I just talked to Dad on my drive home from the office. My sister and I both try to check in with him every day if at all possible. Dad lives in north FL; seven hours from me and eight hours from Vonnie. The fact that we don't live close to one another became very difficult when we lost Mom fourteen months ago.
She would certainly be laughing at that right now:
"What, you can't find me?!"
Mom is where I got my decidedly warped sense of humor. Everyone who knew her remembers her first for laughter and practical jokes. And she never allowed facts to stand in the way of a really funny story. Hmmm, my little mama.
The Friday before she passed away, we were all in her new room at the nursing home trying to make it as much like her own as possible. Vonnie (who has the better eye for decorating) and I had gone home to gather lots of Mom's favorite things - family pictures, some of her angel collection, a couple of scripture plaques, an afghan, even a recliner for Dad. We had also decided to bring her favorite sofa picture to help camouflage one big wall in the room.
Everything came together nicely except for the sofa picture. Nothing Frank and Chris did seemed to work at keeping it secure on the wall. After several failed attempts, Vonnie and I watched as the switch was flipped and it became a "MISSION" for both of our husbands. They were going to hang that picture for Mom and no two-bit nail was going to keep them from success! (Que theme song for "Mission Impossible". Oh wait, maybe the theme from "Rocky" would be more appropriate. Yeah, this was definitely a "Rocky" moment. Smile.)
Frank and Chris worked and they worked and they worked, trying every trick known to modern man in their quest to make that picture stay on that wall. After nearly an HOUR - their brows drenched with perspiration; several nails bent; wires snapped; a couple of hammered thumb-nails; two preachers trying hard not to curse; the moment of success finally arrived.
They both let out a cheer, high-fived one another, accepted congratulatory hugs from doting wives, shouted "tah-dah" with great delight - the picture was hanging! We stepped back to admire their handy work.
CRASH! BANG! BLAM! The huge picture escaped its restraints and once again plummeted to the floor below. (Now listen, we both know that the wall wasn't that big; "plummeting" requires a lengthy descent. But I couldn't think of a better word to use and this is, after all, a story about my mom who loved to embellish just a bit. Smile.)
We girls held our breath to see if the cursing would finally ensue!
I looked back over at Mom and couldn't believe my eyes. Not a sound was emanating because Mom hadn't been able to talk for awhile. But her tummy was jiggling, her eyes were dancing, she was pointing at the wall and "laughing" in the best way left to her.
"Look at Mama!"
The tense moment immediately dissipated and we all focused on what Mom was modeling. "Laugh, my babies! Laugh!" We did.
Four days later, I made it back to Bonifay just forty-five minutes before Mom went home to be with Jesus. (That memory is still very tender and will probably continue to bring tears for many years to come.)
Just one more reason why Easter is so much more to me than bunnies and baskets. Resurrection Sunday reminds me that I will see Mama again. It is hard coming to holidays and family celebration times without Mom. And we will always miss her. But God's great promise is that she is waiting for us!
So I choose to dry my tears, thank God for that hope and
I decide to watch for opportunities to -
Mom would be quite pleased.
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