my siblings are.


I thought I understood how it must have been for you to come as an independent single missionary lady and suddenly become a wife, mother, and Pastor’s wife. Then I got married at 43 and moved from SD to South Florida leaving my family, friends, church, job, and everything I knew. I totally underestimated the emotional impact all of those changes would make. I was so ecstatically happy being married but I was such an emotional mess. I couldn’t help but realize just what a massive life-shattering change getting married must have been for you. Once again, you were my example.


While our life was righting itself, yours was tipped upside down. But yet, through it all you kept an even keel. You trusted the One who is trustworthy. You made a difference. Somewhere in there, you went from being my Mom to being a Friend. What an awesome God we serve.


I love you, Mom. Thank you for choosing to love us.




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  1. Karen Faith Kuhns

    What a beautiful letter! SO PRECIOUS! I want you to know that I was a bit jealous about your dad coming to Uruguay and stealing away my future co-worker for whom we prayed daily and financially supported during our ‘first yrs. of marriage during Seminary and depuation. She left just months before we arrived in Uruguay. On the other hand, I’m so thankful that God met your family needs and now you have a younger sis who is a missionary, too.
    May God continue to use all of you for His glory until He calls us unto Himself. You are all special to me, too. God bless you!

    Staying focused by faith
    Karen Faith Kuhns
    Uruguay, SA

  2. Missy

    Oh, Miriam, that was so beautiful. I would love to hear their story sometime.