I had a “moment” the other day. It all started when I saw my hairbrush while getting ready for the day. It was full of gray hair. FULL of gray hair. And in that moment, I “saw” my mom. Of course when my eyes lifted to look in the mirror, there she was again.
The day was Sunday. As we were in church right before the service was to begin, a young woman and her very young daughter walked down the aisle next to where we were seated. She took a seat in the pew in front of us and to the left a bit. It was the front row of our section in the very large church we attend. No one else was sitting near them, giving us a close up view of the two of them.
This mommy was a beautiful woman, likely in her twenties. The little girl may have been 4-ish. She had long blonde hair that her mommy had braided and bowed.
The music part of the service started shortly after they arrived. As we all stood to sing and praise, the little girl began dancing, doing somersaults, running about. Mommy watched her, and encouraged her to come back and stand by her, but the little girl was all about the music, all about the worship. All about perpetual motion. Mommy kept a close eye on her, and it was obvious this type of behavior was a common concern.
Mommy was able to keep her nearby during the prayer and quieter portions of the service, but little girl definitely had issues staying still. Mommy watched her little girl, and her smiling face exuded love for the little bundle of energy. And little girl from time to time would sit on Mommy’s lap, hugging her tightly. Mommy returned the hugs. There was much love. It was so thick between them.
It was a sweet scene that drew my rapt attention. And it was then that “moment” number two of the day occurred. I saw my own mother, again, in that sweet scene. And my sister Sharon. My sister Sharon who by the time she was maybe 6 or 7 had become the recipient of words like: “unteachable”, “unable to sit still in the classroom”, “we have no way to help her”, “she won’t be able to return to school at some point”. And she had the R word stamped on her life by those professionals sought out to help her and my parents. Truth: there was no help at that time in history.
By the time I was born, Sharon was 18. I could never have imagined any similar sweet scene between her and Mom because by that time, Mom was at the end of her endurance. Sharon was an adult with the mind of a 9 year old. The behaviors hadn’t improved over the years and Mom was alone in her attempts to help. Dad cared much, but he wasn’t involved as heavily in the day-to-day. He worked long hours and had a carpentry job in the evenings. Mom did her best. And the result was just a weary tolerance. I’m sure she loved Sharon, and I know Sharon loved her. That’s what Sharon does. She loves. But the dynamic in the home I grew up in was saturated with frustration, exhaustion, disappointment with a touch of anger. Along with a few times of despair.
So this second “moment” of that day was a gift to me from God. I just couldn’t keep from imagining my young mom and my young Sharon. Hope still alive in both of them. Joy and energy and confidence for the future. I know, I truly believe, that once upon a time there was sweet innocent love and joy for Mom and Sharon. Devoted mother and her loving daughter. And on that Sunday, I was blessed to have a brief vision of how it might have been all those years ago. A sweet glimpse that touched my heart to tears.
Now, Mom is in heaven. Since 1993. I’m Sharon’s guardian and she is lovingly cared for by wonderful professionals in the group home where she resides. She’s 84 and her health varies from really poor to not so awfully bad. I love her. My sister Lois and I, and our husbands, took her for a drive last week to the Ottawa County Lake, a favorite spot from her childhood, and mine. When we returned to Salina my husband drove us down Crawford near Ohio Street. Right by the Mokas Coffee Shop. Sharon right away teasingly said “Hey, you can’t drive right on by Mokas. Turn this car around. I always stop there.” And so, we went around the block back to Mokas, all the while listening to Sharon describe what she would be ordering at the drive up window. And we bought her favorite cup of coffee. Life’s simple pleasures. Sharon, with the incredibly difficult life she’s had, is still the easiest person to please on the planet. And the strongest person I know.
Mom, one day soon I can so easily imagine another “moment”, a scene that you’ve been waiting for since Sharon was born. Healing. Wholeness. And, you know what, I’m pretty sure that scene will include exuberant dancing, full-speed running in circles, and maybe a somersault or two. While Jesus watches, maybe even joins the fun. Actually, no maybe to it, Jesus will dance with Mom and Sharon. I just know it.
I’ve written several posts about Sharon. Here are my two favorites: https://simplyb.blog/2019/11/11/looking-through-windows/