Mother’s Day 1998

My  mom was the best mom in the neighbourhood when I was a boy. She could throw a baseball better than any other mom I knew. She was often the one to suggest we go out and play catch or hit a few grounders for practice. Dad didn’t like sports much. When he wasn’t cutting the back field or fixing the car, he liked to sleep with the newspaper. When the young peoples groups from our church came out to our place for a baseball game and cornroast, Mom would be the pitcher for her team. She was a good pitcher. She even owned her own baseball glove. I was so proud of her.

I was proud of her, too, when it came time in the church service for people to give their testimony. She would stand and speak longer and louder than any other mom and most of the dads . My dad was a very quiet and shy man who agonized whenever he had to speak up in public but Mom had a real flair for public speaking. When she led prayers, she could string her thoughts together with the same flowery language that the minister used and her voice carried the strength and conviction of her unshakable faith. Sometimes, I would peek during prayers and see her with her face pointed heaven-ward, eyes closed, earnest furrows in her brow, urging her words through the ceiling to God. I always knew that she could have been a minister if their weren’t any rules about women becoming ministers.

She could have been a lawyer, too. She was smart. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses came to the front door, Dad would be polite, listen a little and say, "No thanks" but she relished a good fight for righteousness and truth. I was so proud. She could out-talk them better than anyone else I’d ever heard. She knew her scripture and she would thrust and parry with chapter and verse, foiling their lunges with a string of quoted Bible verses delivered with such panache and conviction that they would retreat with their heads spinning. They didn’t know what hit them and, if they didn’t get out of there quickly, they might have been converted to our faith by succumbing to this battling Christian soldier.

As the years passed, I began to see things differently. The words of her dramatic prayers and testimony were no longer the words of my heart and her righteous, missionary zeal was no longer a way of life for me. Like my father, I don’t like sports much anymore and his qualities of humility, gentleness and compassion gained importance over time, balancing the force of my mother’s single-mindedness. I have my own road to travel now and it’s a different one but I will always be proud of my mother for so much that she did including throwing a baseball better than any other mom I knew.

Jay Moore