Memory is a mental reproduction of experiences. If we did not possess the faculty to remember, perhaps there would be fewer good deeds done and far more wicked acts committed; God in His infinite wisdom knew when He created mankind that it is well to remember.
When a loved one leaves this earthly home to go to the eternal home, they gradually become only a memory; however certain characteristics and principles about them are never forgotten. I spoke with several friends who had given up their mothers and asked them to relate to me an outstanding characteristic they remember.
One woman said: “I have had to grow to womanhood and experience motherhood before I really appreciated my mother. I loved her, of course, but as a child I didn’t actually know I had a truly great woman for a mother. My father died several months before my fourth sister was born. That alone would have shaken the faith of many Christians. She reared five girls, instilling in each noble Christian graces. She taught each of us personal responsibility and showed us by example how to accept the circumstances of life. Now when a thorn mars my comparatively easy living, I think of how my mother, with her acknowledged faith in God, carried real crosses courageously. When I stood beside her eighty-five year old body in death, I vowed: I must never fail to do my best to show God how much I appreciate His giving me such a truly great and courageous person for a mother.”
Another friend told me that self-reliance was the characteristic she remembered most about her mother. “My mother was a quiet woman, never speaking in public or holding an office; yet she taught me one great principle that I shall never forget. She always sat quietly beside me, knitting or sewing, while I studied my lessons. She taught me to do my work by myself, such as showing me how to look up a word in the dictionary and how to pronounce it. Sometimes she would read the definition to me and then have me tell her in my own words what the word meant. In the matter of arithmetic, she would work a similar problem for me, and explain it thoroughly; then expect me to work the one in my lesson. This took much patience and time, but my mother had plenty of both. Incidentally there were five other children in the family to whom she gave the same attention. She taught all of us to do our own work when at all possible. There would be no human parasites if everyone had early training in self-reliance. I shall always be indebted to my quiet, unassuming mother.”
Another person said that her mother showed her that a good sense of humor was a most excellent quality to possess. “I was almost grown when I first began to notice the difference in my mother’s attitude and the attitude of my friends’ mothers toward daily annoyances. Even in the matter of unexpected guests (which was not uncommon when I was growing up) I observed in my friends’ homes an unusual amount of fretting and fuming over the inconvenience of the arrival of uninvited guests. My mother assumed the attitude of doing the best you could with what you had on hand. She gave all guests, invited or uninvited, a genuine welcome regardless of whether she served them a scanty or a sumptuous meal.”