Each night in preparation for bed, we fold back the heavy, floral king-sized duvet cover and gently place it on the floor at the foot of our bed. Each morning, or rather some mornings, we hoist the duvet back on the bed and spread its folds allowing it to rest atop its lesser counterparts for 12 hours until we return to repeat the process. After years of tugging and pulling the comforter’s cotton fibers, the red fabric-covered buttons had wriggled free from their threads and resided in my nightstand, no longer performing their duty along the open seam at one end.
For whatever reason this morning, I decided to pull red thread through the eye of the needle and stitch the missing buttons back on the plaid trimmed duvet cover. Halfway through the task, it came. It. Overwhelming sadness. A longing to see the woman who taught me how to hand sew a button back on the material beckoning its help.
Today my mom turns 65 years old and she is celebrating in Heaven as she has for the past three years. I miss her birthday celebration. I miss dinner and the seasonal performance at the Country Dinner Playhouse. I miss driving through neighborhoods gazing at Christmas lights and singing carols, especially Winter Wonderland, her favorite. I miss her laugh, her voice, her touch.
I miss sewing together. Creating, learning, ripping out and re-doing, basking, admiring, loving. Words best describing Mom’s testimony, her love relationship with Jesus. She often referred to her weakness and God’s strength, her failures and God’s successes, her misgivings and God’s love.
My mother affixed buttons of faith into my mind, threading scripture from her red-lettered, King James Bible into my very fibers. Armed with the sword of the spirit, she sewed a patchwork of verses and doctrine that, as a mantle, have covered me. I, too, have failures and many misgivings, but in the years matching the age of my duvet cover, God has shored up the weak threads of my faith and stitched his love buttons onto my heart.
December 19th brings overwhelming sadness, yes, but good news of great joy. For today, I boast of God’s strength, successes and love. He outdoes me, out-gives me, and out-loves me. There are no missing buttons.