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MIKE HENDERSON: A time to laugh

MIKE HENDERSON: A time to laugh

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I remember my senior year in high school. It had been a hard few years.

My father had abandoned us, and my mother, my sister and I were doing all we could to pay for a roof over our head and food on the table.

My mom, now a single mom with two teen-aged children, worked a full-time day job, a part-time night job and a weekend job.

I worked at a restaurant after school, for a janitorial service at night and pumped gas on weekends (this was a while back!).

My sister babysat children and animals every chance she could.

All of the money went to make the house payments, utilities and food. Clothes and other things came from the Salvation Army thrift store. Thank God for them!

In the midst of it all, we always made time to eat supper together, partly because we could not afford to go out to eat. My mother would always tell us, “This won’t last forever.” And it didn’t.

Several years later we were stable. Mom was working just one job, I was in college and my sister was babysitting for “fun money.” We still had supper together.

One night my mom invited some friends who were like us –— single mom, two kids. We had pizza, played games and laughed all night.

When they left, my mom said, “This was what I was living for. This is good.”

This is what mothers do. Whatever is needed at the time to make it the best possible for their children. And to teach their children how to live.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. Take time to thank the mothers you know. We owe them more than we could ever repay.

“There is … a time to weep and a time to laugh. …” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Michael B. Henderson is the minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Florence and a member of the Morning News’ Faith & Values Advisory Board. Contact him at


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