Our stories are the same and different. There is the overlap of parents giving their lives in service to God. Father’s passed on. Mother’s loving their sons. And here we take a turn.
My mom, ten years younger than Henry’s yet it’s her memory that has failed and continues sliding into a place no one wants to follow. My mother-in-law, strong in mind but this once tall, regal woman now stooped with osteoporosis and making her seem frail. At her best she stood 5’10” all confidence and strength. A life possessed of faith and certainty in her God. In command of her wee ones as she was in command of the scripture she’d taken to heart.
Now, at 84, her body has shrunk and she is terribly stooped. She grips the walker to steady her balance and clear the way of obstacles. She is tentative in unfamiliar places. And she beams at the site of her first son.
They walk side by side, slowly. We stop at a pretty spot for me to take their picture and she loops her arm over his putting her hand on top of this son. The one who is so like her, learning the scripture at his mother’s knee and now teaching it with the same fervor. She smiles. Next to the son she only sees a few times a year.
We enjoy a morning out and get her back to the community she lives in time for her to put her bible in the compartment on the walker as she heads off to teach a weekly bible class. She has work to do. People to see and welcome and smile at. People to share God’s love with. She shares it through her smile everywhere she goes. This is where she seems to stand tall. Not physically, but this is her comfort zone. The path is clear as she continues to serve and share a faith that has sustained her through many trials.
She has taught her boys well.