Today would have been my mother’s 92nd birthday. Of course, I thought of her this morning and wished her picture a happy birthday, then went on with my day. But later, after priming my well pump to fill my cistern, and then changing out my big 5 gallon jug of bottled water, my mind began to reflect. I don’t know how much God allows our loved ones in the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) to peer into our present lives, but I still found myself compelled to offer up this brief message to her, just in case:
“Hello Mommy – first off, happy birthday! And secondly, look at me! Can you believe where God has brought me and what I’m doing now?! I think back all those years ago when we moved to Iran, (at my age of 13) and the example you set for me then. You showed no fear, even during the intense times of political unrest, but you portrayed the whole thing as one big, grand adventure. You showed me how to embrace a new culture and way of life with gusto.
I watched you tackle all the insurmountable tasks of getting our things packed for shipping and others to be stored, renting out our house, finding homes for our dear animals, coordinating our move, and everything that it entailed – and all of that by yourself, because daddy had already gone ahead of us to start his new job there. I watched you learn how to adjust to life without a car, learn new ways of doing things (like boiling our water for drinking and washing our vegetables in Clorox), and with changes in food options and altitude, having to learn to cook for your family all over again. And when the political situation sent us back home prematurely (at first without daddy and before our tenant’s lease was up), I watched you, with only a few short days notice, negotiate “Plan B” of us being evacuated and moving in with your sister in Tennessee for several months.
Through it all, you just accepted and dealt with things as they came, never getting flustered or complaining – just doing the “next, right thing” of whatever had to be done. You were such an amazing, strong lady, and I think I am just now fully realizing how watching you do all of these things, helped give me the strength I needed to follow through with what God called me to do.
And believe it or not, I’m even starting to cook! 😮 I’m not nearly the incredible cook you were, but I’m finally learning to make a few tasty recipes, and I’m actually starting to enjoy it. (I even made my own sour cream the other day!)
Thank you again, Mommy, for your many sacrifices and all you did for me in my life. You were the strongest lady I’ve ever known, and you are a huge part of what has shaped me into who I am today. I hope somehow God lets you see it and be proud.”