A Group of People

With My Mom: Leaving Impatience Behind

In Liz Dugger, Mother's Day on May 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm

By Liz Dugger

In late afternoon we walk along a country drive. I’m forced to slow down as she tries to keep up. Stopping to wait, I consider my lifelong impatience and whisper some gratitude that I’m leaving it behind. We continue, walking slowly, together.

I’m stunned by our surroundings as we go. The dynamic sky, like a soft yet saturated filter, casts brilliance upon the colorful newness of spring. At this leisurely pace I breathe it all in, wondering how many beautiful days like this I’ve missed while moving far too fast.

Glancing next to me, I notice her eyes fixed toward the ground, marking each step. Her breathing, in and out, becoming short and puffy as the terrain takes us uphill. She’s missing the beautiful surroundings. I wonder how much of her beauty I’ve missed, traveling through years at a far too selfish pace.

I whisper some more gratitude that impatience is being left – to the dust – behind.

She’s spent some of the best of herself on me: giving time, acts of kindness, laying down her dreams to nurture mine, prayers, cards, letters, creating beauty all around and inside of me. She’s found joy in my years of living. I add it up and realize that in giving, I’m straggling an embarrassing distance behind.

We stop midway on the uphill stretch of the lane. Midway in my life.

“Whew!” she says. “I don’t know why I’m so tired! You’re probably bored going this slow!”

“I don’t mind. I love being outside this time of year. I’m drinking it up!” My words are pleasant, genuine, like I feel inside.

And my statement is true in more ways than one. Looking ahead at the rest of the way before us, I wonder how much farther we’ll be able to walk together. Today. Tomorrow. In years to come. She catches another good breath.

“OK, I think I’m ready!” she says with winded determination.

“We’re almost there!” I answer, looking toward the end of the lane.

We continue walking, slowly, together. I consider my lifelong tendency toward impatience and whisper gratitude that I’m leaving it behind. But most of all, I whisper gratitude for this time ~ with my mom.

Philippians 1:3
“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”


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