Avery Rock Lighthouse, Maine

Connie hated Mother’s Day.

She hadn’t always felt that way. On the contrary, she and her four siblings enjoyed honoring their mother, the epitome of perfection. Mother’s home was always neat and tidy-just  like she was. She was an excellent cook and managed to care for the home and her five children with Papa away for long periods of time in his job as crew-member for the lifesaving station on the coast of Maine.

Soon after Connie married, her husband Elson took a position of assistant light keeper at Channel Light. However, the lighthouse was situated in the middle of Lubec Channel, and was a two-man light with no room for a keeper’s wife. Connie lived on the mainland, only seeing Elson when they could visit each other. When Elson had the opportunity to become keeper at Avery Rock, Connie became his assistant and the two worked together to maintain the light and quarters on the isolated island.

As the years passed, Connie’s hope for children diminished. Even though she loved her nieces and nephews, relishing the little time she was able to spend with them, she yearned for a child of her own. But time marched on without a baby to add to their household. Elson knew how her heart ached for a child and tried his best to make her happy. When Mother’s Day approached, Connie’s pangs of emptiness were particularly painful.

Frequently, Elson had to take the rowboat to the mainland for mail and supplies, leaving Connie alone. As she busied herself about the lighthouse, she wondered what surprise he might bring back with him. Since they couldn’t grow anything on the barren island, Elson had built flower boxes, so Connie was especially excited when he returned with flower seeds or vegetable plants.

One Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, Elson returned from the mainland and handed Connie a shoebox full of holes.  When Connie lifted the lid, she saw a tiny ball of fur and lifted out the mewing kitten. Elson told her it had been orphaned, but still needed a mother, and he thought Connie might want to take care of it. At first too young to drink from a saucer, Connie fed it warm, canned milk with a medicine dropper until it was old enough to eat solid food.

“Kitty” grew into a handsome black and white cat and became the third member of the household, keeping Connie and Elson entertained and providing them with furry companionship. Gradually the pain of childlessness subsided as Connie enjoyed the addition to their family.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18