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The last time I saw my mother alive was seven years ago over Mother’s Day weekend.  As I wrote in “Walking My Mother Home,” my story in Journeys to Mother Love, these trips back home were instrumental to my healing.

In 2012, during the editing process of the book, I decided to give the manuscript as a gift to my sons.  After my mother’s passing the year before, I’d had a heartfelt conversation with them. I tried to explain the significance of what had happened to me.  Now with the imminent publishing of the story “for the whole world to see,” it was time to give the boys more personal insight into my healing and my journey to mother love.

Here is an excerpt from that letter:

Dear Boys,

As Mother’s Day approached this week, I’ve been reminded many times that the last time I saw my mother alive was on Mother’s Day 2010. A lot has happened in our lives in the two years since then…

Since you are males, you will probably never understand the bond between a mother and daughter. But you will marry one day and will have to understand and be caring with your own wife and the relationship that she has with her mother. I hope and pray that I can have a loving relationship with my daughters-in-law too.

As you know, I didn’t have a close relationship with my mother, not so much by choice, but by natural consequence because of her mental illness. As my mother neared the end of her life though, God made it very clear to me that I needed closure and restoration with our relationship. The attached manuscript is that story.

What I hope and pray you will see in this story is the same thing I want others to see—how following God’s will for our lives, through the good and the bad, leads to amazing blessings.  I want you to embrace opportunities when God wants to use you. It won’t be easy. But that is where the biggest blessings come into play—when we are stretched beyond our comfort zone and have to rely on Him. He shows up when we lean on Him. We just have to trust Him.

So as I start on my writing journey, I wanted you to know that is exactly what I am doing. I am trusting that God is behind this and that He will use it.

I love you both dearly. I hope and pray that when you look back at your lives that you will remember that legacy that I want to leave for you. I want you to trust God and follow Him all the days of your life.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

With all my love,

My sons didn’t read my manuscript right away. They were teenage boys, after all. When they did, their words of love were a blessing back to me.

I have the same prayer for all who read my story and the other eight stories in Journeys to Mother Love. : May you be inspired by God to embrace forgiveness and healing in their mother/child relationships.  He will redeem your pain and give you peace.

~ Ardis A. Nelson