(With my mother's and sister's permission and recollection, I share today's true story.)
My mother had become dangerously thin. She was 5'2" and weighing somewhere in the 90 lb. range. My sister asked her on that Mother's Day so long ago, "Are you going to die, Mom?" (You can't get anything past little children.)
My mom sat her then five-year-old daughter, Kim, down and explained that she was indeed going to die one day. Kim's immediate response was to tell her that she didn't want to be away from her. My mom saw the opportunity right before her and she explained the salvation message to Kim. She told her about how she believed Jesus had forgiven her of her sins, and He had become the Lord and Savior of her life. Then, she told Kim that she could also be saved through Jesus, and they would be together even after they both died.
This may sound like a manipulative way for a child to become a follower of Jesus, but Kim needed to know there was hope. She needed to know that God loved her mom and her so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to save all people, including both of them. Jesus didn't want them to be apart either.
Kim decided to accept this free gift of salvation on that Mother's Day, and has followed closely to Jesus ever since. My mother, realized through the innocence of her daughter's question, that she needed to stop ignoring what was happening to herself. She checked herself into the hospital. The ulcerative colitis she had been diagnosed with several years ago had taken a dramatic toll on her life, which now required major surgery. My mother would have died had she not gone to the hospital.
My mom had been worrying for quite some time about whether to divorce my dad because of his unfaithfulness, despite the second chance she had given him. He had threatened to take us away from her if she did divorce him. The hospital doctor believed that her constant worry had caused her ulcerative colitis, and she needed to solve whatever was causing her to worry so intensely. A few months after leaving the hospital, she made one of the most difficult decisions of her life. She started the process to divorce my dad. If you read my blog post the other day, you know what follows, http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/blog/2012/5/what-i-learned-from-my-single-mother.
What has impressed me the most about this whole tragic time in our lives is that my mother didn't become bitter, she didn't spew out nasty comments about my dad and she didn't poison our relationship with him. She clung to her faith to get her through the whole mess. Later in life when I contacted my dad, my mom definitely expressed her concern about how closely I should trust him, but it was with restrain. She was afraid he would let me down. (Unfortunately, she was right.) Yet, for all the justifiable accusations she could have made, she never did.
Psalm 37 is my mom's favorite chapter of the Bible. I can see how she could draw strength, peace and confidence from this chapter. Re-reading it today, my eyes landed on a verse I had underlined and could very well have been some verses she had relied on in those days.
"The steps of a man are established by the Lord; and He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; because the Lord is the One who holds his hand."
Today is also my mother-in-law's birthday, but she is not here for us to celebrate with her. Last mother's day, Pat was celebrating the day with us, like she normally does, but she was still battling some sort of stomach issue that the doctor hadn't identified after months of testing. She was diagnosed a couple of weeks later with cancer which we found out had evaded some very vital organs. A strong believer in Jesus herself, she is with her Savior now in heaven, cancer-free and joyful.
This Mother's Day holds mixed feelings for my family and me, but I can say with all confidence that these two mothers, Pat and my mom, Babs, lived and live their lives fully and unapologetically dedicated to Jesus. They would not and do not hesitate to put their children above themselves, but Jesus always held the highest priority above all else, including their children. They were not and are not perfect mothers, but Jesus was and is their Healer, Strength and Peace. I aspire to follow in their footsteps as a mother of my two children, the grandchildren of their grandmothers' legacy.
I've already posted my Mother's Day poem, http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/photowithpoetry/h81bd935#h81bd935, I wrote for my business, Gateway PhotoArtistry™ in my previous blog, http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/blog/2012/5/what-i-learned-from-my-single-mother. Today, I'm posting one of my photographs and poems which truly reflects the type of woman my mother-in-law was and my mother is.
Copyright 2007, "Sleepy Hollow Creek at Sunrise" photograph, and copyright 2010 "Peace" poem by Gena Buskirk-Ford, Gateway PhotoArtistry(™)
If you'd like to purchase the "pho-etry" print above, follow this link http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com/photowithpoetry/h1dc40d7c#h1dc40d7c. The photograph and poem are my copyright. Please do not copy the photograph or the poem unless it is part of this blog post. You are welcome to follow the link and purchase it through my website. Thank you so much for your cooperation.
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by Gena Buskirk-Ford, owner/photographer/writer
Gateway PhotoArtistry™, http://www.gatewayphotoartistry.com
Copyright 2012, "My Sister Saved My Mom on Mother's Day, and My Mom "Saved" Her Right Back," by Gena Buskirk-Ford, Gateway PhotoArtistry(™)