Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom (published 11-24-2009)

You would have been seventy-seven years old today, but you were taken from us, so unexpectedly, just two days after Christmas of 2000. You were the hub that turned the family wheel. How would our lives have been different, better, if you had not been taken?

You are the most genuine Christian that I have known. Thank you for your influence for the years that you were with us. You raised four boys, sacrificing yourself in so many ways. You cared for your mother, after Papaw passed, for so many years. You took care of your granddaughters, when they were in need. You helped anyone in any way that you could. You taught Sunday School for thirty-one years. The years that you co-taught the youth division were so influential on me.

You endured so much without complaining, without bitterness. You always drew such strength and support from Jesus, your Savior. Thank you for all your prayers over the years. I wish I had them now.

You did not have much in material wealth, but you laid up countless treasures in heaven. Seeing you there, with Granny, Papaw, Dad, and so many others, especially as you see Jesus himself, comforts me a little. Selfishly, though, I still wish you were here, but healthy.

The year that you endured patiently the terrible suffering before you went to see Jesus was a great example to us. You did not deserve what you endured, but you accepted it graciously. I hope that our care for you during that year was a way of showing our everlasting and profound gratitude for all that you did for us.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the same anymore, because you suffered so much around those times. Also, Papaw got sick on Christmas Day, so many years ago. After you passed, Dad had health problems around Christmas, and we lost him after Christmas in early 2008. I still remember, though, the loving care that you put into all the festive tasks. I wish we could have that again.

I will never be the person that you were. Life has made me hard, angry, and bitter at times. The kernel of who you are, and of what you showed me by your life, is still there. I hope, someday, that it will bud and grow again.

Mom, I will never forget how you made homemade biscuits from scratch early every morning for years and years. You also made a rice crispy Christmas wreath for me every year. Those biscuits, and the wreaths, sum up in symbol who you were – always caring, always doing for us, no matter how much time or difficulty required.

Mom, I miss your biscuits. Will you have some ready for me when I join you someday? I love you, and I miss you.

Your devoted son.