September 27, 2011

A Tribute to Mom by Peggy

We are not in control of what time in history we will be born, or in what body we will arrive. Nor do we get to choose our parents. However, I feel that God absolutely makes perfect choices for us. I know that the mother he gave me was precious, and I will always love her.

I am one of eight children…the second child and the first girl. We ranged in age from newborn to 17….five boys and three girls. I could write volumes about myself, but the condensed version is that I have been blessed with a wonderful life with not too many traumatic events interrupting it.

My father passed away in his 50’s, so my mother raised us by herself. She was always thought of as the best mom ever…the one that all the neighborhood kids wanted to be their mother. She was not only beautiful on the outside, but she had an internal loveliness that was evident to everyone. She was a leader in her home, as well as a person who showed her love and compassion for others in her church and community. She shared her life with anyone needing help or encouragement. My mom was always there for us, no matter what sacrifice it meant for her. She quietly and sweetly gave us love and direction. Her patience in the midst of chaos was always beyond our understanding. Absolutely, she was one of a kind.

I could write so much more about my mom, but I am only sharing the tip of the iceberg so you will know something about my relationship with her. Kathleen has asked us to write for her blog about the greatest challenge we have had to face, how we saw the Lord in this struggle, and how God gave us victory in this trial. Immediately, I knew that I would write about an incident with my mom.

We celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday two years ago in May. She was in vibrant physical health and her mind was still sharp and quick. The party was a grand event with about a hundred people in attendance. The eight siblings had planned extensively, and guests arrived from all over the country, covering years of past relationships in my mom’s long, beautiful life. We will always be grateful that we had that special day together.

About four months later, my mother began having a few seemingly minor health problems. She made several short trips to the hospital, but nothing significant was discovered. On the eve of my birthday in November, I got a call from the retirement home where she lived. She had been taken to the hospital complaining of back and stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing. I immediately went to be with her, and she was admitted early the next morning….on my birthday. Siblings began arriving, and the second day we met with the doctor to receive a diagnosis. (Here comes the “greatest challenge” part). We were literally shocked to hear him say that she had terminal cancer. It didn’t seem possible…or correct. She had jokingly planned to live to be 100, so this was 10 years too soon, by our calculations. It was just not believable, and we were devastated.

I have been a Christian for over 40 years, and have never had to go through anything this difficult. One of my sisters and I were the two siblings who spent the most time at Mom’s bedside….talking, praying, crying, laughing, sharing, loving, feeding, sleeping, singing, soul searching, planning….just trying to make sense out of what we had come face to face with….the fact that death comes to each of us….ready or not. However, in my mother’s last moments on this earth, only 12 days after she entered the hospital, God gave me the distinct privilege of being alone with her as she slipped from life as we know it, into the arms of our loving Savior. I had never been with anyone through that experience, but I knew without a doubt, that it was God’s perfect plan for my mom and me.

During those twelve days, and many times afterwards in the following two years, I saw how God cared for each family member and friend of Mom’s in a special way that was pertinent to that person. I also experienced His tender, loving mercy toward my mom during her illness. He touched hearts and affected lives in different ways. All eight of her children loved her dearly, but it became very clear that God wanted my one sister, mentioned above, and me to speak at her memorial service. He graciously gave us a month to prepare, and I was convinced that it was imperative for me to share about Him. I prayerfully and carefully chose my words, and selected scriptures that would honor Him. In my tribute to my mother, I presented the gospel to a church filled with individuals from varying religious beliefs, and the results were amazing, as they can only be when God is working. God led me through something I never could have accomplished without Him, and I thank and praise Him for that.

I am positive that I am a changed person because of this event and all the surrounding circumstances. I now see life from an entirely different perspective….more reflective and with a depth of understanding, as well as a desire to know more of God’s plan for my life. The victory in this trial comes slowly on a daily basis, as I am still a work in God’s process. He comforts me and gives me a sense of peace through my pain.  My prayer is that I will continue on my journey to be the best possible witness for our precious Lord so that when my time comes to slip away and be with Him, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21).


Peggy is wife to one, mother of three, grandmother of 8 and my real life friend.












2 comments :

  1. Peggy,

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mama. Reading about her life made me wish I knew her and challenged me to cosider how I am living my life here on earth in reference to how others will view me when I take my last breath.

    Thank you for sharing an amazing person with me and my readers.

    Hugs,

    Kat

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  2. Dear Miss Peggy,

    What a beautiful relationship you had with your mother! Only God can form ties so strong. It is obvious that she had a deep impression in your life, one that you will never forget, and one I'm sure you have passed to your children and will pass to your grandchildren.

    I hope to see you again soon.

    Kaitlin

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