“But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, for hers is where yours begins.”- Mitch Albom
Like most of you, I’ve kept myself busy for the past 55 days doing a lot of things that I was just too busy to do prior to being secluded. Like any of you that have pets – mine have become extremely spoiled and used to having me around 24/7. I love it. They love it. I guess we are both spoiled.
I got to talk to all four of my kidlets today, and took the choc lab girls for a social distance visit to my one daughter that lives near by. We walked on the path through the woods they have created during their time at home. Ate some snacks. Watched the kids play on one of the best tree swings ever. Laughed at 4 dogs adjusting to each other again. Held our breaths to take some pictures. Then I came home, washed my hands, and re-applied my essential oils.
All-in-all, a lull in the storm – a break to breathe – a time to remember who taught me how to breathe in storms. My mom…and dad…and Grandma Mac.
From the earliest bedtime stories to watching them face stormy times in their personal lives to the collective times of facing storms with their nation. I remember not swimming on very hot days in the summer during the polio epidemic. I remember standing in a long line on the cafeteria steps of my soon-to-be elementary school to take the first dose of the polio vaccine. I never felt their fear; I just followed them.
I still am.
I watched them both deal with my father’s heart disease. Listen to news accounts of The Bay of Pigs and continuing wars. Get my mother elected as village clerk with my dad beside her every step of the way. Mourn the murder of a president, a civil rights leader, a senator. Shelter, care, and spend time with their brothers and sisters. Be at the bedside of daughter hospitalized for 7 days for mono. Wash hands a lot during the Hong Kung Flu epidemic. Watch out a darkened window during a once-in-a-lifetime flood that came within feet of their home. Prepare for that once-sick daughter to go off to college amid an epidemic.
Yet – – in all those times, I never felt their fear reaching out to me – even though I’m sure that fear was there. After all, their daughter had a compromised immune system, and her father had already experienced two heart attacks. Instead, this daughter saw them on their knees – saw them hold hands in church – heard their prayers – and watched them from the stairs as they danced together the night before they took her to college.
My mom – and dad – both loved to tell stories about their families. Truth be told, I wish I had paid more attention and written some of them down. Later in life, my mom was able to take her mom on cruise. Grandma Mac’s smiling eyes when she talked about that cruise was beyond special. You can see it in the pictures they brought back just as I see it in my memory.
Stories are the threads that tie families into an expanding tapestry of His creation. A Creation story woven together by individuals, families, nations as His artistic Hand weaves the strong, colorful strands with the weakened, broken strands to create His perfect design from the beginning. His Grace blending them seamlessly together.
Honor thy father and mothers – not just today – but in all days.
“Your eyes saw my body. In your book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Ps 139:16