Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Memories

I thought I was prepared for it. After all, she had not even known who I was for a while now.  I guess it is because I KNEW WHO SHE WAS and my love for her ran so deep, that I am at a loss now. I know she wasn't the perfect mother, but then again who among us can say; that we were the perfect parents?

I sure can’t.

I think of all the hardships she faced. Lord, just the way we were living back on Horseshoe Bend, had I been the one to care for 6 little kids like that, I would have been driven mad. Just think of it…days on end with nothing but milk gravy and biscuits to eat, no running water, no heat (except for a wood stove ). Not even a drop of paint on the wooden walls to make things just a little bit nicer. We always said that there were cracks in the old wooden floor boards big enough for our cats to fall through…ha!

I remember mama coming in the house in her old long coat with a wool scarf around her head. Her cheeks and lips would be chapped red, her eyebrows frozen, and her nose dripping from the freezing cold..and she had been out there chopping wood for that old stove, just so we could be warm.

I remember how she use to wring the chickens heads off so we could every once in a while have fried chicken. It has came to me in my later years, that it had to have hurt her to do this. After all, she LOVED those chickens like pets. Many a time I remember her petting them and loving on them…but she also knew her kids had to eat and truth is that fried chicken with  the milk gravy was sooooo good. I think back now and know that the reason she always claimed that she loved the back and the neck was because it had less meat. You see, that way we children could have the bigger and better parts.

When I had rheumatic fever as a child and had to spend all those many long days and nights out there in the hospital, it was she who stayed with me and mopped my fevered brow. It was she who kept me company, tended to me and comforted me…she never left me. I was her baby and she never let me forget that.

I remember her having to go to Atlanta to get the veins in her legs stripped and have the liquid that burned like fire injected in her legs. She had to take a greyhound bus from Greensboro all the way to the Atlanta bus terminal. (Remember she was just a country girl and had to have felt lost in the big city of Atlanta.) She would leave the bus station and walk to Peachtree street to the doctor who did these torturous treatments on her. Then afterwards, they would let her lay down for a bit.  She had to have been in so much pain, but after she had rested for only a few minutes, she would have to walk all the way back to the bus terminal. ( I know all this, because being that I was not yet in school, she took me with her. She held my little hand tightly as we walked and navigated those streets of Atlanta. ) So she had a small child to tend to also.

A few years after I was born, she lost a child due to the mistakes of doctors who thought she had a tumor, but in reality that tumor was a baby. ( I saddens me to know that now days that baby probably would have survived.) Years later, when I was grown, she would tell me that her baby was fully formed, that it was a little girl and that she got to see her. I remember her saying that the doctors delivered the baby and laid her on the table next to her . My mama saw her baby girl take one little breath and then die. Mama told me she would have named the baby girl Shirley Jean and she thought how odd that years later, one of her son’s had married not once, but twice; ladies named Shirley Jean.

My mama was a kid at heart. She would get out there on Horseshoe Bend and ride bikes with me and my sister, play on the swing set with us, and also chase us around the house with any bug she could get her hands on! She would give us spoons, saucers, cups, and old pans to play in the dirt making mud pies.

She was the forever prankster. In later years, she would have most all the grandkids sleeping over at her house in town in the summertime. They would all sleep in the front bedroom. This was the bedroom that had the window opening onto the front porch. After the kids had gone to bed, they would of course be giggling and going on. She would wait a little bit, then sneak out on the porch and scratch at the window screen and make spooky noises!! You should have seen those young-uns falling over themselves running into the kitchen…. where mama was now sitting calmly, playing cards with our Aunt, our Daddy, or one of us grown children. hah!

She loved playing jokes on people and that didn’t stop when she got older. When it came time for her to have home health care aids and nurses in her home, she would set her coffee cup on the kitchen table and then when one of the nurses came by, she would ask them to bring it to her in the living room. When they would pick the empty cup up and see the (fake) giant cock roach, or spider, etc. sitting in the bottom of it, of course they would holler, and Mama loved it!

 
At mama’s funeral, during the visitation time, some of the nurses and health care aides came to sign the register. They talked about how they hadn’t realized that mama could play the piano, until Paige set her in front of it and she played tunes for them! They told about how she always loved to make people laugh.

The one thing they said though, that really touched my heart was this…

“Miss Lindsey, always,  every time we went into her room, told us ALL how much she loved us.”

One of them then added ; “Your mama didn’t know color; she knew love.”

Yep..that about sums it up.

Rest in peace mama and yes I promise, I will always be your baby.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.


