By Rosie Preston
When one finds herself speechless, it’s okay because I’ve always been able to write better than talk. So I’m writing to tell my family and friends that you have truly blessed my heart with your cards, food, gifts of cash and phone calls. I’d like to share a hug, but because we cannot do so, I’m sending each of you a huge smile!
Thank you so much for caring about me during the months I could not visit my mother at the nursing home. When she became sick, I knew it would be only a matter of time before she left this world. I would never bring her back, because I know she is well and whole and there will be no more tears.
My mother always talked about going home. She was talking about the home my family lived in, but I knew it was going to be heaven. She and I spoke about it a lot, and I’m so thankful my mother carried me to Bellevue Baptist Church when it was just a small church and later to the one that is now located near Noccalula Falls. If I hadn’t learned through scripture, how could I ever have made it?
The wonderful people who were a great comfort to my family are the staff at Gadsden Health Care where my mom resided for many years. My family also appreciates the counselors at The Village Chapel Funeral Home. I want to use the word ‘friends’ because that’s how it felt as they guided us with a caring presence as they completely understood what a family goes through when a loved one has passed away. It was sad knowing that this would be the last visit we would have with family and friends who came to share their love and respect, and yet it was also a celebration of my mom’s life.
There have been many family and friends I’ve lost along the way, but none so meaningful as the loss of my mother. During the last 10 years or so, I made regular visits to keep in touch with her. I treasure the times I spent with her when she was still able to walk and all the trips we took to have lunch or share ice cream at a local fast food place. She loved grape milkshakes!
As darkness draws near each night, I find myself remembering times through past years as my mom and I grew together as only a mother could with her first child. I had heard many times that I was a breech birth. When I was young, I did not know if that was a bad thing or a good thing, but I always thought of it as being special for some reason that only a little girl could understand!
Through the years, I trained my parents as much as they trained me. I had little sisters and I watched as they entered different stages of their lives and I understood a lot more about my mother. She had a quick wit and a quick hand if I did not obey, or for other reasons I won’t mention.
I’ll never forget the time I was around 12 years old and didn’t know that my mother was around the corner when I called my little sister a bad word. Before I knew it, my mother had grabbed me by my ponytail and gave me a good few pops on my rear! I knew then she could be sneaky, too!
My mother will be missed forever by her four daughters, and we will always love her. It was wonderful for my sisters to be together for a change, even if it was an occasion of sharing memories and of saying goodbye with those who came in from out of state.
I would like to extend special thanks to Aaron and Janice Jordan. My editor, Chris McCarthy from The Messenger, told me there was a letter there for me at his office. Letters and cards always excite me. This one was special because they sent pages of beautiful poetry and scripture, words to songs and a promise of prayers for the future. I looked through all the pages at least twice, as I was trying to read everything over a period of days.
Earlier this week, I sat down to write an article. I turned a page and almost fainted, because taped across the bottom was a $2 bill with a precious note under it! How could I have missed it? The note said, “Aaron and I give these new $2 bills to people as a witness to let them know we’re praying for them. Every time you look at it, it’ll remind you of these two people praying for you.”
You can’t imagine why this timing was so special, as I have a $2 bill that has been in my jewelry box for so many years, and I had just looked at it that morning. The bill was given to me many years ago by my mother’s mother, my MawMaw. It was definitely a heartfelt moment as I stared at the one Aaron and Janice had sent. So now I have two $2 bills that I will cherish and pass onto one of my loved ones when I am laid to rest.
At the beginning of this article, I said I was speechless, and I think I’ve shared many reasons. I’m very sorry that I don’t have enough room to thank each person individually, yet if you are reading this, you know who you are, and I send your love and prayers right back to you!
Keep Smiling, Rosie
The journaling book is in progress, so send your stories to email@example.com.