It was a typical Monday. I had just finished work, was picking my children up at my parents and was trying to help clean up. I was being “efficient”. I had my list of things to do for the day, and I was determined to get them done. My dad had taken the kids outside to rake the leaves, and I was cleaning off the table and doing the dishes from lunch. My mom, who had been chatting with me, left the room and I went into “superpower mode”, cleaning, picking up, and accomplishing a lot in a short period.
All of a sudden, I heard screaming, then laughing outside. I paused for a moment to take a peek, picking up toys on my way. Then, I stopped. Outside, I saw my beautiful mother being bombarded by three children with handfuls of leaves. They were not cautiously throwing them on her; all three children were hurling handfuls and armfuls on my mother. And, my mother was laughing. Not a “ha ha” laugh – a genuine belly laugh, as she threw leaves back. Her beautiful silver hair was smattered with the red, brown, and orange leaves.
I stood in the doorway a little in awe. The laughter and joy I saw from all four people, three children and one adult, was healing to my busy heart and mind. My mind went to the story of Martha and Mary in the Bible. I always wondered why the Savior rebuked Martha. She was busy doing what needed to be done! There couldn’t be any harm in that? I always thought Mary was, perhaps, a little selfish, sitting when there were things to be done. Couldn’t they have accomplished it a little quicker if both were working?
I walked outside and it took us several minutes to get all the leaves out of her hair. My mother had things to do that day: a meeting, household tasks, and errands to run. Yet, off she went to change her clothes, straighten her hair, and go forward with her day. I can still see the shining faces of those grandchildren, playing with their Grandma. Hopefully, those grandchildren will have memories of that day with their Grandmother. I will never forget it. My mother taught me a lesson that day without saying a word. I have more understanding for that lesson taught by the Savior in Luke. Sometimes there is a better part. My “efficiency” was perhaps not so efficient in the measure of the human heart. But there was my mother, teaching me once again: the lesson of the leaves.