“The Sweetest Gift” is a song that always makes me cry. It’s written by gospel composer James B. Coats. This is the version that I became familiar with from Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. Dolly Parton said that her mother used to sing this song to her.
On a Thursday night, my sister, brother-in-law, their two kids, my wife and I went to see my mother in the hospital. It was a lovely visit. When we left, I looked back through the doorway to see her smiling at us from her hospital bed. This is my last memory of her. Two days later, my mother passed away.
This song is about the gift of a mother’s smile.