She would have been 70 years of age today had she been able to survived her battle with dementia and Lord knows what else that might have plagued her tired body. While she wasted away in relative mental obscurity those final months of her life, she was very much in our family's thought and earnest prayers.
Mom had a really good sense of humor when you could get her to slow down long enough to talk and carry on with you.
She raised 5 kids to adulthood and carried one child to her grave due to a drowning accident. Mom never recovered her love for the water after Beth Louise died in the creek behind our home on Mallory Street.
Mom was a very hard worker. She never shirked her duty or stated defiantly, "I'm not going to work today - I'm gonna lay here on this sofa and watch TV all day!" Mom could work like nobody's business and she set a keen example to her kids about work and the ethic that went behind it.
Like a lot of women of her generation, she smoked some, drank some, and cussed, too. That is before she made amends with her Creator. After that, she went to church whenever the doors opened and sang from memory (imagine - with dementia!) line by line the old hymns of the Faith. I wish I could have stood next to her in those days to hear her voice opine her trust in Christ as her own Savior and Lord. My loss, for certain.
My Mom and I did not get along for many years: misunderstandings, misplaced anger, and too many troubled years added to the height of the wall that we erected between ourselves and a meaningful mother-son relationship. I now know that some of the pain I felt from her was caused by behaviors impacted by a dementia that stayed too-well hidden in those formative years. I grieve that I couldn't have understood then what I do now!
I am a sojourner on my way to another Land - one called Heaven. My Mom is there and I'll join her one day to pick up where we left off when things were better. We'll both have insight into the real issues that came between us and the walls will be torn away brick by brick by the Master Contractor of Mended Relationships. I'll enjoy hearing her voice again, not in shouts, but in soothing tones of recognition and joy. I can hardly wait.
Happy Birthday, Mom. My gift to you is my love, my longing, and my leanings toward a life of godliness that will enable me to reach your new Home where I can come in and sit down with you and enjoy a meal worthy of The King you now see and know and worship.
Keep the kitchen light on, Mom, for I'll be right along!