Honor your mother…while you can

The following video serves as a warm up leading to Mothers Day 2017. Keep a hanky nearby.


As it was for the young man in the above video, my mother worked from 4 am to as late as 11 pm to support my two sisters and me. Life was very difficult throughout out formative years and we didn’t see much of our mother, but she made sure we had decent clothing while her own underwear was ragged and with holes. She did without much, but she made sure we were covered by Blue Cross-Blue Shield medical insurance. Meals were uncertain, but somehow she made do and we never went to bed hungry.

Mom remarried when I as 15. Our new stepfather took on three teenagers who grew up without a man in the family. The first year was tumultuous, but Dad didn’t give up on us and we came to love him as though he was our natural father.

John N White seated on the lap of Adele Elizabeth Morris White
Me, seated on Mom’s lap, about 1951

Ephesians 6:2-3 commands us to “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

The Apostle Paul quotes the fifth of the ten commandments God gave to the Israelites through Moses: “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Mom was a generous woman who followed the Biblical mandate to not allow the left hand to know what the right hand was doing.

At her graveside funeral service, an older couple approached to introduce themselves. They wanted us to know their story of desperation during the Great Depression. Mom took them into her home, fed them and gave them clothing. The couple stayed in Mom’s home for over six months before the man found work enough to support his young wife. He said to me, “Not once in all that time did she ask when I was going to go to work.” Her generosity sustained a destitute young couple through the most difficult time in U.S. history. The man added, “We knew we had to share our story with you.”

This Mothers Day 2017 I honor my mother, Adele Elizabeth Morris White, who sacrificed so much of her life to give a good life for my two sisters and me.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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