Tag Archives: Older

A Night Never Forgotten

My brother and I were in the back seat of our station wagon doing what we did best: arguing over back seat rights.  We were notorious for dividing the seat down the middle and declaring, “My side and don’t you cross it.”  We were traveling home from our grandparents house, arguing as usual and not listening or adhering to the threats coming from our father while driving.

“If you two don’t stop arguing, I am going to pull over and let you out!” bellowed Daddy.  Mom pleaded with us from the passenger seat knowing dad was going to make good on his threat.  Not phasing our stubborn attempts of conquering the back seat, we continued arguing.  It was getting louder and the shouting match soon became a fist fight slugging from each other’s side.

Having enough of the two of us in the back, Daddy pulled the car over.  Immediately, we knew he was about to kick us out of the wagon and instantly turned into angels complete with wings and halos.  It was dark outside and we were a mile away from the house.  We didn’t want to leave the safety of the wagon.

Dad’s simple words, “Get out.” had enough anger and frustration behind them to scare the bravest man alive.  We opened the doors and climbed out of the wagon into the dark along the road to home.  Hearts racing and fear climbing up our throats, we forgot how much we couldn’t stand each other and quickly grabbed hands to run home.  Needless to say, the stark truth that we were walking home alone in the dark was frightening.

What we didn’t realize was that after Dad got home, he started on foot along the road masked behind the wooden area to walk along side of us.  He was making sure that we got home safely  without us knowing he was there.  He wanted us to learn the lesson of obeying him and yet he kept an eye out for us as we traveled home.

Now that I am grown, I see many times in my life that I disobeyed God for one reason or the other.  I was left traveling along life in the dark and felt alone.  Yet, God was there waiting for me to call out for him just as my dad had done so many years before.  If my brother and I had encountered anything or anyone, dad was in the bushes near by to come to our aide.  All those times, I thought I was alone when God was there to come to my aide.

Perhaps, if we had only adhered to Dad’s threats in the first place, we wouldn’t have had to walk in the dark that night.  Could it be if I had continually been following God’s path or allowed God the chance to take full control of a situation, I would not have had to walk through those times of my life in the dark and alone?  I think my Dad and my Heavenly Father both allowed me to experience the fear, loneliness and the dark in order for me to grow and to follow instructions.  Do you think it worked?  I do believe it has…..my brother and I never fought over the backseat again and I have honestly tried to keep my eyes focused on God and his purpose for me so that I don’t have to walk in the dark all alone.

God Bless….

Advertisements

A Tribute

Today would have been my mother’s 68th birthday.  That ill-fated morning of May 16, 1996 froze time in my mind.  I can hear the sounds of the machines surrounding my dying mother.  I feel the warm tears streaming down my face.  The cries of my grandmother still linger in my memory’s eye as I watch her cling to her dying daughter. “Stay with me, Carol.” was her only plea.  The smell of that ICU room is still fresh and as sterile as the moment I stood in that room at the foot of my mother’s death bed.  Flashes of my distraught brother and father replay as if it was happening right at this moment.

I can give you every detail of her funeral.  The smell of the flowers sprayed on and around her beautifully decorated casket.  Amazing Grace playing so lovingly and surreal.  I can remember the preacher reading The Velveteen Rabbit to the audience that included her 3rd grade class sitting ever so silent in the first row.  It was a befitting tribute to a wonderful teacher, mother, and friend to so many.

Two weeks later, a glorious discovery occurred.  I was to become what I had just lost.  I was pregnant.  Broken hearted because Mom wasn’t going to be there, I vowed nevertheless to be as good a mother as Mom had been to me.  I was going to plant memories in my children of my mother through stories I will tell.  I vowed to bake cookies, make jam and wonderful apple pies.  I promised to be all that my mom stood for and believed in along with so much more for my children.  Ultimately, becoming the best qualities of a grandmother and a mother all rolled into one.  I wanted to be the living tribute to my mother.

My Mom was the best friend I ever had.  She gave sound advice worth following I might add.  Her laugh was contagious and I can still hear it in my mind’s ear even today.  Oddly enough, at times my laughter sounds like hers. She was an artist in her own way….teaching.  She could teach anyone anything at anytime.   She was a model of all things good: the good wife, best friend, confidant, responsible citizen, dedicated teacher, and to be a “mom” versus “mother.”  She was the one you went to if you needed anything.  She gave her heart one piece at a time to anyone in need.

Daily, I live with the loss of her.  I miss her more than words would ever express.  Yet, I see her daily.  When I look in a mirror I have watched my hair gray in the same pattern as hers.  I see Mother’s hands when I look down at mine.  I hear her cackle when I hear a joke.  Even the way in which I hold my grocery list reminds me of her.  Every time I open my recipe box, I see her standing over the stove seasoning our dinner for the night.  She is still a big part of me even though she isn’t physically here today.

