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Momma’s Pillow

October 25, 2022

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all’” (Proverbs 31:28-29, NIV).

He looked up from the chair with elderly eyes as we finished our examination. I was sending him for a transfusion that would require him to stay in town overnight. Looking down, I noticed a small pillow in a sack he carried. I commented, “I see you brought your own pillow. I can never sleep on hotel pillows.”

“That’s my momma’s pillow,” he said. “She breathed her last on that pillow and I swore I would die with that pillow under my head.” 

“You loved your momma, didn’t you?”

“I sure did.”


I hope you love your momma. If your mother is on the other side of glory, I hope you love her still and will see her again in God’s timing.


When I look back on my own mom’s life, I loved her deeply but underappreciated her. Now that I have watched my wife raise our children, I have a deeper understanding of the magnitude of work and grace it takes to manage a home, raise children to their full potential and love an imperfect spouse.


And then there is the whole person who is responsible for these great services: a woman who herself wishes to be fulfilled in this life, a life devoted to serving our Lord in all of her  duties, someone who wants to laugh and be loved, someone who feels the responsibility of love and laughter for all of her family, sometimes a doctor, or lawyer, or secretary, or nurse, or teacher, or engineer who loves that work and wants to excel in her occupation, someone like my mother who would seek her deepest desire for me and often look me in the eyes to ask, “Are you happy?,” someone like the woman of God who taught me God’s Word, prayed for me every day of her life and and showed me the true meaning of grace.


Not every woman will become a mother, and God has chosen an equally grand mission for those who will not, but we should honor and praise God for our own mothers and the mother of our children.


I don’t carry my momma’s pillow, but I know why my patient carried it. My debt to my mother, and my debt to the mother of my children, and my amazement at their complexity and beauty must never be forgotten.


Dear God,
Let me always honor my mother. Please bless all those whom you have chosen to bear children.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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