10 May 2013

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

the wonder of a mother

Stop. Drop. Write for five minutes.


All on one word: Comfort


Look how her chin rests on the top of my  head. So tender, so intimate. I wasn’t one yet. Born into the heart of Zululand and mangoes and the clicks and lore and ceremonies of Shaka and his Zulus. My dad loved that land with his bones and brought his new wife out for his medical fellowship. Under the mango trees and barefoot, I grew up.

I can almost feel the imprint of her palm on my chest. Right here below my heart. I’m only almost holding onto her thumb. She with the dark hair and glasses and cupping me in her lap and her life. Old photos can sing a love song. This one comes from a book weathered with glue that certainly wasn’t acid free and layers of looped blue handwriting that peels back my memory to a time and a place I’ve only lived in via somebody else’s story.

I can feel her chin on my head.

I am held.

I want to be.

Girls never outgrow their mothers, do they?

I hold Zoe on my lap and in my memory and it’s like I’ve climbed into this photograph and found my way back into the circle of her arms.



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Oh girl! I can not even tell you how beautiful this is. You honour her with this… and no, you never outgrow your mother. Their love created the song our hearts will hear for the rest of our lives.

  2. 2

    You are so blessed to have had such a loving mom. Some of us have to dig deeper to find these comforting memories from our childhood. Thank you so much for continuing to push me in my writing :)

  3. 3


  4. 4

    Your Mum would be so proud of you, so very proud. xx

  5. 5

    What a gift the feeling of that imprint of her hand is! This is a gorgeous remembrance, Lisa-Jo. And, as a Floridian living in New England, I so miss my mama’s mango trees!

  6. 6

    I could hardly breath reading this – such beauty and strong feeling. You and your words, Lisa-Jo…oh my {in a very good way}. Praying for you this Mother’s Day weekend, dear friend.

  7. 7

    “Girls never outgrow their mothers, do they?” No, no they don’t. And I just can’t stop thinking I am looking at two of you in this photo! Just beautiful.

  8. 8

    Yes, I would like to climb into that photograph as well. Beautifully written.

  9. 9

    How beautiful your post is, full of love for your mom! I love it so much!

  10. 10

    Love this prompt. It was the perfect one with Mother’s day approaching. Your story was lovely and I did relate to it .

  11. 11

    Hi Lisa-Jo! I loved this post. It was truly inspirational. I’ve linked my Make My Saturday Sweet, but don’t be alarmed, it is the same post that has my Five Minute Friday. Enjoy your weekend!

    Tina – American mom raising 4 kids in South Africa

  12. 12

    Beautiful! I must say, all three of yours look so much like YOU! :)

  13. 13

    Three generations of beautiful women – the legacy you leave Zoe with these stories, your words, memories captured? She’s going to cherish this one day when she’s a mama.

  14. 14

    really well captured, and a wild and weepy YES!! to the tenderness captured for a millisecond…

  15. 15

    You captured this moment and your legacy so perfect here. What a beautiful memory, beautiful illuminated by your words. I have to tell you that five min friday has become an unbelievable blessing in my life. So much more than a way to network and grow my blog. Nearly every week The Holy Spirit uses your prompts to draw out of my me such surprising truths He wants to say, and then leads me to Spirit filled blogs to be blessed again. So thanks for being faithful in doing five min friday.

  16. 16

    beautiful!!!! the picture and the way you describe the picture. What a gorgeous tribute to your Mama. Happy Mother’s Day.

  17. 17

    I so enjoy reading the words from your heart – so pure, so heartfelt, so poetic. You are blessed with those memories and conveying them through your gift of writing. You are blessing – to us who read them now and your little ones who read them then!

    Thank you!

  18. 18

    Everything you write is like poetry and this was no exception. And no, we never outgrow our moms, do we?

  19. 19

    LJ- love this! Such powerful and tender words to describe such a beautiful moment.

