Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mom's Gifts

"There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death..."  
Ecclesiastes 8:8 (KJV)

It seems like there have been a lot of deaths lately.

Deaths of famous people.

And though they were famous and widely-recognized, they were unable to defy death.
When it came their time to go, they were powerless to stay.

Their names were household names....known by just about everyone in America.

Earl Scruggs - 88 years old (January 6, 1924 - March 28, 2012)
Inventor of the three-finger, "Scruggs-style" banjo-picking, singer
Thomas Kinkade - 54 years old (January 19, 1958 - April 6, 2012)
"Painter of light", author
Doc Watson - 89 years old (March 3, 1923 - May 29, 2012)
Guitarist, songwriter, singer
Andy Griffith - 86 years old (June 1, 1926 - July 3, 2012)
Actor, Grammy-award winning Southern-Gospel singer, writer

You could mention their names to most people and they would have at least heard of them.
They may not be able to tell you what they did or what attribute or talent they were most famous for,
but chances are, they would tell you they had heard the name.

All four of these men were highly talented.
They all found success and were outstanding in their field.
Each of their names will go down in history as someone who greatly contributed to our era of time.

Hearing about the deaths of these four men brought a sense of sadness and loss.

Hearing their names probably resurrects at least one fond memory in most of our hearts.

Knowing they will make no future contributions to life as we know it is incredibly sad.

I never met any of the four men I mentioned above.
Yet, each of them had at least a small impact on my life.

Earl Scruggs had a large influence in our home as I was growing up.
He had as big a presence in our home as was possible without actually being there in person.

And while Earl Scruggs was Dad's favorite banjo picker,
Doc Watson was his all-time favorite guitar picker.  
I still have some of his music Dad left behind.
The amazing thing about Doc is that an eye infection caused him to go blind before his first birthday.
He didn't let his handicap impair or ruin his life.
He overcame incredible odds, 
and was undoubtedly one of the best flat-pickers I've ever heard.

I see the fingerprints of Thomas Kinkade several places I look in our home.
On a beautiful clock, that our dear friends gave us for Christmas last year.
On the wallpaper border in one of our bathrooms.
On a puzzle Zachary and I worked together.

And Andy Griffith....who could ever forget his adventures and escapades as Sheriff of the imaginary town of Mayberry, along with Aunt Bea and Opie?
Or his later contributions as a Gospel songwriter and artist?

I guess I will always remember that Mom passed away one month to the day after Earl Scruggs,
and one month and one day before Doc Watson.

She died right in the middle of these four famous men.

And, obviously, the loss of her completely broke my heart 
and far surpassed the pain of losing any of the others.
At least to me it did.
Because she was Mom.
And though her name was for the most part unknown,
her face wasn't recognized by many, 
and the influence of her life didn't reach far beyond her family and friends,
the loss of her was painfully profound.
Painfully personal.

She used to feel so unnecessary.
She would tell me so often that she wished there was more she could do....
not for herself...
but for God.

She felt like her life hadn't amounted to much.
Like she hadn't accomplished anything great.
I tried to tell her so many times how special she was.
How she had overcome so much,
birthed and raised five children,
endured the loss of so many she loved.
What an important role she played...in my life and the life of others.

She just never knew.
She never realized.
Her contribution was more subtle....quieter....less advertised.
What she did...her gift to the world....was invaluable.
You could never put a price on the worth of her contribution. 
My mother was one of the biggest prayer warriors I have ever known.
Kevin said the other day that she came as close to "praying without ceasing" as anyone he has ever known.

How we all miss her prayers!
She was often called for prayer, and she never took it lightly.
She would enter in to fervent prayer often,
and she would carry that burden until the situation was resolved.

She couldn't play a banjo.
She never learned to play the guitar.
She couldn't paint magnificent pictures.
And her face never became famous for being on a weekly television show.

But, she could pray.

And to me, she was an angel.
She guided and directed my life on a path that led me to Almighty God.
She taught me to pray.
She instilled a deep love and respect for righteousness in my heart.
She encouraged me to forgive others who have inflicted wrong.
She carried a sincere, genuine burden for everyone she loved.
She was a wonderful, dear mother...a precious gift to the world....to her world.

I'm so glad I was a part of that world.
How blessed I am to have had the privilege to call her my mother.

To me, her special contributions....her gifts....to the world, were the most important of all. 

I will always miss her with all my heart.




No comments:

Post a Comment