My sweet mom has decided it’s time to sell her house. She has accepted the truth that she will never live again in the house that she and my dad shared for almost thirty years after his retirement. He died, went to his much better home in heaven, in 2012. Mom learned to live alone and did quite well for almost five years.
Her decision reminds me of the book Necessary Endings, that quotes, “When truth presents itself, the wise person sees the light, takes it in, and makes adjustments.” Mom has been doing that her whole life, and modeling well for all of us watching how to adapt as time, places, and people change. And we’ve watched her continue to trust God in it all.
She’s now 92. She walks around with her burgundy, four-wheel chariot, which doubles as a chair or a tray for transporting things from place to place, on the same floors she once learned to walk on so many years ago. And yet it wasn’t that long in God’s economy. He says our life is but a breath. Sometimes it feels that fast.
Today I’m at the farm for the week, enjoying her company, hearing what she’s been reading or watching on TV. We will drive to her house in town once or twice this week, and I’ll empty drawers and make piles of things for Goodwill and piles for my brothers and piles for some of our kids.
The things I am most interested in keeping are those with meaning like the nativity set Mom bought at the Ben Franklin five and dime in Crown Point in the early years of their marriage. Prominently placing all the figures just so on top of our piano was my favorite Christmas decorating task every year.
During my first year on staff with Cru, I lived in South Carolina and worked at the university with students. My mom had never been there, so she and my grandmother and my dad, always up for a road trip adventure, piled in their car and drove from Texas to see where I was living and to do some exploring. While in Charleston, my mother and grandmother both bought signed prints from a local artist because the prints reminded them of their years living on the farm in south Arkansas. With that print hanging in my bedroom, I’ll remember with great fondness those days in Charleston, one of my favorite cities in America.
The wisest man who ever lived famously wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to break down and a time to build up,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3). Though this seems a sad season, and it is in moments, God is in it all. He has promised to never leave or forsake us, so He is with my mom in this season and He is with me in this season. And one day, unless Jesus returns soon, I will be in her place, my kids helping disperse things they remember from their childhoods. And heaven will be brighter and a more welcome place because I will know so many who are already there.
Today I am savoring these days with Mom, knowing we will enjoy life forevermore together with Jesus.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!