But more than that, I see her in how I live my life.  I learned from Mom that family is the most important.  She devoted her life to my dad, brother, and I.  She never allowed her career to come in between us.  She focused her life with my dad as a partnership.  Something more than just a wife.  She was his partner in all aspects.  You never saw one of them without the other.  She coached from the sidelines for my brother and was my editor-in-chief constantly keeping my writing in check.  She supported our career paths and I truly think secretly she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  However, that secret yearning didn’t keep her from being the best in the classroom.  There is a wealth of knowledge that I learned from her that I apply to my life each and every day.  It was because of her that I want my children to have the life they soulfully deserve.

Growing up, my family did not attend church.  My mother was determined that if we were to go; we would have to go as a family.  For one reason or another, perhaps, life getting in the way, we didn’t attend.  I distinctively remember a time when Mom, my brother and I visited a church near our home.  Mom broke down defeated that our entire family wasn’t in attendance.  When I married Mark, I made it clear that if we are going to attend church it would be as a family.  And we do.  It was important to her and likewise to me.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for Mom passing away the way she did…..sounds kinda crazy…..  I just poured out to you how much I miss her.  However, Mom had a undiagnosed brain tumor.  God spared her and us from the agony of dying from a brain tumor.  Instead He allowed her to go quickly as she started chemo for breast cancer.  At the time, I, naturally was upset with Him.  But today, I understand His love for Mom, Dad, Jeff and I.  We were ultimately spared and for that, I am grateful.

So what is left to say is just this…..

Thank You, Lord, for my Mom.  You gave her life and took her away, in my eyes too soon.  However, Lord, I now see the big picture and understand why You allowed her to die.  I understand and I thank You, Father.  The woman You wove as Carolyn Ann Cornett made an undoubtedly impression and impact on those who knew and loved her.  She wasn’t perfect; yet, I wouldn’t have wanted any other good hearted soul to be my Mom.  Thank You, Father for the 54 years she spent on this Earth.

In Your name…..

Amen

God Bless……

No Spending Day

Are you ready for a new challenge?

I want you to declare one day a week as your “No Spending Day.” That’s right.  Don’t spend a single penny.  Fall is here and the temperatures are cooling off.  Open the windows and turn off the AC.  Unplug every appliance (except the frig and freezer), gadget, and charger in the house.  Turn off the lights and go by candle light.  Don’t drive unless you absolutely have to!!  Don’t shop on-line… hey don’t even turn on the computer!!  And don’t you even think about the TV!!  Besides you just unplugged it.

The only thing you can spend is “Spend” the day with your family and friends.  Play games (not video).  Talk to each other.  Laugh out loud.  Take a walk.  Enjoy each other’s company. Fire up the grill and have a picnic in your back yard.

Just make your day free of spending money by making memories!!

The Power of Praying Friends

Recently, a good friend’s husband was involved in an accident.  Many who saw footage of the wreckage on our local news were astonished, as was I, that he survived the impact of the tractor trailer.  We are all convinced that God’s protective hand was covering him because he is alive.

I received word of the accident through a text message from a close friend.  As soon as I was able, I called to find out what was happening.  “All I can do is pace the floor.” was her response because she knew our sister friend was devastatingly worried for her husband.  My knees went to the floor and immediately began to pray for His healing and comfort on behalf of my friends.  And the news of our brother in Christ spread like wildfire in our community and church family.  And undoubtedly, prayers rang out to our Father’s ears.  Prayers were answered. His surgery a success and no longer in ICU.  Recovery: timeless; but support of friends: priceless.

It was on the same day friends of mine were getting ready to bury their loved one.  They were already in my thoughts and prayers but the tragic news of our friend in an accident perhaps could be too much for their already weary hearts and minds.  And again, prayer rang out.  And God listened and comforted by surrounding my dear friends with family and friends who gave hugs and words of encouragement.

On this very same day, my recently found high school friend called.  Her father was back in the hospital and this time the family was told that there wasn’t any more to be done for his condition.  My heart broke.  I wanted to put my arms around her and let her know that everything would be alright.  Unable to do more, I knelt and prayed.  Once again, God heard the prayer and outstretched an answer to my friend in need.  Her brother is coming home from Boston to help leaving his job and wife behind.  More of an answer she expected in her time of need.

As I look back on that one day’s events and the days that followed, I witnessed Christ over and over again.  He was there when praying friends showed up to deliver food for our sister and her family in the surgery waiting room.  He was there pointing out sweet memories of a loved one.  He walked the room with a pacing friend.  He carried bad news and brought home much needed help.  He was there every time a prayer rang out upon our Father’s ears.  He was shouldering the tears of my friends.  He comforted them when He graced the doorway as every visiting friend entered the room.  Jesus, sweet Jesus, sat in the waiting, hospital, and funeral home rooms holding hands with those with tear streaked faces.

Because of praying friends…..Jesus was there.

God Bless….