Pastor’s wife: A mom’s priceless treasures include simple things like letters, poems, clippings


The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go – Yossi Hayon.

Yossi posts amazing quotes on Facebook.  As soon as I read this one, I forwarded it to two friends who have experienced immeasurable heartache this year.

I whispered the phrase several times.  Some things ARE good to let go:  anger, bitterness, jealousy, bad relationships, etc. 

There is another letting go that is extremely difficult and not lovely at all.

My siblings and I have been going through our mother’s home.  After her sudden passing last year, we were left to separate her household.  When someone has lived for almost 80 years, there is a great deal of acquired goods.    

Truckloads of stuff needed to be divided, donated, or disposed of.  A decision was required at every turn.

To be honest, I wanted everything to stay exactly as it was.  I took pictures to keep in my phone (and my heart) of her favorite sitting spot.  Keeping things the same is not practical.  We all live away, so it needed to be dealt with.

When my brother, sisters, and I went through her things, we found treasures only a mother would save: 

  • A homesick letter my brother wrote from camp when he was 11. (He was so surprised she still had it.) 
  • Cheesy poems I had written as a kid. (Apparently, I wanted to be a writer from an early age.)
  • Plastic tubs filled with my newspaper columns dating back to the 90s. (I hadn’t known she was keeping them.)

    Through the process, there was laughing as we shared memories, but also tears.  I guess you could say it was cathartic.  With siblings present and working as one, we put puzzle pieces of time together. 

One priceless item I couldn’t let go of was dated March 31, 1972 and written by my grandfather.  Entitled “A Partial Inventory of my Wife.” It listed 36 qualities of my grandmother – my mother’s mother.  I wish I knew the history behind it.  What motivated a husband to list good things about his spouse on a day in March nearly 50 years ago?  A few traits listed:  “She makes friends easily.  She is thoughtful.  She is generous and unselfish.”

My sisters and I marveled at the words.  I cried again today as I read it.  My grandmother had Alzheimer’s for so many years it had dulled my memories of her.  What a good reminder of the woman she had previously been.

When Jesus went back to heaven (Acts 1), no doubt the disciples wanted Him to stay.  They had been through so much together.  Were their minds blown at everything that had happened?  After commissioning them to be His witnesses all over the world, He suddenly began to rise.  They could hold on to His teachings and His love but could no longer hold on to His body.

God had a greater plan.  Jesus was going back to heaven and the Comforter was coming.  It would be different, but it would be good.

While letting go has been hard at times, we know that our precious mother is in heaven.  We will see her again one day.  Life is different, but we know she is good … with the Lord she loved.

Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at