I’m staying home because . . .

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All afternoon on Sunday, we believed that God would soon call Mother home. As she slept, we sat in her room and told family stories. We laughed and we were grateful.

My brother is a huge football fan. When our cousin Roger was here last Thursday, he and Steve reminisced about playing football at our house. Even as boys, they played in the football uniforms our parents bought for them. Our house was the place to play. Roger remembered storing their uniforms in our basement.

It’s no surprise that one of Steve’s stories was about football. It would be much better if you could hear Steve tell it because he is a wonderful storyteller. Once Steve and Mother and Daddy watched a football game on television at the home of Steve and his family. Some kind of amazing play happened during the game and Steve commenced to holler in excitement. After a commercial break, when the network showed a replay of the amazing play, Mother said excitedly, “Look, he did it again!”

We needed that story of the laughing sort and this one of mine which is of the grateful sort. It’s not a story really. I just related something that Mother told me one time.

Our mother was a seamstress. The terms we used back then was that she “sewed for the public” or “took in sewing.” I like to say that there was always a woman in a slip in our living room. She was there to try on Mother’s latest creation that she had sewed for her.

One time Mother told me why she took in sewing. She said, “I could get a job at a factory, but I sew so that I can stay home with you and Steve.”

The quality of this photo is not very good and the photographer didn’t capture Mother in a very flattering pose, but I want to show you this beautiful and touching scene that I saw day after day during my childhood. Mother kept her sewing machine just inside our living room in the doorway that led into the kitchen. She kept the tools of her trade there in her sewing machine cabinet. In the top drawer was her little black book with the measurements of her regular customers. A pin-up lamp and a wall phone hung above her. When she needed to pin on a pattern and cut out a dress, she went into the kitchen and performed those tasks on the kitchen table.

Mother was an on-purpose, stay-at-home, work-at-home mother, homemaker, wife, and entrepreneur with a clear purpose. She wanted to stay at home with Steve and me.

Sewing was not only an occupation for my mother. She enjoyed it immensely. Several years ago, I shared with you this photo of Mother with her last quilt. She completed it while staying with us.

Mother sacrificed to do what she believed would be best for us. You do that, too. Thank you.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:21-27

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  1. Although I believe that so many Momma’s feel they don’t have a choice but to work outside the home, my prayer is that more and more would find a way to stay home.

  2. Oh my goodness that is a cathedral window quilt! This was my mother’s signature pattern. She passed 3 years ago and was also working on a quilt before hospice care. What a precious picture and memory!

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