My mom passed away twenty-five years ago, but there are still times when I almost reach for the phone to call and tell her something. I used to feel a punch in the stomach when that happened, knowing there would be no answer on the other end of the line. Now, I just send up a message. “Oh, Mom, you would love this…”
The time I had with her while she was here on this planet was a blessing. She was an amazing woman. Faithful, disciplined, always busy doing things for other people – especially family members. She had a small wardrobe: a couple of white nursing uniforms and cap, work clothes for helping Dad build our home (literally, from the foundations up) and work in the garden, a few dresses for church, and slacks and half a dozen blouses she made for everyday wear. She had one favorite blouse pattern; a button-down, long-sleeved collared shirt.
I’ve found ways to spend time with her. Her Mother’s Hope is based on my mother’s relationship with her mother. Mothers and daughters don’t always understand one another, but having seen them together over the years, I know their bond of love was strong.
Mom and Dad both grew up during the Depression. Whatever extra money they saved, they used to enhance family life. We went on a two week vacation every year (the only time off they had) and they used it to take me and my brother to as many National Parks as they could pack in. They sent us to camps, made sure we had swimming lessons, dance lessons (for me), music lessons (baritone for my brother, piano for me) and college education. I received a hand-written letter every week when away at school. No easy email and texting in those days. She took time and thought when she wrote. She could read between lines and offered gentle advice. Some advice I’ve never forgotten. It can’t be sunshine all the time or the flowers wouldn’t grow for lack of rain.
My love of nature came from her. While my brother and Dad fished, Mom and I would wander the forest, meadow, beach or stream, looking at flora and fauna. We talked about everything. She had strong views and compassion. She respected others’ opinions and didn’t take offense easily, something far from common these days.
It’s been two and a half decades and she still smiles down at me from the picture hanging on my office wall – right next to one of my dad with his impish smirk.
It’s good to know she’s still very much alive, and probably too busy enjoying real life to be watching what’s happening in my temporal world. She knows full well that God is in control and everything will turn out all right. And since it’s eternity, no time at all will pass before I walk through the thin veil and see her and Dad again.
Quite a concept – eternity. No time to lose. No time to gain. No time. Period. Just life. In His Presence. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human can comprehend what God has prepared for those who love Him. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.