My Mother
by Lawrence P. Frey

My mother would have said to me if you have something to say, say it like you mean it and make sure that people can hear you. I sincerely mean these words, but I know my voice will falter, and it will not be as strong as I would like it to be. Mom provided us with a tremendously strong foundation upon which to build our own lives, but even that base has been shaken by her passing.

Of course she gave us unconditional love and support, and always provided us with appropriate guidance through the various trials that are part of children growing into "proper" adults. She met all challenges in her own life and the lives of her family with an inner strength and resolute toughness that always saw her through to mostly successful conclusions. It was extremely rare to hear her cry out in frustration, and virtually never in despair. Hers was an outstanding home, and she was a wonderful Mom to grow up and grow old with.

Some of you may say- she sounds just as special as my own mother. And to that I would say, wouldnıt the world truly be a wonderful place if every child could say that? But I believe my mother was unique in her ability to make commitments and to see them through. Early in her life she committed herself to God and to the greatest and least of His children. In her chosen profession as a nurse, she was committed to caring for those in need, and served this great country tending to the wounded and dying during WWII. She took care of her brother during his battle with polio, and later she cared for my father and her sister in their twilight years. In between of course she was totally committed to us, her family. We could always, always depend on Mom to share in our laughter and tears, our joys and our fears, and to shape our characters by her example- and a stern reprimand on occasion.

She was committed to the well being of this church, and the people of Saxtons River, and was a willing and active participant in any function that improved the lives of either or both. My brother, sister and I were laughing as we recently reminisced about how as kids, we resented sharing our mother with you. Back then, it seemed to us that every cookie and cake and roaster of baked beans was for some committee or bake sale or some local family in need. Only the imperfect leftovers would be for us. We would be ³motherless² when there was a committee meeting to attend, or when someone was sick and in need of Momıs attention. Even as absolute as her commitment was to us, we quickly learned how important her commitments to others were. I am sure that those of you who served or cared for others along with my mother knew that she could be counted on to give 100% all the time, every time. For us, our resentment as children later turned to pride in who she was and what she could accomplish. We realize of course, that her commitment of nearly 86 years to the people of Saxtons River and to others was not just one way. To all of you who gave our mother your support, care, kindness, and your commitments, we sincerely thank you.

We recently learned that the heart condition Mom had been born with affected only about 5% of the population. Of those people, only a very small number live to see their 30th birthday. It is true that my mother committed her life to God and his people, but I believe that God was fully committed to her as well. We thank Him for her life here with us.