A Mother's Walk
The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long way?" she asked.
The guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard. You will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning."
But the young mother was happy, and she could not believe that anything could be better than these years.
So she played with her children, gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams. As the sun shone on them, the young mother cried, "Nothing could ever be lovelier than this."
Then the night came ... and the storm ... and the path became dark. The children shook with fear and cold. The mother drew them close to her and covered them with her mantle.
The children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near. No harm can come to us."
Then morning came. There was a hill ahead, and the mother and her children climbed it and grew weary. She would frequently tell the children, "Keep your patience because we are almost there."
So the children continued to climb. When they reached the top, they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."
When the mother laid down at night, she looked up at the stars and thought, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength."
The next day, strange clouds appeared which darkened the earth ... clouds of war, hate, and evil. As the children groped and stumbled, the mother said, "Look up! Lift your eyes to the light!"
The children looked. They saw above the clouds, an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness.
That night, the mother said, " This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."
The days went on, and the weeks, and the months, and the years. The mother grew old and she was little and bent over. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage.
When the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather. At last they came to the top of a hill. They could see a shining road with a golden gate that opened wide.
The mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. I now know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."
The children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.
They stood and watched her as she went on alone. The gates closed after her. The children said, "We cannot see her, but she is still with us. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence."
Our mother is always with us. She's the whisper of the leaves as we walk down the street. She's the smell of bleach in our freshly laundered socks. She's the cool hand on our brow when we're not feeling well.
Our Mother lives inside our laughter. She's crystallized in every tear drop we shed.
She's the place we came from ... our first home. She's the map we follow with every step we take.
She's our first love and our first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate us from her ... Not time ... not space ... not even death!
~ Temple Bailey ~
Written for Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1933