|My mother as a young woman|
I'm thankful she was willing to go through a risky diabetic pregnancy in the mid-1960s (she carried another baby to 8 months, 4 years later, but that baby didn't survive).
I'm thankful for good memories of my childhood. She wasn't crazy about Christmas, but I was spoiled at Christmas. Although I never got lots of candy. She always made sure I had a big box of fruit and nuts. Fruit and nuts?! And she made a fruitcake every year. Christmas was always big as long as our family could afford it. And by the time we couldn't, I was old enough to understand.
I'm thankful for her, "Night night. Sleep tight. Mama & Daddy love you," to which I would answer, "And I love Mama & Daddy," every night for most of my first 16 years of life. This was accompanied by a kiss on the cheek for each of us. I don't recall ever not going through that little routine unless she was in the hospital. It's a good memory.
I'm thankful for her example of loving and caring for her mother and mother-in-law, both of whom were widows from my earliest memories.
I'm thankful for the few quiet conversations we had about growing up - I had just met Wes a few months before she died, and I remember asking her how I would know when I met "The One." I don't remember exactly what she said, though! I managed to find him, anyway.
|When my dad pastored a church in a small town in Tennessee, we had a dialysis machine in our home, which my dad was trained to operate. It worked well for us, as the nearest dialysis facility was 50 miles away in Knoxville.|
I'm thankful for her example of patient suffering through illness. As I look back as an adult, I realize just how sick she really was. Of course, she had her difficult days, but as a general rule, she was not a complainer. Especially not around anyone outside the family.
|This is how I remember her most. She loved to talk, loved to laugh.|
I'm thankful that time - and God - does heal wounds. Although I still think of her quite often, and the knowledge that she is gone is always with me, 32 years have passed and the hurt is not there so much anymore. You never forget a loved one, but you do learn to live again. Remember that if you've lost someone precious to you. You will enjoy life again, and the hurt and shadows will fade with the passing of time, even though they will never go away completely.
|One of the last pictures taken of Mama, on the right, at a church picnic with her mother|
I'm so very thankful for what God has done in our lives in the 32 years since my mother's death. He has given my dad another wife and four more children, 15 grandchildren, and a great-grandson. Weeping endured for a night, but joy came! I've married, had three children, and am now watching my own children begin their adult lives. God has been so so so good to us!