Fast forward to the mid 1950's...boy meets girl. The rest they say is history.
I grew up in a atmosphere of love, music, love of the outdoors and the heritage of knowing the Lord. Grandma had passed it on to Mom and she to her children! Mom demonstrated the ability to love six children unconditionally. Rarely taking side in sibling spats. She carried the burden of parenting all of us when Dad's career took him out of town for periods of time. She loved the Lord, served God and community in many areas. Proudly became the mother of a Marine, and Mother in law in soldier, sailor, airman and marine. There was no branch of the military she didn't know all the words of their 'song'!
Forgiveness was an important part of who she was. She demonstrated the ability to do so for each of us. Much like the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, Mom gave of herself for the love of her family, her community and her Lord.
I strive to be like that. I would love to have another moment with her, but I treasure all the last moments I share with her. She wept with me when I lost babies to miscarriage, because she knew the pain. She laughed with me when my children entertained us with toddler antics. Prayed over me when I was sick. Sang to me when I couldn't hold my head up from weariness. She played the piano, as Dad sang when we were wee little. Hugged me, and enlisted my help when I found out she and Dad were Santa's helpers! (I was so disappointed! That meant there was no bunny?!!) One Christmas Dad was so ill and had a high fever, as a teen, I feared for his life. Mom woke my older sister and I to finish the annual task of wrapping boxes and sliding them under the tree. She stayed with Dad, and prayed and cried and kept pulling stuff out of the closet! Who knew it would hold all that stuff! Somewhere after midnight, Brenda and I went to bed. Not sure Mom slept that night. When we woke the next morning, I KNEW there was a Santa Clause! How else do you explain the gifts that extended out into the center of a large living room? And there was Dad, fever gone and healthy as ever. God is so good!
For fifty five years, my mother never ceased to amaze me. Sometimes I wondered how she knew what I thought no one could. How did she pull of total surprises to please her family? Food was plentiful, her potato salad was not to be duplicated by anyone else...ever. ( I like to think mine comes close) Pot luck carry in for holidays, always! But before anyone else arrived there was already enough food in variety and quantity to feed every one!!! Yes, she was a wonderful woman, my mom. Not without fault, but reminded me that the Lord is full of grace and forgiveness. I know she dwells with him now. Last winter, my sister went to be with the Lord after a courageous battle of cancer, I rejoice for the two of them. While weeping for myself.
My youngest came along long after Mom went home. He only knows the heritage of her love. But in that he does have the example of my Dad, who, upon loosing his life mate, took on traits she demonstrated for him over the years. It is as if her spirit of love and family absorbed into his being. I miss Mom, but treasure the portion of her that lives inside of me.
Thank you Jesus, my Savior, for your loving care and sacrifice for me. Thank you for your grace and love for my life and my family. Thank you for the growth inside that comes from the lessons we learn. For each hurt and painful experience of this life, brings with it an opportunity to grow in you, to witness your mercy.
May you be richly blessed as you enter your preparations for the Thanksgiving meal. Please remember the bridegroom cometh, be prepared.