  20. 20

    I don’t believe we ever outgrow needing our mothers. I look at pictures of my mom from my long ago childhood and see her more from the mother point of view, than as that of the daughter. Makes me love and appreciate her all the more. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  21. 21

    Have you taken a picture of you and Zoe like this? I think that would be a wonderful tradition to start – photos of mommy and baby girl, with mommy’s chin on baby girl’s head. Such a sweet photograph.

    I always enjoy reading your posts. I wish that I could write like you. May you continue to be blessed.

  22. 24

    Hey Lisa-Jo, I don’t know if my Dad visited your blog and actually commented, but I mailed him & my mom your post this morning, because it made me cry and I thought they would appreciate it and this is what my Dad sent back:

    That is very moving for one who knew Jo, and knew her at Manguzi amidst the mangoes and the clicks, with her chin resting lightly, lovingly on the head of her little daughter. Love, Dad.

    • 25
      Lisa-Jo says:

      Oh man. Thank you for that. From those who knew her and me together – it’s priceless because the circle is so small. Thank you Micklyn.

  23. 26

    Oh to have that tender moment again! Hugs to you… its hard to have and lose and wonder and miss it all and be comforted just by the memory if it all.

    Thanks for leading us all down that path again!

  24. 27

    Such a lovely memory to hold on to.

  25. 28

    I don’t have a website. can I still share my five min. fridays with everyone. If so how? by comment?

    • 29
      Lisa-Jo says:

      Hey Erin, you can feel free to just paste it into a comment here – more than welcome; would love to hear your words.

  26. 30

    WOW! This was a very touching memory you shared with us. Thank you. :) What a wonderfully comforting post. :)

  27. 31

    Beautiful, we never do outgrow our Mums, so true.

  28. 32

    Precious. So very Precious.

  29. 33

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Indeed, girls never do outgrow their moms. And thank heavens for that. We are the legacy.


  30. 34

    Hello Lisa Jo!

    Happy to sign up my first post for Five Minute Friday. I have always enjoyed the many times I’ve seen the posts scattered around the web so today, I decided to search you out and join in. So glad I did!

    I’m off to visit the poster in front of me. Blessings on you and this amazing community!

    Cassandra from Renaissance Women

  31. 35

    We never do Lisa-Jo. Well into my sixties, with the priceless blessing of still having my Mom with me, and I still find her presence a place of comfort.
    You always go so beautifully right to heart of things. This is beautiful. I see your children in your little face. I love that.

  32. 36

    “Under the mango trees and barefoot, I grew up.” I’m a fifty-something Australian living in Canada where tiny rain-boots and parkas are worn before a child’s first birthday and it seems to me, restrict movement through most of childhood; this just took me back fifty years…Mum and Dad were missionaries in Papua New Guinea – the heat, the heavy sweetness of the mangoes and the freedom of bare feet. Homesick.

  33. 37

    so blessed to feel this way about your mom.
    this weekend is harder for many of us with the mom still living, unloving – never intentional.

  34. 38

    You look like your Mom and I am sure she is so proud. I can see her imprint on you – touching others in a glorious way !

  35. 39

    “Old photos can sing a love song.” Yes. I’m so glad you have this comfort, Lisa-Jo.

  36. 40

    It is a bond that can’t be broken, for sure. I lost my mom a year and a half ago and miss her so much. This was a great word for this Mother’s Day weekend. :) Lovely post.

  37. 41

    What beautiful thoughts and beautiful writing! Bless you!

  38. 42

    Always amazed at the beauty you weave in five minutes!! I could learn so much from you!!

  39. 43
    melissa says:

    could u please tell me how to join and get involved??? it’d be greatly appreciated lol thx

  40. 44

    Hi! This is a very touching post! You’re brave Lisa-Jo!
    Late for the link up, so here it comes:

  41. 45
  42. 46

    thank goodness we never outgrow our mothers bc I don’t ever want my kids to outgrow me! http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2014/02/comfort-5-minute-prompt.html

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