"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Diary of a Blessed Woman

Coffee has brewed and I'm drinking my first cup. Sitting at my daughter's house, early on Monday morning October 13, 2008 I have been pondering.

Life happens in slow motion so quickly. Do you know what I mean? Seems time stands still, then it's time for bed and we wonder "Where did it go?"

Just trying to relive these last three weeks is a blur...yet it seems like it's lasted for years. Driving quickly down to Shreveport the last of September. Looking at a shell of a woman who was my mother...seeing the pain in her eyes. (Just a side-bar here... my mom should be the "poster-child" for every woman who doesn't take calcium to keep her bones strong. My mother's bones deterioated through mis-use. She refused to take care of herself. She ended up with osteoporosis... and was in so much pain, just turning her head caused her to wince.)

My mother was also in so much pain through no fault of her own. She had three types of arthritis...as if osteoporosis wasn't enough...she had psorio-arthritis, rhuemtoid arthritis and osteo arthritis. These last few years she has lived have been years of constant, chronic, never ending pain.

The last time I saw her alive, the pain was etched in every pore of her face. I wanted to pick her up, take her out of the nursing home and care for her so she'd quit hurting. I wanted to scream at the nurses, LPN's and the other people coming in and out of her room, "Can't you see she is in pain...please give her something for her pain!"

I got the call this past Tuesday evening. My mom had died. My first thought was a Job thought... The Lord gives, the Lord takes away...blessed be the name of the Lord. My second thought was, my mom is no longer in pain...she is resting. I knew that my mother was now in God's hands and I could quit worrying about her....I could now quit being angry at her care-takers for the lack of sympathy I perceived.

I saw my mom on Friday, October 10. She had a stern look on her face....but not one of pain...a look of determination...the look I grew up with. My mom was a task-master. She was hard on her two daughters, cleaning, scrubbing...dressing a certain way...acting a certain way... but she was so much harder on herself. She expected perfection from herself...knowing she would never achieve it (which made her more determined than ever to be perfect)... she was so very hard on herself, she became miserable.

She never thought she was good enough. She never thought she was pretty enough, she never thought she was nice enough...her house was never clean enough, her speech was never proper enough....she never thought she was enough. When her children failed, she believed it was her fault... when the paperboy didn't bring the paper, it was her fault. When people talked among themselves in her presence she knew they were making fun of the way she looked, the way she dressed, the way she talked....and she became harder on herself.

She expected perfection...she never achieved it in her own eyes. To my mother, she was a failure.

And even though she never felt that she achieved that perfection in her life, I think her children reminded her often that she achieved something that most mothers can only hope for.

Her four children...warts and all...were Kingdom Kids. Her four children loved the Lord. Her four children had nine children of their own, who loved the Lord. She had three great grandchildren who are being raised to love the Lord.

Isn't that what really matters?

My mother was a blessed woman...and I think at this moment...for the first time in her eternal life, she is getting to see that her life and her death were not in vain. I think now, this moment she is kneeling at the feet of Jesus.... The crown she wears has 4 large jewels on it---and eventually there will be hundreds of jewels...for generations to come...and that's enough. Those four large jewels are the souls of her children...who will continue living the rich heritage of something our mom did right.

The gift will keep on giving.... my mom was blessed beyond measure. And we, her children will think on these things . . .

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