I watched as a young mother sang a lullaby to her young child. I listened to the tune, unfamiliar with the words. The emotions in her voice and the look of contentment on the child’s face took me back across to the memories of my mother doing the same to me. In my mind, I can remember her face, smile, and a warm sense of belonging, safety, and comfort. There is nothing in those images to hint at where we were or what was going on beyond us. With each flashback, there are minor variations in the tune Mom was singing but the view of her and peace I felt are always the same.
I have come to appreciate that one of life’s greatest gifts is the love expressed this way, especially from parent to child. I hope I communicated how much I loved her in that moment as well as in the following years. While we had our moments, especially during my coming of age period, the lingering memories of mom’s lullabies is one that I remember most often.
In a spirit of thanks, I find myself thinking of today’s reminders.
Unconditional gifts of love continue to live in the lives of the receivers long after the sound has faded and in this case the person has passed. As a potential giver of this gift, know that it has meaning that transcends time. Hold onto the fact that the receiver will be blessed in ways s/he does not first imagine.
I do not think the specific tune or lyrics of love particularly matter. It could be a psalm, “Wake, soul! Wake, lute! Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!” (Psalm 108.2) It could be a simple rhyme. What I remember is my mother’s love and the sense of peace that came along with it.
In our longer stories, time and place do not matter. There is no bad time to say “I love you.” In quiet moments, chaos, and uncertainty, it is always good to hear “you are my beloved! I will love you forever and beyond.”