Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 11, 2014

She Must Be Watching Yet

An old family photo recently surfaced — one that I had never seen before and that has become one of my favorites. The photo was taken sometime in 1960 at a family reunion at my grandparent’s new home in Mission, Texas. I have a couple of other photos taken on that same occasion, one inside and another on the back porch. Just looking at these pics warms my heart and brings back a flood of wonderful childhood memories.

Garcia Family Pic
Because my Aunt was married to a Navy officer, my older cousins lived far from our little South Texas town. They lived in various cities both at home and abroad. So, it was always a special occasion whenever they came to town for a visit. Although we did not see each other as often as we would have liked, we did keep in touch by writing letters, something that has become a lost art in our day of texting and email.

Mom Looking On
After my aunt and her husband passed away, one of my cousins found the old photo among his mother’s things. He sent a copy to my youngest sister who then forwarded me a copy. I love this photo because my beautiful mother made it into the shot. As my cousins and I posed for a photo with my grandmother, my mother was off to the side, smiling and looking at her little boy. When I received the photo I just stared at my Mom’s face for the longest time.

Maybe it’s just me, but I can sense my mother’s joy in her little family when I look at this photo. Like most kids, I always wanted to make my mother proud — something that I didn’t always do as well as I would have liked. But regardless, my mother always loved, encouraged, affirmed, and watched out for me. She continued to do so until the day of her death five years ago.

I still miss the sound of my mother’s voice. I miss her laughter and her tears. I miss our conversations about loving and serving God. I miss seeing her whenever I return home for a visit and I miss waving goodbye to her when I back out of the driveway to return home.

On the day after Mom died, I sat in a chair looking down the hallway, wishing for one more opportunity to see her walk down that hall to greet me and to talk. I was so overcome by emotion that I excused myself and went to her reading area next to Dad’s office. I stood there alone and wept, telling God that I just wanted to hear Mom’s voice again.

At that moment I looked over at a stack of books that Mom had been reading and noticed one book in particular that had a page book-marked. I picked it up and when I read what was on the page my jaw dropped. It was, without question, a God-wink and a divine hug! Here is what Mom had marked on the page of that book. It was a poem entitled…

The Watcher
by Margaret Widdemer

She always leaned to watch for us,
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate;

And though we mocked her tenderly,
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there.

Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She never could forget!
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet,

Waiting till we come home to her,
Anxious if we are late —
Watching from Heaven’s window,
Leaning from Heaven’s gate.

So, the old photo of my beautiful mother watching me from the side will always be a favorite. I’m glad that when Dad took the photo of me and my cousins, he unwittingly captured Mom watching her little boy. And I am thankful that she never stopped watching out for me or for my sisters and brother. I am comforted by the photo on this Mother’s Day. And, I am also comforted by the poem that Mom had marked in her book, never realizing what it would mean to me to find it the day after her death. I believe that heaven is for real and that “she must be watching yet.”


Responses

  1. Just beautiful, Omar!

  2. What a gift, Omar, to have that picture. Your mom is indeed beautiful, just like you always say. I can only imagine how proud she must have been of you, as your life has unfolded, and how proud she must still be. I believe, as I know you do, that those who love us, and have gone on before us, are surely waiting for us, anticipating the time when we come home, once again, in the fullest sense of the word.

    • Thanks, Lanni. I long for heaven even more since Mom’s death. How wonderful to grieve with hope.

  3. I Love this not only because of the sweet story of love between a mother and her children, but because of the amazing story of love between God and his children. His affirmation for you on that day is proof of how believers have hope, even in the darkest of sorrows. He shows us himself and brings us peace in ways that are beyond understanding. It is that relationship that answers the question “How can you believe in God?” He is very visible to those who know him.

    I am thankful that your mother knew God well and showed his love to you throughout her life through her words and actions. As a child, you were first able to first see his goodness through her, eventually developing your own relationship with God and enabling you to share that love with so many, even providing us opportunities to share his love with others.

    As a mom, I appreciate the depth of your mother’s love for both God and for her children. God is the greatest protector and leader of the children we so tenderly nurture. Knowing that when we are gone from our children his love and protection continue is a great joy, for only his love is greater than ours.

    Thanks Omar!

    • Thanks, Mary. I am so thankful that my Mom was one of my primary faith trainers and so faithful. God used her in so many ways to orient my life in His direction and to teach me the importance of loving and serving Him. The Psalmist complained, “What will you gain if I die, if I go down to the pit? Can my dust praise you from the grave? Can it tell the world of your faithfulness?” (Ps. 30:9). I love this verse because, if you have lived a faithful life, the answer to the last two questions is a resounding “yes”! My mom’s dust continues to praise God from the grave and to tell the world of His faithfulness. My life is but one small part of that voice.


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