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One Last Mother’s Day Note

This first Mother’s Day without my brother was going to be especially hard for Mom. But evidence of God’s love turned up at just the right moment.

A mother and daughter in a loving embrace.

It was Mother’s Day, and I was especially worried about Mom. This year, for the first time, she would be all alone on the holiday. I kept thinking, If only Gary were with her.

My big brother Gary had been a quiet, caring man who loved helping others. Seven years earlier when my father died, Gary moved in with Mom and was a great comfort to her. They loved to play games together, watch TV and read books. Gary took a job at a convenience store close by.

Then one November evening the store was robbed; Gary was shot and killed. Afterward, Mom’s loneliness was acute, and I never let her out of my prayers.

That Mother’s Day I called to see how she was doing. To my surprise she sounded calm, at peace. Then she told me why.

The day before, she had received cards from her five children and seven grandchildren. But walking back from the mailbox, she couldn’t help dwelling on the one card she would not be getting, the one child she would never hear from again.

Inside the empty house Mom brewed a cup of tea and reread her cards. Finally she gathered them all together and put them on a bedside shelf for safekeeping. And there on the shelf she spotted a book she’d long intended to read. As she picked it up and turned the pages, out dropped an old faded greeting card with a handwritten message. It read: “Happy Mother’s Day. Love, Gary.”

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