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About the Writer:
Joanne Sampl

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.




Mothering Like Mom

By Joanne Sampl


I never really felt like Mom and I had much in common. Physically, I was over a foot taller than her. I had green eyes and she had blue. Politically, we were very different. Spiritually, I was distant from God and from my family. Our conversations when I was younger mom were limited to news about the kids and the neighborhood. When we talked on the phone, it was light and guarded.

It wasn’t until her later years that I began to see the real resemblance between us.

The first signs of her autoimmune disease took us all by surprise, especially her. As a woman who never whimpered about physical pain, she was suddenly thrust into a world of excruciating torment. The only treatment was a lifelong regiment of prednisone, which had its own nasty side effects to her body.

As she weakened, our relationship strengthened. She allowed me the privilege to help take care of her, take her to doctor appointments and even put her in the hospital for the last night of her life. As I sat there with her alone in her room, I realized she taught me somewhere in my life how to care, how to give and how to mother. In her last hours, she allowed me to mother her. We were always different, but yet we had so much in common.

One of Mom’s favorite authors was Erma Bombeck. I remember Mom reading to us from time to time during dinner passages of Erma’s different books. Mother would laugh and laugh while she read. I would scratch my head trying to figure out what was so funny.  Then, I had my own children. It didn't take long for me to finally get Erma’s sense of humor…and my Mom’s.

I recently found a quote of Erma’s that I think could have been said by my mom:

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'"

I often think of how much my Mom gave - to her husband, her six children, her grandchildren, and even her great grandchildren. Then there was all her neighbors, her friends, her co-workers and extending family. She really was tireless. She did seem to give everything she had to everyone else.

In that way, I hope I will always be like my mom.



Copyright © May 4, 2008– Joanne Cook Sampl. All rights reserved.


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