"We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose…" Romans 8:28

In an upstairs closet, tucked beneath shelves of sweaters and shoes, is a big box with a blue lid. It’s filled with years of my children’s artwork.

Though my daughters are now in college, I still cherish their homemade keepsakes. Just the other day, I found myself sifting through the timeworn treasures; tissue paper flowers, pasta necklaces and faded drawings that once hung on my fridge.

Underneath a stack of valentines, I discovered a Mother’s day card that Sarah, my Downs Syndrome daughter had written when she was about 12.

Just sixteen months ago, Sarah passed away at the age of 23. Now her carefully penned words, some misspelled and backwards, seemed like a message from heaven.

As I sat down on my bed, I began reading the letter out loud:

Dear Mom,

I love the awy you make me happy because I love you the awy you are

Thatwillnevre chang

You are alaws my motherthat i love

You are carrying and loveingand vear kind

I love youwithall of my heatr

i don’t know wht i do withoutyou

you gaive me my life

and my dreams

I re-read the letter, two or three times. As Sarah’s words lingered, a passage from scripture came to mind: "So faith, hope and love remain, these three, but the greatest of these is love…" I Corinthians 13: 13

I closed my eyes. I could almost feel her wrapping her arms around me. Sarah was reminding me that love, hers for me and mine for her, was eternal. This was Sarah’s Mother’s day message to me, a gift of hope, proclaimed in tenderly composed prose. "Thank you Sarah…." I whispered.

This mother’s day, take some extra time to hug your children tightly. Rejoice in the specialness of who they are. Nuture their dreams and rejoice in the life that God has given them.

And if you receive a homemade card, carefully crafted by the hands of your child, be sure to save it in a big box. Someday, years down the road, it will remind you that the love is a keepsake. One that lasts forever.

Copyright 2009 Nancy Jo Sullivan, All Rights Reserved