How I Met My Mother

Mom and Silas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I surprised my parents with my birth when Mom was pushing forty. They thought the child-rearing role was behind them with my two older sisters. The Almighty had other plans.

My memories of Mom are vague until I reached almost school-age. Even then, the pictures in my brain are foggy and mysterious. Always a sturdy woman, she towered over me. Her stomping walk resembled that of a duck–feet turned out, head erect, eyes forward–she moved so quickly my two little legs could never keep up.

No one is stronger than my mom, I thought.

I moved through the terrible teens, and managed through my twenties. After my first child was born, my parents retired from serving as officers in The Salvation Army and moved about four miles up the street from our family.

Fast forward a few years and our roles began to change. I accompanied them to doctor visits as their health declined. I checked on them and made a few of their weekly meals.

Fourteen years ago, they moved in with our family of four and it felt right.

But it was hard.

My uniquely passionate father died six years later after two leg amputations. My mother stood by him through it all–his rock–although she wasn’t as sturdy as she’d been. Her shoulders slumped, her hands didn’t work, and she walked with a cane.

It’s like I met her for the first time. Although she appeared strong, she wasn’t. She simply did what needed to be done. Caring for my dad–a full-time job–her family, and her congregation from the Salvation Army where my parents served.

Now I’m caring for her.

She’s ninety-five years old and probably doesn’t have much time to live. Through these fourteen years of caregiving, I’ve experienced a range of emotions from anger to resentment to deep sadness, even despair. But recently, when I look at my mama’s creased face, I’m filled with love and compassion and mercy.

It’s a God thing.

In fact, the similarities between how I feel about my new grandson and my mother are astounding.

The time with Silas as a baby is quickly slipping away. The time left with Mom will be over soon. Both are precious.

Both are completely dependent on someone to care for them and protect them. They each have personality traits to be discovered and encouraged.

I know I’m a writer, but I couldn’t possibly put on paper the emotions I experience with them on a daily basis.

Each evening I’m with Silas I sing a special made-up song and watch him smile and try to sing along.

Every night, I slip into Mom’s room, hold her hand and sing, All night, all day, angels watching’ over me, my Lord. All night, all day, angels watching over us.¬†Then I pray.

She used to sing with me each night, but lately she will sing a word or two or not at all, but I know she hears.

What am I trying to say?

Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die.”

And both should be experienced and treasured to their fullest.

Happy New Year! I pray that your lives will be lived in the light of the joy of eternity.

 

 

 

6 Comments on "How I Met My Mother"

  1. Melinda S says:

    There are tears. And sadness. And memories of my time with my mom.

    I’m so glad you are realizing that both are times to be cherished for they end way to quickly.

    Praying for you, my friend.

  2. Patricia says:

    Aunt Pauline, thank you for loving and taking care of your mom and my grandmother! Thank you for singing and talking and holding her hand and just being a quite presence! Your gift to grandma is precious and priceless! Thank you for giving!
    I love you, Patricia

  3. Pauline says:

    Love you, too, Patricia. Just prayed for your family this morning:-)

  4. Pauline says:

    Thank you, Melinda. Soooo glad for prayers. That’s where the real power is…

  5. Diane gordon says:

    One of your best. Sweet memories put hard times and struggles in perspective. Life moves slowly and then quickly and then they are gone,but love remains and we miss them.

  6. phylton says:

    Thank you. You’re a dear friend:)

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