 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GOD WILL FIND YOU

I didn’t sleep very well Saturday night, but then again I haven’t slept well in days. So when I got out of bed Sunday morning, I had already made my mind up that I wasn’t going to Church. It had been a while since I been in Church anyway, so one more Sunday wasn’t going to hurt me I figured. Besides, I needed to write out the checks for my bills or they were going to be late. What with my mama passing away this past Tuesday and then the funeral Thursday, I had not had a chance to do it yet.

As I sat down at my desk and began to get the bills in order and get my checkbook out, Dan popped his head in my bedroom door. First thing out of his mouth was, “mama I want to go to Church this morning, Okay?” Now, I was already shocked that he was up that early anyway. Dan is a night owl. He always has been, even when he was a little tyke. Funny thing is, I never had any trouble trying to wake him up to go to school. He was always ‘sitting on ready waiting on go’, no matter how late he had lain awake the night before.

Adding to my surprise yesterday was the fact that he also wanted to go to Church. So I knew I might as well put the bills up, because I was going to Church. When Dan wants to go to Church, I go! Sometimes Dan wants to go to the little Church in Union Point because he knows some of the folks down there. He went to school with some of them. The Church also lets those who want to, sing using karaoke and he loves listening to them sing.

Since my mama died this past Tuesday, I have been very emotional to say the least, so I told Dan we would go to Church, but we would go to our Church down the street. I figured that way we would sing the songs out of the hymnals and there would be less chance of any songs that would pull on my heart strings. So I put up all the bills and got a shower. I put my ‘Sunday go to meetin’ clothes on and we went down the street to our Church.

As I walked in, I noticed a man with a young man and lady I had not ever seen before sitting in the last pew. I nodded a greeting toward them and walked on to the front where I saw my niece sitting. She told me she and her step daughter was going to be singing some songs. It was then that I learned that there would be no normal Church service, but instead, they were having a singing and then afterwards, soup and sandwiches down in the eating area.

I was a little worried..I mean I had purposely brought Dan to our Church to save us both from more heartache and we had walked right in to a singing!  See this is what you get when you stay away from Church. You don’t know a thing about what is going on or when.

Well, the first song that Charity and Lexi sang was an upbeat song that Reba McIntire sings called: "Sky Full Of Angels"

“ Preacher man talking about the end of time
Well, Lord knows I'm ready, it don't worry my mind
You see, I ain't afraid of nothing because I believe
I've got a sky full of angels watching over me”

They did very good and even had me tapping my feet and clapping right along with them as they sang.The young couple who were with the man in the back pew were his daughter and son. The son played the piano as the daughter sang. We found out that the man was an evangelist preacher who held old time revivals. Our preacher said he was trying to get him to hold one in Greensboro.

Next up was our preacher and he sings so good…I can not remember the name of the song he sang, but it was beautiful. It was about picking up the phone to call someone, before remembering they had passed on..Well, let me tell you, that song had me crying, not out loud, but tears were breaking loose and sneaking down my cheeks.

A few more songs and soon the singing was over, and I had made it through. At the end, our preacher, who was sitting in the front pew,  stood up and asked the man in the back pew to go ahead and say the blessing on the food before we all went downstairs to eat. Well, the man in the back pew started saying the blessing and then he sort of paused for a while before he said,

“I got to say this…there is someone here who has lost a loved one recently.”

My breath caught in my throat.

He went on to say, “ this loved one was very closely related and has just recently passed.” By this time, eyes still closed and head still bowed, I was literally shaking as Charity grabbed my hand and was squeezing the heck out of it. He then said, “your loved one wants you to know that just like the gospel song goes, that they are sitting at Jesus Feet right now… today.

Cold chills began racing up my arms.

When the blessing was over, my niece Charity and I began making our way down the isle to go outside and around to the basement door. There were a good many folks in front of us, so it was a slow go. The man from the back pew was in the isle and as I went to pass on by him, he caught hold of my hand and looked me straight in the face and said, “Ms. Robertson, you are the one who lost a loved one aren’t you?” I was so shocked that I didn’t even think to tell him I wasn’t Ms. Robertson, but instead told him yes, that my mama had passed Tuesday. He said that he had felt it so strongly during the blessing and….

There in that Church isle,  he told me again that my mama was in Heaven.

Coincidence???

All I know is…


1. He called me Ms. Robertson.  N
ow sure, maybe he did think I was the preacher’s wife, who is named Mrs. Robinson… but my mama was born Margaret Robertson and Robertson is what he called me.

2. I had not been to Church in weeks and No ONE knew I was coming. So no one could have told that man anything about my mama passing away and him know who I was or know that I would even be there. That man didn’t know me from Adam’s housecat.

3. Ever since my mama died Tuesday, when I would lie down in my bed at night, I would pray, “ God, please take her on into Heaven.”

