Our lives, like seasons, are transitional…ever moving, ever-changing. Change can be wonderful, but it can also be frustrating and difficult.
When I was a child I couldn’t wait for my birthday or Christmas. I couldn’t wait for family reunions or vacation. It seemed like forever until those special days arrived. I couldn’t wait until I was 13! When I became a teenager, my eldest brother was still 19. Five teenagers in the house with only one small bathroom. Holy moly, it blows my mind that we even survived each other! When I was 13, I couldn’t wait until I was 16 and could drive and date. When I was 16, I couldn’t wait until I was 18, graduated, and leaving for college. Then, when I left for college I couldn’t wait until I was 21; I couldn’t wait until I got married; I couldn’t wait to graduate college; I couldn’t wait to have children.
Then whamo! Time started speeding up. I got married, finished college, had a baby, then another. They grew up so quickly that, before I knew it, they both were married, and I had grandbabies. Time gained so much speed that it left me stunned at the time gone by, and grasping at those precious moments before they were a blur in my memory. “Kevin asked me to marry him, Mommy!” Wedded bliss. “We’re having a baby!” “Another beautiful baby girl!” Grinning girls with curly golden hair. Little hands lifted in praise and little faces bowed in prayer. Sweet little girls singing Jesus Loves Me. Time flew by. “I’m getting married, Mommy!” “I’m pregnant, Mommy!” Little hands and little feet of a new generation. Grandma.
The time has quickly flown by. I left the town of my birth 30 years ago. 30 years! Where has the time gone? Seasons have come and gone. Loved ones have passed on to the waiting arms of Jesus. My brother, Donny; my sister-in-law, Donna; my mother-in-law, Jean; my precious mommy; my father-in-law, Cecil; precious aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and a sweet newborn nephew; beautiful people, loving people. New seasons, ever-changing, ever-moving.
I’m all grown up. I’ve been married 27 years, to a wonderful man. I’m nearing 50. Wow! I don’t feel that old inside. I feel young inside, but my hip gives out and my body aches when I get up and when I go to bed. When I look in the mirror, I look different than how I perceive myself. I’ve been told I look like my mommy, which, by the way, I think is wonderful! My mommy was sensible, smart, and resourceful. She had a great sense of humor; she was musical, artistic, creative, hardworking, and loving. I hope that I reflect not only her looks but her character as well. I see her smile back at me in the mirror. Mommy, I miss you.
My mommy took good care of me as I came into this world, so I took good care of her as she left this world in 2002. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” the most difficult thing I have ever done. Her suffering, the most heart-wrenching moments of my life, yet ironically the most precious time moments were shared.
Once again, I’m back in the house where I grew up. To the house where we lived when Donny died. In the house where I watched my mommy pass into glory. It’s Daddy’s turn. Time to cook him dinners and watch TV together; time to go to Barnes and Noble and Starbucks, time to take him to the cardiologist to discuss his failing heart. I love you, Daddy. This is our season.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” He nearly made it to eighty, just 4 months shy. In 1993 my dad was battling cancer – Hodgkins Disease. He was nearly finished with his chemo when he had a massive heart attack. He was in CCU for 18 long days. 18 days that terrified my mom and had me frantically driving from Southern to Northern California. He pulled through. The doctors decided to not finish his chemo and thankfully he has been cancer-free. His heart, though, took a nasty blow. It was three-fourths damaged and a leaky valve was causing issues. He needed a heart transplant. The doctors recommended him to medically retire and said he would be lucky if he lived another 5 years. 21 years later, with his own heart aided by a pacemaker/defibrillator, his body pumped full of numerous medications, he stayed with us, functioning rather well. All the medications proved too much for his kidneys, however, and being too weak for dialysis, his kidneys failed. Daddy’s gone on to heaven. I’m still living in the house with memories all around me. Now for a new season…