The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

A June Mother

By John W. Stoneberger © 1990

Issue: May, 1990

Elizabeth Bernice Roche - photograph circa 1919. Front Cover photograph May 1990 edition.Elizabeth Bernice Roche - photograph circa 1919. Front Cover photograph May 1990 edition.I think June is the most wonderful month in the year. The blue skies are the bluest, white clouds are the whitest, grass is the greenest, flowers smell the sweetest and roses are the dewiest.

My mother was the daughter of John Scott and Cora Virginia Roche of Lewis Mountain near Elkton, Virginia. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Bernice Roche and she was born at this location June 24, 1899. She was heaven's great gift to me. I was born without knowledge and had to learn. You could have put a cabbage leaf over my eyes and told me the sky was falling and I probably would have believed it. But one thing I always seemed to know, my mother's love was real, and she would never leave me or forsake me.

In August 1978 she went to the hospital and spent 19 days. I suffered with her every day, prayed, mustered all the faith I could for her recovery, and often wondered if she died would my grief kill me also.

On September 16, 1978 at 4:30 in the morning, I received a call she had died. As I knelt beside my bed and prayed to thank God for Mama's well needed rest, a heavenly peace came over me, one of the most pleasant shocking surprises I ever had! It wasn't her death that was so terrible. It was her sickness and suffering that was causing me such miserable discomfort.

What a blessed man I am to have had such a precious mother. She cared for me in life, sheltered me, fed me, nursed me in sickness, taught me the way of salvation, and before she left this world I had everything a man would want. I knew how to be set free from sin, to walk righteously before God, to face the future with a good conscience and hope of eternal life.

On Mother's Day I say, "Thank God of heaven for the gift of a beautiful, loving, June Mother."