Mother Letters: Just Like You

a blurry snapshot of a professional photo taken by Rich Austen of Austen’s Photography, Arroyo Grande CA. His work is excellent, mine not-so-much.

Dear Mother-in-the-Middle of my three favorite moms, 

Do you remember when you found out you were pregnant for the very first time? How you slid to the floor in a puddle and worried out loud that you might have a baby who was “just like me?” And I followed you right down to the floor and said, “Then you will thank God with everything that is in you for such an indescribable gift?” 

Well, I really, really meant that. You were and are one of God’s best gifts to me and to your dad. As I have watched you mothering those three boys of yours for nearly 14 years now, I have been amazed. Amazed and grateful and thunderstruck. Because you are so very good at this gig, my girl. SO good. 

It’s not an easy job, is it? Losing sleep, feeling confused at times, wondering how you are going to make it through one more round of snotty noses and strep throat and allergy season. It’s tough to juggle all that is required as you do this work. I know that part all too well. 

But I didn’t manage to do even half of what you’ve accomplished. I stayed home with you and your younger brother and older sister. I chose to do so and I was blessed to be able to do so because your dad was ‘the breadwinner’ in those long ago days. 

Things have changed, haven’t they? 

You trained for a specialized job, working with blind students, and you’ve always worked at it – part time until boy #3 was three, full time the last few years. I truly do not know how you manage to keep all the plates twirling so magnificently. 

Well, I do know some of it: you’ve got a husband who jumps into all of it with both feet, offering encouragement, hands-on support and many layers of capability. And the two of you together chose this life you live – both of you in special ed with flexible schedules and summers off (mostly!)

Still…you are the beating heart of that wonderful home you keep. I watch you when we stay with you. Always quietly moving through the rooms, picking up, straightening, checking on homework, planning lunches. 

Also, entertaining guests almost every weekend – quite often 30 at a time!, maintaining deep friendships, serving as an elder at your church. You never do anything by halves – and you never have. 

Your children adore you – such fine young men they are becoming! Loving and kind, hard-working, smart, fun and funny. You are doing a great job, Mom-of-my-heart. Yes, you are. 

And, in truth, I do see you in each of those three boys. I can’t even tell you how deeply glad I am about that. Because you are a woman of valor – of deep, real beauty, both inside and out. You have the best laugh in the world and such a tender heart. You willingly admit your own doubts and questions, you seek honest answers to the tough stuff, you use your natural insights into human nature so very well. These are the things I see reflected in your children, good gifts that will serve them well as they move out into the world. 

After all, they are a lot like their mother. 

I love you, 


This one is being added to Amber Haines’ Link-up celebrating the release of Mother Letters:Sharing the Mess and the Glory. Have you seen this wonderful e-Book Amber and Seth have assembled from over 500 moms? I am an affiliate for this work of art – because I believe in the encouragement this project has provided to so many who are doing the hard/wonderful work of mothering. Check it out at:

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  1. Glenda Childers says

    So honoring,.

  2. Patspreng says

    So beautiful, that just for a moment I wanted to close my eyes and pretend my mother had written those words to me.  You are priceless and so are your words… a treasure for your daughter.

  3. I’m guessing your mother wrote those words on your heart somewhere, Pat. I’m blessed to be able to say it to my kids in this way and I know that.

  4. Thank you, Glenda. That was a word I was hoping to touch on with these letters. I truly stand in awe at all the mothers in our close family – they are amazing. And the dads are (and in one case, were) exceptional as well.

  5. Oh, I don’t have words for this. None. So gorgeous. 

  6. DeanneMoore says

    So very special. I love this so much. Every day of my daughter’s Senior year in High School (during the week) she would find a letter on her pillow when she got home from school. I found them neatly stacked in a little wooden box when we were moving her to the dorm. She has made me a grandmother now and has another little one on the way. Six years have passed since I saw those pastel envelopes in that box and I would love to know what I said 🙂 

  7. Oh Deanne – what a precious gift to give a child! Thanks for telling me that story – you’ve made my morning!

  8. Thank you, Sheila. She is a gorgeous person, one I am so proud to know.

  9. Linda Chontos says

    This is so beautiful Diana. I have come to visit but also to add my “amen” to Lyla’s words. Your wisdom and depth of compassion are a true blessing. And it’s great to be in the company of another grandma!!

  10. Linda Chontos says

    Diana – Thank you so much! I just went to read your post at Sarah’s and found my name there. I am so honored and humbled to be included among such amazing women.  For some time now I’ve been feeling as though I couldn’t quite find my “proper” place. I think I was feeling a bit “long in the tooth”. I am so delighted to find  there is a lovely group of older women in this community. All I needed was someone to show me the way. And you are so great at doing that. Thank you dear friend.

  11. I’ll respond to both your kind comments here, Linda. Thanks for your kind words – and being a grandmother is something that unites women at our stage of life in unbelievable ways, ways that those without grandkids just don’t get. Kinda nice once in while post-60 to feel like a member of an in-group, right?? And it was a joy to put together a list of older women who are spreading Christ’s goodness and light across the cyber waves. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response, to tell you the truth. Very encouraging and affirming.

  12. That letter I wrote for the Mother-letter project nearly did me in. It’s such a beautiful thing that Seth and Amber have done. And it helped me. Put to rest some stuff. I always tell my patients to do these kinds of exercises,but funny, I had neverdone it myself. I think I will buy the book. Tomorrow. Tonight….sleep calls.

  13. So glad, Laura – and the book is truly lovely. Makes me wish I had a Kindle Fire so I could see the pix in color! Is that letter up on your blog tonight? Or did you write one for the book?

  14. A wonderful tribute to a precious daughter! I feel privileged to be able to read the intimate words you’ve shared here. I have two married daughters and a married son, all parents of deep faith, and it’s such a joy to watch them with our beautiful grandchildren. (Grandchildren are always beautiful, right?)

    Also, Diana, I’ve just come from Sarah’s blog where I discovered what “the list” was all about. I’ve left my comment there but will repeat how honoured I am by your kindness in including me on it. I am truly blessed!

  15. Oh, I hope it’s not too intimate. I always fear embarrassing my children – because I seem to do so with alarming regularity!

    You’re right – ALL grandchildren are beautiful. And it is one of the great rewards of life to watch your children with their children. That is no small thing AT ALL.

    Thanks for stopping by here and over at Sarah’s – I responded to your comment over there.

  16. Thanks, Mom.  Very kind of you to make such a generous assessment of my mothering skills.  You might be just a LITTLE biased, though.  🙂  Thank YOU for being such a great mother to Lisa, Eric, and me.  Love you!

  17. Hey – I don’t think I am in the LEAST biased! And your dad completely agrees with me. I love you, too, more than words can say.