Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gen. 3:16: Pain in childbirth

...and it never ends. Mothers suffer. Because we suffer, we cannot be trusted not to be a pain-in-the-neck to our adult children.  ...but here's the deal: We older mothers can either gut it up and decide to take responsibility for our own happiness or we can put guilt on our adult kids if they dare to enjoy their lives without us. For a year or so after the double whammy of losing Ted and Doug within a year of each other, I needed a great deal of my remaining childrens' emotional support. I discovered that we could not grieve together. I had heard that but had to experience it to believe it. Each of us is grieving the loss of a different relationship. 

Daughter Dee, son-in-law Brent and I just returned from watching Maddie Jane, Doug's 16-year-old, play in a volleyball tournament. Like her dad was, she is an aggressive competitor. Her oldest brother, Lucas, drove down from Sacramento to see her play and Lance, the younger of her two brothers joined him. ...but their daddy wasn't there. He is in Heaven with his dad and they are both with their eternal Dad. This morning, behind my eyelids were tears for all of us, begging to fall down my cheeks, but I knew I dare not let that happen. I came home and bawled my eyes nearly out of their sockets.   It is terrible to lose a husband and the pain of losing a child is indescribable ...even if that "child" was sixty years old. ...and we moms feel the pain for the rest of our family as well. There is only One who suffers more than we do from the death of our loved ones. ...and He comforts us, reassuring us that they are with Him, waiting for the growing circle to reconnect.

Both Ted and Doug were excellent pilots. I wonder if they are zooming around a galaxy today. ...or maybe Doug was watching his little girl knock that volleyball over the net.  Silly thinking, but we women aren't always rational. We are fragile. ...and yet we are tough. We have to be.

The five of us original Stones were tight. Doug was born ten months to the day after Ted and I were married. There were just the three of us for five years before Jeff was born. The circle opened for him and then tightened up again.  ...then Dee was born five years later. The circle opened for her then tightened up and stayed that way for many years. All of our children married later than their dad and I did and that was good. I believe they are all better parents than we were. Now two of our original five are in Heaven and two are left on the ground. I want to be with them all, and I will be. His time.

Ted was an all-around athlete and so were all three of our kids. Their endless competitive games afforded me a built-in job assignment: The kitchen never closed! All in my family were highly motivated; therefore they provided all the entertainment I needed. I miss it all, but I will not be a victim. I want to be sometimes, but I won't be. Either Christ is my all-in-all, or He is nothing-at-all. From the day He announced Himself to me and moved in to take up His residence, no one else was as important. Yes, being a wife and a mother was my most enjoyable and fulfilling calling, but having all of my children come to know that Heaven is their ultimate Home was my goal. That "goal",  praise His Holy Name, is accomplished. why am I still here? I have remaining children and their wonderful spouses. ... I have six grandchildren to pray for and adore. ...and I do. ...and I have teenagers, dads and mothers to teach. ...and I have a book I am writing nearly ready to be published.  ...and I have an enormous extended family that stretches around the world with whom I stay in contact. ...and I have people to disciple, counsel and encourage all around me.  ...and I have this blog to write. ...and I have people to love into the Kingdom. ... and I have music to dabble around in. ...and then there are my cats: Pussn'Boots. ...and there ya' go. I can't do any of it without the power and might of God's Word entering my soul every day. ...and neither can you.

                          How about this old hymn? WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus; sing His mercy and His grace
In the mansions bright and blessed, He'll prepare for us a place

Onward to the prize before us! Soon His beauty we'll behold.
Soon the pearly gates will open--We shall tread the streets of gold.


Love, Jo

I do so look forward to being able to talk through everything we couldn't talk about on this earth. Both Ted nor Doug were reluctant communicators. ...especially about subjects that might be interpreted as "sharing their feelings". Oh, my goodness, no.  Jeff, being a counselor/professor by trade, is a communicator at all levels, so we can have a to-the-point two-minute conversation at 7:58 A.M. before he has his first client that is very satisfying. He and his sister have a similar arrangement, so we three stay connected and it's a beautiful thing.