I’ve been missing my mom a lot this year. It seems every time I turn around I either see an actual photo of her, or I will see a picture of her in my mind; my memories.
My memories…what a wonderful place that can be. She gave me so many good ones. Mom was so kind, so gentle, and loving. She always seemed to be so happy. It was very seldom she did not have a smile on her face.
I sometimes like to people watch. I wonder what has happened in their lives to make them act the way they do
Some seem in a hurry, like they are on a mission with important things to do. Often they are the ones with noses in the air and they are rude to those they pass. Others seem mad at the world and full of obscenities and hate. There are some people who are so full of self-pity that they can’t see anything good around them. Then there are people like my Mom who have gone through so much in life, yet are the sweetest, most giving, and most appreciative people.
I believe Mom was in the 4th grade when she became ill with rheumatic fever. She told me she spent nearly an entire year bedridden. She could not even turn over in bed without help from her parents. She had to learn how to sit up and walk all over again. When she was able to return to school, she couldn’t run and play like the other kids for quite sometime.
Rheumatic fever damaged her heart valve, yet she lived a fairly normal life.
In later years her health began to fail her again. She had two operations for lung cancer; both successful. She also had to have her heart valve replaced and was on coumadin for the rest of her life. She had a hard time keeping her blood level (INR) regulated and had several strokes as a result. Most were small strokes, but one left her totally blind.
Within a couple of weeks she regained enough sight to recognize her family and walk on her own. Her eyes were left permanently dilated and light gave her bad headaches. She had to wear dark glasses all the time. She had no peripheral vision so she often bumped into things. Mom was left legally blind. She said she didn’t care about that. “God let me see my family again, and that is enough!” Her glass was always ½ full, not ½ empty.
Mom died 23 years ago when she was just 62. Her strength, courage, love for God, family, and life in general amazes me. I draw on her character to get me through so many days. She is indeed my “Morning Light!”
The Morning Light
There’s a place in the morning light,
a momemt…there just for a while,
when the newness of the day shines through,
I see your caring smile.
And it gives me hope for the day at hand,
courage to look and see,
at all God has blessed me with,
especially, my family.
There are times when a warm wind stirs,
and the trees so gently sway,
I feel your faith sweep over me,
and blow my cares away.
When I’m feeling stressed, and out of sorts,
in a rush with nowhere to go,
I sit by the side of a quiet stream,
and your patience begins to flow.
If I try to give up, and my strength fails me,
your hand, I feel on my shoulder.
Like a granite rock, your courage and grace
hold me up and I feel much bolder.
I sit in the calm of the evening hour,
amazed at the setting sun,
feeling overwhelmed that the day has passed,
and your life on earth is done.
When the empty hollow in my heart,
seems more than I can bear,
heaven’s stars shine through your eyes,
and I feel your presence there.
I close my eyes and drift in sleep,
blessed more than any other,
for everything the day beholds,
is touched by the love of my Mother.
Sheryl Craig Russell