Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sentimental Sunday

I probably post more on here about my sweet Mommy than anything else. This is one of the last photographs I ever got the privilege of taking of her. (Lois Velleda Dreher Beane 1938-2015).

I can't help but think of Mommy on Sunday's. My earliest memory of her is being very small (before I was 2 because my sister was born when I was 22 months old, and at this time I was the only baby!), and sitting on her lap. Everyone who knew my Mommy knew she couldn't sing her way out of a tin pail, but she'd certainly try! My memory is of her singing 'Jesus Loves Me'. I recall her telling me the Bible stories of little children. David as he was a shepherd, learning to play his harp, and killing the lion with nothing but his slingshot! Cain and Abel being the first two children ever born on earth! Mary, the mother of baby Jesus, only 13 when she found she was with child. Jesus at 12 astonishing the scholars in the Temple with his vast and curious knowledge.

She told me about Daniel and the lions den, and what the power of prayer could do. Deborah, a prophet and a judge (what? you mean no women's lib?). Ruth and the magnificent love story, not only of Boaz her new husband, but the great love she bore for her mother-in-law, Naomi. (I was so blessed to love my husband's mother! What a great blessing to love someone!)

She recalled Joseph and his coat of many colors, of his brothers throwing him in a pit and covering his coat in blood to trick their father in to believing he was dead. But he was then sold into slavery. And because he was faithful, God brought him up to be the pharaoh's overseer of his house! Talk about a ladder climber!

Then there was the story of the talking ass. The little donkey looked at Balaam and spoke like a man! Balaam believed he had to listen to God then!

Jesus, gathering the little children into His arms saying, "Suffer them to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of God".

Jesus, bringing the dead girl,  Jairus' 12 year old daughter, back to life!

Jesus healing the sick and the lame.

Jesus causing the cripple man to pick up his bed and walk.

Jesus spitting in the clay and causing the blinded man to see.

Jesus teaching us how to pray.

Jesus dying on a cross (I always cried, and I probably always will). Being buried in a dark, cold tomb with a huge stone placed at the opening.

Jesus, rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. I always got goosebumps from that! (Again, I probably always will!)

Can you see a theme here? Mommy taught me about Jesus. About becoming a Christian. Reading the Bible to me every night. Making sure my prayers were said. Making sure I was in Sunday School and Church, and to Bible School every summer. And lastly in a Christian school.

20 years before she passed away, Mommy had a brain aneurysm. The repair to the aneurysm caused her to have multiple strokes. It robbed her of many parts of her memory. Short term memory became almost none at all. But she could tell you the day she accepted Jesus into her heart. And she could remember the words to so many hymns and sang along when I'd sing for her. She remembered every day to say her prayers, although sometimes it would be nothing more than "God, I don't know how to pray today, but You know what I need and those I love needs. Amen." She said grace for every meal, "Come Lord Jesus be my guest, Share this food that God has blessed. Amen." And she read her Bible every single morning of her life. Sometimes she could read only a single verse, others she would read all day long.

She couldn't always remember my name, but she'd say, "There's my little girl!"

Mommy had to retire when her aneurysm ruptured 20 years before her death. But prior to that, she was the director of a county council on aging. If you are familiar with that program, you will know that they do everything in their power to make the lives of the senior citizens in their area more comfortable. They provide so many services, that I can't begin to name them all. Many times Mommy would go to work at 4 or 5 in the morning, and not be home until well after dark. She'd had to take someone to a physician's appointment, because there was no one else to do it. Or she'd load up a van, and take those more able, on a trip to the seaside, or to a museum, or to an outdoor drama.

And it wasn't just her job. Mommy tried to help anyone who asked for it, or who she saw had a need. If there was a death, Mommy cooked up a load of food and took to the family. She even packed boxes of her home canned vegetables and took to those who were without. I've seen her "clean out the house" for someone who had lost everything in a fire. I've seen her help a new widow who didn't know where to turn to. I've seen her take charge as a Christian scout team for the church's children. Taking the teens to outings. Teaching Sunday School. Pass out commodities to the community.

I've seen her come home from work and take my five little children all home with her, even though she was tired, just so I could study for nursing school. And she'd keep them overnight so I could study without interruption as long as I needed.

I've seen her offer her last dollar to a man who said he needed something to eat, that was standing on a street corner. I've seen her offer a bum a cup of hot coffee and a free meal in a diner, just because he looked hungry. I once saw her take her coat off and give it to a woman who was walking down town with 3 little babies. They were bundled warmly, but the woman didn't have a coat, and she was shivering so badly. Mommy didn't hesitate. She pulled her coat off and put it over the woman's shoulders. The woman told Mommy she couldn't take her coat, but Mommy insisted. Even though she'd have to stop at a store and buy herself another before she could get home.

I've listened to Mommy give her testimony in church. She told of how she'd been unable to talk until she was 11 years old. She had a bit of an odd sounding voice, and she was often asked, "You have a strange accent, where are you from?" Mommy would always smile, and say, "from Indiana". Truth is, my Mommy was a walking talking miracle. She was born without a voice box (larynx). Even the physicians couldn't believe she could speak. Xrays confirmed this diagnosis. I've seen them myself. When she was 11, Mommy was sent away to school to learn to talk. She was taught how to speak by vibrating her tongue against the roof of her mouth. They would put marbles in her mouth, and she would try to make sounds around the vibrating marbles. Eventually they would remove the marbles one at a time, over an extended period, until she was actually talking without a voice box! Today there are other mechanisms, even an artificial larynx, that can be used. But back in the 1940's, there simply wasn't much in the way of help. But she was able to speak so lovely! (Can you imagine the health codes today if someone were to try to teach someone with a mouth full of marbles?)

Mommy had many health problems during the course of her life. Including being born premature. She weighed only 2 pounds at birth. Her father wouldn't even hold her until she was six months old, because the doctor had told him that she would die. But Grandma put her in a shoebox lined in flannel, and would heat bricks and placed them in flannel around the shoebox. She made an incubator thus. And Mommy thrived!

She was pronounced dead at one time. And she had an out of body experience when it happened. I was away in Europe at the time, so I was not witness to her miraculously coming to. Much less being able to tell everyone every word that was spoken, even what they had been doing while she was dead. And she told of the beautiful white light, and family members she could see. And the sudden rush back to her body, and the longing to stay in the light.

I've seen her so sick and tired all she could do was fuss. (That year she tried to pass off some garland on a palm tree as the Christmas tree, if not for my sister and I our little brothers wouldn't have had a Christmas tree that year!) I've heard her say things she regretted later. She wasn't a saint. And she was far from perfect.

But, like most children, my Mommy was perfect for me. And for my sister and brothers.

Well, I've said enough about Mommy. I've got to go and find the tissues. After all, I'm just a sentimental old fool.  And this Sunday, I'm missing my Mommy.

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