From Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul

The Unlocked Door

When you were small

And just a touch away,

I covered you with blankets

Against the cool night air.

But now that you are tall

And out of reach,

I fold my hands

And cover you with prayer.

Mother’s Covers by Dona Maddux Cooper

In Glasgow, Scotland, a young lady, like a lot of teens today, got tired of home and the restraints of her parents. The daughter rejected her family’s religious lifestyle and said, “I don’t want your God. I give up. I’m leaving!”

She left home, deciding to become a woman of the world. Before long, however, she was dejected and unable to find a job, so she took to the streets to sell her body as a prostitute. The years passed by, her father died, her mother grew older, and the daughter became more and more entrenched in her way of life.

No contact was made between mother and daughter during these years. The mother, having heard of her daughter’s whereabouts, made her way to the skid-row section of the city in search of her daughter. She stopped at each of the rescue missions with a simple request. “Would you allow me to put up this picture?” It was a picture of the smiling, gray-haired mother with a handwritten message at the bottom: “I love you still... come home!”

Some more months went by, and nothing happened. Then one day the daughter wandered into a rescue mission for a needed meal. She sat absent-mindedly listening to the service, all the while letting her eyes wander over to the bulletin board. There she saw the picture and thought, Could that be my mother?

She couldn’t wait until the service was over. She stood and went to look. It was her mother, and there were those words, “I love you still . . . come home!” As she stood in front of the picture, she wept. It was too good to be true.

By this time it was night, but she was so touched by the message that she started walking home. By the time she arrived it was early in the morning. She was afraid and made her way timidly, not really knowing what to do. As she knocked, the door flew open on its own. She thought someone must have broken into the house. Concerned for her mother’s safety, the young woman ran to the bedroom and found her still sleeping. She shook her mother awake and said, “It’s me! It’s me! I’m home!”

The mother couldn’t believe her eyes. She wiped her tears and they fell into each other’s arms. The daughter said, “I was so worried! The door was open and I thought someone had broken in!”

The mother replied gently, “No dear. From the day you left, that door has never been locked.”

Robert Strand

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