In the final years of my sweet mama’s life she lived alone but she was not alone. She had family and friends that would visit and she had a sweet sister-in-law, Rose, that would visit her and when Rose couldn’t visit, she’d write beautiful poems and stories and mail them to mama. You see even though my mama was dying because of cancer she lived her faith in God in every detail of her life. She was not play-acting, and she was not fake.
My mama had a first-hand encounter with the Living God. That in her 83 years, He had proven to her time and time again, that He is, who He says He Is. Not a fantasy. He is real and she knew she was going Home to be with Him.
Mama and Rose didn’t have much use for “modern technology,” the personal touch was much more important that “e” mailing. Hearing their voices over the telephone were more real because you could actually hear, the emotion and know exactly how each other felt. There was minimal chance of misunderstanding and if there was you could fix it right then. Of course face to face contact was best. Not virtual contact, physical contact.
These two precious ladies shared a lifetime of memories together. Mama sat by herself many days remembering her childhood, her mama and her family, who are now gone on to heaven except for one. She’d reminisce about her children and grandchildren and great grands and pray for them day and night. Mama was taught that praying was important and that God answers prayer. Mama and Rose had these things in common.
Today, I sit alone, like mama, and wonder about what else she must have felt in those final years. I know a whole lot of her time was spent praying and reading the Words of her heavenly Father. Yes, she was by herself, but she was not alone.
Mama and Rose were from the “old school,” when life was simple but not without hardship or challenges. They were born in the thirties. It was a time before millennial, there’s a word I’ve recently heard, replacing “baby boomers” I guess. Theirs was a time where neighbors waved at each other and when meeting on the street or in a market would say, “How do?” When you needed help people actually came to your aid. They didn’t have much money but there was lots of love and compassion for others. There were porch swings, which swung in the evenings, picnics on Saturday’s. Baked apple pie shared between neighbors, stories swooped about the big fish that got away, at barber shops and yards, full of children playing hide- n-seek and catching lightning bugs when dusk fell.
It was a time when women taught their girls to sew and cross-stitch and embroidery. And men taught their sons to respect women and authority and that your word is your bond.
Yes, times have changed. People were more about family than the instant messages flashed on cell phones of who is killing who with words and weapons across the world…more important than bashing people and promoting hate and more important than the latest fashions in Hollywood and rising stars who fizzle out in just a few short years, and certainly more important than entrainment such as sex, and pornography, murder and lies that are displayed constantly across the television screens and technical devises we spend every ninety minutes checking. Idols of the “modern age.”
Yes the “Good ole days.” Days long gone. My mama’s generation is dying out but their values and standards still hold true. Why, because they are based on the Love of God. But if we don’t teach our children these values and if we don’t live the way God teaches us to live, then our world is doomed. I was taught not to lie. I was taught to respect my elders. I was taught that life is precious. I was taught that God is not a curse word. And that God is Holy.
Mama is gone now and I miss her more and more each day. One day I’ll be gone too; and the day will come when you will also be gone. What legacy will you leave behind? Will the world you leave behind remember that you made it better because you were here? Will your life be remembered that you passed on what was right from wrong? Even in this “modern age” of technology and in the media of the rampant ravings of madmen, you can still be the difference. Cell phones…instant messages…apps…at least now you can send positive uplifting images and well wishes and God’s word and yes, respect instantly. Let those be the kinds of messages you send. But remember a hand shake or a hug or a smile felt physically, is still the best way ever to communicate!!
Make your mama proud…Do Good!
And when you are old sitting by yourself you may feel alone…but you are not alone! Times change, but God is the same yesterday, today and forever…
–Marla Shaw O’Neill February 13, 2017
Hebrews 13:1-8New Living Translation (NLT)
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.
Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.