Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Remembering. . .

Some dates are easier to remember.  I have yet to encounter very many mothers who cannot tell me exactly when each of her children were born.  It seems for some men, wedding dates are a little more difficult to remember.  Birth dates of family members might need to be written on the calendar.  I never have to write down my brother Chester's birthday, though, because I was born on his fourth birthday.

The 1st of August is a date I remember, but reluctantly so. 

My mother died fifteen years ago this day.  As deaths go, it was a very beautiful and dignified one.  She died in her own bed, surrounded by her children and her husband's only living sibling.  She had lapsed into a slow peaceful sleep and simply stopped breathing.  It couldn't have been a more peaceful passing from this life to the next.  The only problem was I had never imagined my mother would die.

I had rehearsed my father's death in my head from the time his brother died suddenly when I was sixteen.  I lived with a fear of my father's death for thirty years, but I never even considered my mother's death.  Her mother had been killed in a car wreck and her father lived well into his nineties.  I think I thought Momma would live forever.

I was amazed at the depth and length of my grief over my mother's death.  Had the hospice program not sent me information stating that the grief would be longer than we would think it should be, I would have thought I was going crazy.  Even to this day, sometimes it takes me by surprise and I find myself in tears.

Yet there is a flame of hope and joy which remains.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will see my mother again.  This separation is only temporary.  There will come a day when the "Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,"  (Thessalonians 4:16, 17.) 

What a great union is planned when we join with all our loved ones in Christ who have gone before us and then we meet the Lord in the air.  What a time of rejoicing and a time to shout out, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Corinthians 15:55.)

"Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:18

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