So I choose not to think of this as a coincidence. I choose to think that this was God’s way of getting a message to me and you know something? You can’t run from God. He will find you.

He found me Sunday.

He knew before I knew, that I was going to be at that church and He sent that evangelist there to get a message across to me.

I know two things for certain.

If that evangelist ever does have a revival here, I will definitely be there!

Most importantly…

My mama is in Heaven.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Friday, February 7, 2014

LOSING MAMA

        

          25479_349211132884_591887884_3574074_2181328_n
           My mama, (left) her brother Tommy and sister Helen

On Monday night, my mama was admitted into the hospital in critical condition. It probably couldn’t have been a worse time. She had children and grandchildren over 500 miles away, some in places with 7 inches of snow. Sleet was forecast to begin falling on top of the snow the next night. When I asked if I needed to call the family in, the doctor told me that although mama was most likely going to die, he couldn't pin point how long she had. He said he wasn't God, and with Mrs. Lindsey, you sure couldn’t make a guess, because she was one of the strongest women he had ever known and had fooled him in December when she was so sick. ( She got well!) So we said we would wait until all the tests came back the next day.

But I had a feeling this time.

For the last three weeks I have dreamed one certain dream over and over. This dream I was having, although not too bad, had left me with an uneasy feeling.

The first thing I noticed Monday evening as I walked into mama’s room at the hospital was a huge painting of a beautiful dogwood tree on the wall. It made me think of my daddy who has been dead for years. He loved dogwood trees.

           family aunt helen and mama
               Aunt Helen on left and my mama on right in Mill Town.

Even though mama wasn’t awake, I sat out there for a long time that night just talking to her, telling her how much I loved her, how she was the best mama I could have had, how hard I knew she had worked to raise us all when we were so very poor, how strong she was, and I also let her know that her baby was there. When the nurses said that all the test results wouldn’t be in until the next morning anyway, I went ahead and left to go home around 10pm or so, to try get a little sleep…

Figuring I would come back early the next morning.

          family mama susan with thomas  jo ann  sue ellen christopher and granny
             mama in1965

It was just as I was heading out the front door of my house the next morning around 8 am, that my home phone begin to ring. Being in a hurry to get out there with mama, I debated on just letting it ring. (Because I had given the hospital my cell phone number in case they needed me.)

Something just told me to turn around and go on back in the house and answer the phone.

           10218_1156311267880_1230684864_30566417_2525423_n
                 My mama with Danny.

It was the doctor and before he even told me, I knew my mama was already gone. He said she went peacefully with no pain. It’s true what they say about hindsight being 20/20, because I wish with all my heart that I had went on and stayed the whole night with my mama and been with her when she took her last breath.

I can’t changed that now, and I know I will have to live with that fact for the rest of my life.

My mama is gone.

I will never again on this earth see her sweet smile or hear her voice…the mother’s voice I have heard since my birth. I loved her so much and although I knew this day would eventually come, it has still been such a hard loss. I was her baby, and she used to tell me I would ALWAYS be her baby. (I have caught myself telling Amanda and Dan the same thing, so yeah I know what she meant.) 

           0606121423
                                Me and my mama

Even in the midst of sorrows, you can sometimes still find good things happening around you if you look hard enough….

I am so very proud of my two children and my nieces and nephews. Although they didn’t have to, they collected money between them all to buy the beautiful spray for their grandma’s casket. Knowing Grandma’s favorite color was yellow, they had it filled full of yellow roses. Even grandchildren who lived far away proved their love for their grandmother, God bless them all. Then again, they knew what they had lost…a grandma who loved them with all her heart..

             68775_1481016105298_1230684864_31343135_1980894_n
                       Wyatt with his great-grandma Lindsey

God was with us because my mama’s son and daughter and their families made it down over a mountain, through ice and snow without accidents for the funeral.  I got to see family that I had not seen in a very long time. It is so sad that the only time we as a family get together, is always at a funeral, but then again, you also find out there are wonderful friends, neighbors and family who really care and are praying for you.

It comforts me to know…

My mama's legs and feet are now healed and she is in no more pain.
Where that bastard (Alzheimer's) had robbed her of memories of her own children, today her mind is clear and those precious memories are restored. My mama is reunited with her loved ones…even the little sister we never got to meet.

           mama with wyatt and will
Will ( left)and Wyatt (right) with their great-grandma Lindsey

Yes, my heart is broken, but I still stand on the promise from our Almighty God that one sweet day, we will meet our loved ones again. And on that day;  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Revelation 21:4

Finally, I am trying very hard to remember that even though we all face trials and sorrows in this world at one time or another….

He is always with us.

GOD BLESS YOU ALL.