02 September 2012

How I got this way

This is the entry I prayed I would never have to write. I didn't know how I was going to avoid it. I guess I thought there would be some mysterious way Mom would never die.  I don't know if I envisioned a miraculous chariot ride to heaven like the prophets of old, or if she would set a record for being the oldest woman in the world. Either of those would have been pretty awesome.

You see, my mom was not only my mother, she was the one soul on earth I knew would always be on my side. She knew absolutely everything about me and loved me all the more for it. There was no one this side of heaven who could claim that. Tonight, even with the comforting support of family and friends, I can't help but feel my life will never be the same again. But don't let these thoughts make you believe I have abandoned my basic positive outlook on life. For although the ache of her loss is immense, I know this was God's plan for her and I can't help but rejoice in it.

You see, my mother was the one who taught me to "Always look on the bright side of life" long before I met Monty Python.  At one point in my childhood, I thought I had hit the motherlode. Everyday when I came home from school we had fresh homemade doughnuts! Before counting calories and watching fat intake became crucial, this was a very real treat to a little girl who was missing her daddy.  The Air Force had sent him off to the Far East for a year. All those giggling moments around the table gave a feeling of closeness between us which never left. Unbeknownst to me, there had been a snafu with Daddy's allotment and mom was trying to get by on next to no money at all. It was years later when she shared with me that the daily doughnut routine was simply the cheapest way to stretch the food budget.

Another important lessen my mother gave me was her absolute certainty of the Sovereignty of God. It happened when daddy was once again sent off for a year for an Air Force assignment. {I bet Uncle Sam would be surprised to realize just how much God used the Air Force to shape the woman I am today}. I had been out riding my bike in the Oklahoma sun when a pothole sent me and the bike airborne. I succumbed to the force of gravity first and then my bike, in an act of pique I assumed, landed on top of me. This led to Mom and I heading to the ER for the requisite x-rays and such.  We left my younger sisters at home with the teenager next door babysitting.  On our way to radiology, we heard the sirens sound indicating the presence of tornadoes in the area. They take emergencies very seriously when in you are in a military building. We were hustled to the designated safe Zone to wait for the all clear.  This was long before you could reach out and connect with someone via a handy cell phone. There was no way for my obviously concerned mother to check on her children left at home. I remember her holding me close and telling me she had made the decision when we each had been born to consider us as on loan from her Heavenly Father. Therefore she said, we would pray and trust God to take care of His girls. Those scary moments were made peaceable by the way my mother showed me with her quiet spirit to rely on the Sovereignty of God to see us through.

Perhaps the lesson with the most impact came when I was a teenager. As teenagers are often wont to do, I disagreed with the restrictions my mother placed on my person. I felt she could not possibly understand what it meant to be a young woman in the seventies. After all, the current societal role models were young women who were independent and free spirited. Perhaps to better understand my mind set you should know I was going through this time while living in England. I couldn't see how a wife and mother could relate to my desire to find my own way.  In a moment of complete stupidity, I made some smart mouth comment saying she didn't love me but instead just wanted to control me. I still to this day cringe a bit when I remember the hurt look which crossed her face. She was silent for a moment and then asked me to wait while she went to get something.  She came back moments later with my passport. She handed it to me and then said, "I never meant to stifle who you are, my only goal is is to help you become the best you can be and to guide you to the best God has in store for you. If you feel you can do that better, you will need to have this with you when you leave. I love you more than I think you know and I definitely love you enough to let you go your own way." I was completely stunned, and for a moment I had no idea what to do. I took the passport from her hand, looked at her again and then walked out of the house. On autopilot I let my feet carry me to my favorite place.  I loved to walk along the River Deben. Something about the spot seemed to call my name. I was well past the tide mill when I had a revelation. Mom must be feeling how God feels when the people He loves so much turn away from Him. And yet, He loves them enough to let them go. I knew from that moment on, my mum was going to love me and nothing would ever cause her to stop. I went home that afternoon a quiet changed girl. I gave my passport to Mom and told her I thought I'd stay around for a bit and see how things turned out.  It wasn't until I was having a late night gab session with her when I was in my twenties before I told her just how that afternoon had changed my life.

So now you can clearly see how she is responsible for my being who I am today. While I am blessed with an abundance of people who have impacted my life, no one else outside of my Lord had such a role.I am finding great joy in their being united from this day forward.

With a thankful heart,


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