Sunday, May 10, 2015
I Learned A lot Looking Up To My Mom
All day Mother's Day, I couldn't get my mind off my mom. Though she is gone now she still fills a large space in my heart and the life lessons she taught me remain clear and relevant.
I thought on those life lessons and realized what an amazing woman, and mother she was. For she never in her long life ever gave me reason not to look up to her.
I thought about all of the many times I looked up to her. When I was little and had colds that made my childhood asthma even more difficult I can still remember laying sick in bed, and looking up to her as she bent gently to rub my chest with Vick's vapor rub and place a Vick's soaked warm pad to ease my breathing and my fear. I looked up to her and she would be the last face I saw as I fell peacefully asleep.
When I was still too young to seek out the world's adventures it was my mom who took my hand and led me out into the world. Whether going into a store or entering a church, or leading me to my first day of school I would hold her hand and look up to her, confident that she was taking me to someone or somewhere, where no harm would come to me.
When sitting at the kitchen table and waiting for mom to bring me eggs or oatmeal or a peach cobbler, I sat and looked up to her and she, with brow moist, and tugging on an apron, brought sustenance for the body and for the soul as well.
Even when I got older and towered over my mother I still looked up to her. I always contemplated the limits of her eighth grade education and marveled at her native intelligence, at her diligence in finding and knowing what was going on in the world. She read the paper daily and made me believe it was important to know our world.
In the final days before she died I looked up to her as well. I slept on a futon on the floor just beside her bed. During those last nights she was in avid conversations with her angels. She talked to her Papa and to her mother, she talked to her daughter, her brother, all of whom had gone before her. As I lay in the night darkness I heard her calling out to each of them by name, as if in joyful reunion the way one does when coming home to see family again.
As I lay there, looking up at my mother, I marveled at the way God prepares us for our final journey; trooping out all the family and friends to form a greeting party, each extending to her a beckoning hand, a loving hand, just as loved ones do in this life. Yes, she spent her days extending love to all of us, making us ready for her departure. Sometimes, when strength was there, she murmured endearments, sometimes she could express it only with her loving eyes. But her nights were spent in reunion with her angels and I was privileged to look up to her, to see and hear the murmurings.
Now, she has been gone for a decade. Yet, she is always just over my shoulder, looking out for me. All I need do to see her again is turn a bit and look up over my shoulder; to again look up to a mom who never game me reason not to.