A Mother’s Legacy

Sunday is Mother’s Day which prompted me to reflect on a Mother’s legacy – both the tangible and the intangible.  The legacies which we can touch and those we cannot.  The definition of “legacy” in part is “….something handed down or received from an ancestor….”.   What is the legacy which your mother is handing down to you or  you have received from her?  Or if you are  a mother, what will be YOUR legacy?

Jean Mothershed - Birds in the Snow - 1981

It’s a true blessing to be able point to something tangible which has been handed down to us by our mothers.  My mother, Jean Mothershed, was an incredibly talented artist.  When she died suddenly at the age of 62, her legacy included a wonderful collection of oil paintings, some of which now cover the walls of my home and serve as a reminder to me of her passion to paint.

The Farmer’s mother, Vernie Thaxton, was also an artist.  But her medium was fabrics and her art was hand-made quilts.  When she passed away several years ago, we were left with a variety of those quilts which she had so lovingly crafted for  our family.  The one pictured here was given to Beth, my youngest daughter, when she was only  two years old.

Vernie Thaxton Quilted for Beth Thaxton - November 1990

But a bigger blessing than the physical possessions passed down to us,  and much more important than any art, money, or property,  are the INTANGIBLE legacies our mothers leave behind.  That is what most of us will remember at this time each year.  We are reminded of those legacies which we are unable to touch:   the legacies of love,  family,  faith, sacrifice and service.

My mother and my mother-in-law both have such legacies.  Vernie remained faithful to God, her church and her family and attempted to serve others even during her last months and weeks on earth when she was in extreme physical pain.

My mother had a strong belief in family and lived that out by spending months caring for not only her own parents during their times of illnesses, but also helping to care for several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was a woman of faith and an excellent Bible teacher.  Even now, more than 15 years after her death, her former students speak of how they miss her insightful teaching of God’s Word.

A few things to ponder this Mother’s Day week-end:  What will be – or is – your mother’s legacy to you?  What did your mother hand down to you that is precious – the tangible (you can touch it) or the intangible (you can’t).  And if you are a mother – what will be your legacy to your children?  I would love to hear your stories and comments!

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5 Responses to “A Mother’s Legacy”


  1. 1 Bliss Sawyer May 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Beautiful! Happy Mothers Day to all!!

  2. 2 Sandra Derry May 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

    My mother left me with the legacy of strength through perserverence.She was a strong woman with many talents, she loved to have all her children at home, she loved cooking for them and seeing us all together again. She could take what others didn’t want and make it a beautiful piece of furniture, decorator piece or whatever,she loved her crafts and she was excellent at sewing. refurbishing antiques, making dolls, she had the greenest thumb in the world. She was tough on me…but she always had an ear for me when life got too hard for me to bear.She had to be tough because my father was gone much of the time I was a little girl, in the milatary and she had 5 kids to raise on her own.I have seen her work all day and come home and cook for the kids and then make dad a steak…and after that do her hair and nails for the next day. I never saw my mother looking ragged at work or any other time, because she always took time to look nice for my dad and the world.I just put my hair up in a ponytail, but not her. LOL. She knew before her death that she had done her job in raising me and she knew I was going to be as strong as she was because SHE made me a strong person.Miss you mom and love you always, I know you will be waiting for me when it’s my time.pepper

  3. 3 Louise Thaxton May 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Wonderful testimony to your mother, Pepper! Thanks for your comments.

  4. 4 Judy May 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I feel so blessed to have known your mother. She always made me laugh and just seemed to enjoy life so much. Her love for you was always evident. You two were quite a team at Grandma’s Trunk! Love you!

    • 5 Louise Thaxton May 8, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks so much for your comments, Judy! Those were the days, weren’t they?! I was blessed to have had that time with my mother – and of course made many good friends during that time. Miss those days!


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