A mother to others…

They laid Ms. Ginny in the ground today. Her body rests peacefully after months of illness. I’ll always remember her as the woman who was a “mother to others.”

I first met Ginny when visiting the church that we eventually put our roots down into. As my eleven year old son and I tried to make a hasty exit out of the sanctuary, I was approached by a friendly woman who proceeded to make comfortable conversation. As this interesting dialogue approached the 15 minute mark, I glanced around to see if my son was still waiting for me. He was engaged in conversation with Ms. Ginny and her sister. Of course I hadn’t met Ginny yet, but any adult who made the effort to make a young visitor feel welcome, began to rate very high on my list.

As we became active in that congregation, it became obvious that Ms Ginny was a special person. Her smooth, calm voice had a way of conveying assurance and acceptance. She lived her life in a way that offered unconditional love to those who had been rejected. When other mothers renounced their sons because of their sexual orientation, Ginny was there to offer friendship, love, and a shoulder to cry on.

There is one Mother’s Day I hope I never forget. Ginny had recently fallen and needed assistance to walk. When she arrived at church, a member of the choir named Barry, greeted her affectionately. It was obvious that Ms. Ginny meant a lot to Barry. He pinned on a corsage and proudly escorted her to a pew. It was a touching moment. Ms. Ginny wasn’t Barry’s natural mother, but yet a real mother. She offered Barry unconditional love during a difficult time in his life, and became like family to him and his partner.

Yes, that part of the sanctuary is a little darker where Ms. Ginny usually sat. However, her life reminds me and all who knew her, the importance of being a loving presence. That place in the sanctuary will become brighter as others fill in for her absence. This is one way the love of God is passed on from generation to generation, learning from and being inspired by the saints who have lived amongst us.

Goodbye Ms. Ginny, thank you for showing us how to be a “real mother” to others.  ©2007

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