The young mother set her foot on the path of life.
"Is the way long?" she asked.
Her Guide said: "Yes and the way is hard but the end will be better than the beginning."
The young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, gathering flowers for them along the way and the sun shone on them. Life was good and the young mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovlier than this."
Then night came a storm and the path was dark. Her children shook with fear and cold. The mother drew them close, covered them eith her mantle and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near. No harm will come." The mother said,"This is better than the brightness of day for I have taught my children courage."
The morning came and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, but all the time she said to the children, "A little patience and we will be there." So the children climbed and when they reached to top they said, "We could have not done it without you, mother." The mother lay down that night, looked up at the stars, and said, "This is a better day than the last for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness."
The next day came strange clouds which darkened earth-clouds of war, hate and evil. The children groped and stumbled. The mother said, "Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light." The children looked up and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory. It guided them and brought them out of the darkness. The mother said, 'This is the best day of all got I have shown my children God."
The days went on, the weeks, months and years and the mother grew old, tired and weary. Her children were tall and strong and walked with courage. When the way was hard, they helped their mother. When the way was rough, they lifted her and carried her.
At last they came to a hill and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. The mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. Now I know that the end is better than the beginning for my children walk alone and their children after them." The children said, "You will always walk with us, mother, even when you have gone through the gate.
They stood and watched her go on alone and the gates closed after her. They said, "We cannot see her but she is with us still. a mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a Living Presence.