The View From My Window

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by Mary L. Hamilton

I thought the box in my cupboard held some of my writing craft books. But when I took it out and opened it, I found it filled with items culled from my mother’s house years ago when she moved into assisted living. I sifted through the treasured memories, feeling as if I’d stepped into an attic filled with antiques.

There was my autograph book from fifth grade. My ninth grade confirmation picture. Photos of my own children when they were young that I’d sent to Mom in an effort to stay connected across the miles that separated us. And there, among all the memorabilia of a lifetime, lay a book I’d written especially for my mother.

The year was 1980. I was twenty-four and on my own, working in a city a thousand miles from home and family. Time and distance often make us appreciate what we once took for granted. That was certainly the case with this book—handwritten with twenty-four entries (one for each year of my life to that point), each illustrated with a simple hand drawing of a birthday cake, a toy Jack-in-the-Box, musical notes, a telephone, report card or some other item related to that particular essay.

Here’s how I opened the book:

“William Thackeray once wrote, ‘Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.’ As I’ve grown, I’ve come to think that this may be true for adults as well as little children…Even at the age of twenty-four, when I am sick in bed, it is my mother’s care and sympathy that I long for.”

Each entry discussed something I appreciated about her. I recalled the way she encouraged me to spread my wings and go to new places, even when she wasn’t certain what I was getting myself into. I thanked her for spending the night in an uncomfortable hospital chair after my emergency appendectomy. I admitted she was right all those times she tried to get me to see the other side of things I complained about.

Mom never said anything about the book after I gave it to her. I’m sure it just slipped her mind during the times we chatted by phone those days. There were always more important, more immediate things to talk about. But I’m certain the Lord planned my discovery of this book. Four years ago, Mother went into the hospital on the night of my birthday. Three days later, she was in the presence of Jesus. A sense of grief over her absence had been hanging over me since October, often tinged with regret over minor things I wish I could go back and change. But after reading through my book, I felt confident that Mom knew how much I loved her. The sadness and regrets were gone.

This book will never be a best seller. No more than a handful of people will ever read it. But no matter how many other books I write and publish, The View From My Window will always be the book of my heart.

The View From My Window


Mary L. HamiltonBesides the book she wrote for her mother, Mary L. Hamilton is the author of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for middle-grade readers and, more recently, a cozy mystery for grown-ups called Pendant. Besides writing, she enjoys knitting, spending time with family, and watching sunsets over a lake with her husband. Find out more at 



Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series: 

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  1. Love this post “A View From My Window.” Also greatly appreciate the references to God and His participation in our lives. You can count me as a friend.


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