When I was a little girl I knew, without a doubt, that my mother, Karen, was the most beautiful woman in the world. Whether she was working in the garden on a hot July day or scrubbing my carelessly laid tracks of mud off of the floor, no task could tarnish her beauty. I can still recall, with great clarity, the routine of those occasional Saturday evenings when she would prepare to go out on a date with my father . As soon as the bathroom door closed, with my back against the wall, I would slide to the floor, clutch my knees and wait for the moment when the door would open wide once again. A great waft of perfumed air swiftly escaped out into the hallway, where I had waited patiently just to see her emerge, the essence of her femininity glowing like the warm sun on a spring day. With the scent of powder and shampoo drifting out over my toes, encompassing my entire being, I drank it all in. The moment was the essence of my mother - soft, comforting, loving, perfect. Just like her.
|Mom with her precious granddaughter, Phebe Marie.|
I remember how, for years, she would take warm dishes of delicious home cooked food to a couple in town who were in great need of assistance. Sometimes I would go with her when she delivered the meals to them. I remember feeling nervous as we were invited into their small home, sparsely furnished, refrigerator empty, lights turned down. I followed my mom closely, as she led the way of compassion, sharing her offerings with a spirit of tenderness, of gentleness. Rex was a quadriplegic, his wife Mary there to care for his every need, as well as working at the local grocer to provide for the two of them. My mother was always received with great enthusiasm by them both. She was warm, affectionate, and sincere as she spoke to them about their lives, about their days and what was important to them. The authentic love she shared with them beamed like a brisk light, breaking through the darkness that their hardships and sufferings had imposed upon them, upon their surroundings.
She probably doesn't realize it, but my mother is the reason why I always wanted to be a missionary.
All of the words that I have tried to compose over the phone during conversations with mom seem inferior to what I feel. And, what I feel is this:
I do not know why you have cancer. Only our Father knows. But, one thing I am certain of, is that within you is a quiet strength, a strength that comes from a Faith that is deeper and stronger than you know, a Faith that will rise up and be a witness of:
to one who is afraid
to one who feels that their life is not worth living
to one who has fallen away from heart of God
to one who feels that they have nothing more to give
to one who cannot find a reason to smile
to one who is ready to give up
to one is feels alone
|My mom would never - ever - use the word bad-ass, so I'm going to use it for her!|
You picked the wrong lady. You should know better than to mess with my mama. You will lose, you beastly bastard, you will lose.
Thank you for taking the time to be here, to hear my story. Thank you for praying for my mom, for remembering her as you go about your days, for taking part in the mystery of grace and suffering, of healing and of hope. I will continue to update mom's progress here, or on the Facebook page. Please remember my dad in your prayers as well. He really is a champion of great faith and devotion, too, but I cannot imagine how difficult it is for him to walk through this with the one he holds dearest to his heart. I believe he would benefit greatly from your remembrance as well.
With all my heart, thank you!!