I'm mourning the loss of my dearest and oldest friend. I’ve known this lady for 45 years. I met her shortly after I met my husband. He adored her and I learned to love her as well. Her name is Janette and she is my husband’s mother. There is a bond between us that cannot be described with words. I’ve tried, and there are none that can describe the bond we had. It’s funny; we had nothing in common really, except that she and I loved the same man, her son…my husband. She taught me so much. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to get a telegram from the U.S. government stating your son is wounded and describing his injuries, with him being thousands of miles away on the other side of the world and her being at the mercy of the government to keep her informed. I can’t imagine.
I remember the day I started calling her mom. I didn't ask her if I could…perhaps I should have. It felt a little awkward at first, but she didn’t hesitate to respond, and she was “Mom” from that day forward. But we laid her to rest, Friday, March 13th. A very sad day indeed.
I was fortunate to have several women in my life besides my own mother. I was very close to my paternal grandmother, Mother, we called her. She babysat for us while my parents worked, and they worked a lot. She never showed favorites, but we did have that kind of relationship. I shared a bedroom with her after she moved in with us. Those were special times. When I would spend the night with her as a child we lay in bed as long as I could stay awake, she would tell me Bible stories. So we had lots of talks in the dark after the lights were out. She made an unbelievable impression on my heart. She contracted shingles in her eyes and couldn’t read her Bible any longer. She wanted us girls to read to her. I did for a long time, and then I got busy with other things that would distract a 15 year old. A year or so later, when she passed, I really felt guilty for not taking the time to be with her. I remember the heavy guilt I experienced as I longed for her and I remember saying, “Wow! I wish I could have just one more conversation with her.
I also was fortunate enough to have a close relationship with my maternal grandmother as well. We called her Ma-Maw. I spent the summer of my 12th year with her. I had a two year old sister and since my mother worked, I was going to be responsible for her for the entire summer. My maternal grandmother didn’t want me to have that responsibility, so she had my parents bring me and my two year old sister down to spend the summer with her. It was that summer that God spoke to me and impressed on my heart that I really wanted to be a counselor.
Then there was Gene’s mom. I like to think I learned from my mistake with Mother. So, after Gene passed, I made a point to take care of her the way I think he would have wanted me to. But most importantly, I made a point to go see her frequently. I would drive down on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and spent two or three hours just sitting with her and talking. We could talk for hours about any and everything: life, politics, the Bible, Jesus, God, and whatever else was going on in our world. We didn’t always see eye to eye on everything, but we respected one another’s difference of opinion. At first she says she liked Obama, and wanted to know why I didn't approve, but she finally came around.
So, I find myself missing her terribly. I’ve hear myself saying….”I wish I had just one more conversation with her.” The difference this time it is said without regret…only a longing to spend one more long, lazy afternoon with her sharing life together; that woman, I bonded with that was forged by loving the same man.
What else do I have to say? Time is short and this may be the only day you will have to tell your loved one/s that you love them and spend quality time with them. Take the opportunity. Grief will scream at you when you lose that special one, but it will scream much louder if there is guilt associated with it. Make the most of your moments. Forget those petty disagreements that really don’t amount to anything and it isn’t worth the separation of a broken relationship. Love one another and take the time to say it…frequently. Do those things that convey that love. That’s what Jesus gave his life for. That’s why his blood was shed…to cover the pain and hurt of a broken relationship. He is in the restoration business. Those petty disagreements won't matter when all is said and done. Even the big ones, that you think are not so petty...they won't matter either. God bless you all.