Saturday, May 9, 2015


She was two years old when her daddy died, and her mom remarried a man who was abusive to her mother and to her.

Her mother (my grandma) ended up institutionalized and Mom lived with her stepfather who continued to be abusive.  When she was eighteen, Mom went to live with her Uncle Jim and Aunt Beulah.  They were good people. (I remember Pappy (uncle Jim) mostly for his large yard that was 100% garden and for the black licorice babies that he would give each of us kids every other Sunday when he and Mom would go to visit my grandma)  Mom was thrilled when she got to go and live with them, and they actually allowed her to date (at age eighteen)! 

My Pappy
Mom had a thing for guys in uniform; so when her and her friend spied two Navy guys leaving a local club one night the girls were on them like peanut butter on jelly. 

“I want the tall one,” Mom said.  

 Dad was the short one.  

And now you know the rest of the story....
My dad - the short one on the left
But Mom was an optimist, and she knew how to make things work.  

A nice sized rock for my Dad to stand on made him taller… 
Cereal for supper made our money go farther…  and peritoneal dialysis made her last days more bearable. 

Mom was not perfect.  

She would have been the first one to enlighten you if you said that she was.  

But I did not know one person who did not like her, 
flaws and all. 

Sitting at her dialysis table.  She did a solution exchange 4X a day and it took an hour for each one.  Since she was almost blind, she had to feel to do it.
On this Mother’s Day I remember the one and only person who made me feel as though I hung the moon.  The one I could call on the phone anytime and talk about anything.  The one who cared and loved me unconditionally. The one who felt I was important, special, loved no matter what!

May 8, 1994

It was a beautiful day.  Mothers Day.   It felt good to concentrate on my family and getting the kids and myself off to Sunday school and church.  

The week had been busy.  Multiple doctor visits for Mom meant I had to fight that big bulky wheel chair a number of times that week.  Getting it in and out of the car was almost impossible, it was so heavy and cumbersome.  Mom's mood didn't help.  I tried to smile and stay positive but the day she scolded me when she felt the wheelchair was not positioned just right had brought tears to my eyes and I had to swallow the lump that was in my throat without letting her know that her words hurt me.  She was not usually like that, but I understood.  She wasn't feeling well.  

The day was mine.  I would enjoy it with my kids and take Mom some dinner later.  We were ready to walk out the door when the phone rang.  

She needed me.

Would I ever have a life again?  Would I ever know what it was like to not have to drop what I was doing and drive over to Mom's to help her out of the chair?  Or to help with her dialysis when she could no longer see to do it?  Or do an emergency trip to the ER?  Or pick up a script?  Or, as in that day's unusual emergency, free her walker from being stuck between the bedroom and the bathroom?  

Frustrated, I did what I had to do.  

 God is glorious in how He orders our steps, changes our plans, humbles us, and brings us where we need to be in our lives.  

When I walked into Mom's apartment, the sun shone warm through the big window that overlooked the parking lot below.  I no longer felt violated by having to give up my own agenda yet again, but rather, a peace came over me like never before.  After freeing Mom's walker, I made her toast for breakfast.  She was having a good day, so then I made her a second helping of toast.  We talked and laughed and she thanked me over and over again.  I didn't want to leave and so I stayed into the afternoon.  Then I went and stood in a long line that seemed to go on forever so I could pick up dinner (chopped steak, mashed potatoes with gravy and green beans from the Silver Leaf Restaurant, that was her request for the day) and bring it back for her.  

Two months later, she was gone.  

Though at the time my patience was tried to the limit, I knew in my heart that one day I would be grateful for the opportunity to serve Mom for those years she was ill.  

She was a pretty good mom in spite of her troubled childhood.  So often today, adults blame their brokenness on the way they were raised.  It is my conclusion that we need to come to a point in our lives where we accept responsibility for our decisions and our actions.  Mom is proof that living a good, honest life of integrity and becoming better comes from learning and growing into a responsible adult, forgiving the hurt that was caused her by others, and moving on having learned from her own mistakes and of those who went before her.    

Our last Mother's Day together will always hold a special place in my heart.

I love and miss you Mom, and I’m so looking forward to our reunion one day.