Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Friend's Mom

Who would have ever thought that the woman I met that Spring day in 1974 would have such a profound effect on the shaping and molding of my life?  Not me.   SHE, you can rest assured, was unsuspecting of the role she'd play,trust me!  But she surely did just that.  She has been an integral part of my life for 35 years, even though she had not been in my life in an intimate, close way now for 10 years.  Oh, I had written her numerous cards and letters in the earlier part of these last 10 years to no avail.  She never acknowledged a single one.  But, I do know that she received them. My friend's brother had told me so. She was the Mother of this friend who lived down the hall in my dormitory.   It was Bible Conference at BJU and she was there in 1974, visiting with her daughter, my friend.   The woman was very polished, extremely attractive, well-dressed, very articulate with wonderful English, diction and an uncanny control of her voice.   She was, as I came to find out, a very accomplished woman with talent abounding in more than one area.   She had studied art in NYC for 14 years, she was an expert seamstress, gourmet cook, interior decorator, crafter.  She had talent, for sure.   I admired her on so many levels.   She and her husband and their 2 children had traveled extensively in the lower 48 states of the USA and had met many people along the way.   She was extremely intelligent, a very astute business woman of her own affairs--very,very frugal.  I love "frugality" as much or more than just about anyone else.  But, she had made many enemies with that trying "to always get something for nothing " attitude.  It could be overwhelmingly embarrassing, to say the least, to which more will be said a little later.  Well, when our freshman year was over, it turned out that my friend and I were going to work at the same Christian camp that summer not far from her house. So she called her Mom, this elegant woman, of whom I've been speaking, and asked if she could bring me home with her for the 2 and 1/2 weeks before the camp opened.   Her Mom said that it would be fine.  That was the beginning of the relationship that would forever change my life. The woman and her husband both claimed "Christianity", but there was just that nagging something!   Something was missing from their lives that just didn't match up to the "talk".  It was evident from the beginning that this woman probably did not have a personal relationship with the Saviour, Jesus Christ.   About the frugality mentioned aforehand, when visiting in her part of the country, we would go into the tiny little downtown village where she lived-- it was one of those places where everyone just about knew everyone else. When this woman's name was mentioned, people did not care who you were or what your relationship might have been with her, they would proceed to "let it roll".  There were stories of how they would run and hide when they saw her coming into their store, making a younger, somewhat unsuspecting greenhorn wait on her.   We were even told stories of people just right out refusing to have her come into their business at all--she would upset them that much!!!   Yep, she was the original Diva.   I don't say this to be mean, remember she helped mold me into the woman that I am today.   I'm just speaking the truth here.  But it was just that "DIVA" attitude of hers that the Lord used to help shape my life.   You see, I HAD to ask the Lord for HIS grace and mercy to be able to tolerate this selfish, self-centered, 'didn't you know the world revolved around her and her alone' attitude for all the years that were.  And the Lord did a miraculous thing in my own heart along the way. He taught me to truly LOVE this talented, intriguing but manipulative woman and to be overwhelmingly concerned for her soul.  Because, even in that stringent frugality, she gave me (besides my own Salvation) the most precious gift I'd ever been given and the one that I loved and treasured the most. That gift, in turn, was responsible for the next 2 most precious gifts I have ever received. And I thank her for her part in giving them all 3 to me. So, the Lord taught me patience and the value of being able to genuinely FORGIVE someone.   I was concerned.   Being concerned for her soul and her eternal destination was an ever driving force in my life.   Many hours were spent in prayer, agonizingly so, begging the Lord for her salvation.  Over the years of our realationship, it was still painfully apparent that she probably DID NOT know the Lord Jesus in a personal, intimate way.  There was just too much confusion, chaos, deceit, lying--boy, could she tell 'em!-- and STRONG WILLFULNESS associated with her way of living--no submission to that "Higher Power".  It was totally the opposite of the "fruits of the Spirit".  Those letters that I mentioned writing to her, were Salvation letters.   I was begging her to get things right with the Lord before it was too late.  Then it came.   Earlier this year I got the phone call that I had dreaded.   She had passed away.   The call came just 34 minutes after she had gone.   My friend's brother had called me.   My heart felt as if it where going to explode from the grief.  That grief invaded every part of my being, all consuming and holding me in its clutches for weeks.   I was sick with grief.   Overwhelming Grief.   And PAIN.   She was gone and I had no idea if she made things "RIGHT" with the Lord.   Remember, she never answered those letters.   While I might not know right now about her final place in eternity, she will always have a place in my life ETERNALLY.
And she WAS used mightily to shape and mold my life.   And, I DID truly learn to love her for a LOT of reasons.   For you see, this woman was my daughter's paternal GRANDMOTHER, my grand baby's paternal GREAT-GRANDMOTHER.   And, she was MY MOTHER-IN-LAW.  I love you, MOM R', and hope it's not a forever good-bye  ~ Until We Meet Again...

No comments: