A Rich Life

Seventy-seven years ago, December 15, 1939 to be exact, a woman was born in a little obscure town in southern Kentucky. She was never wealthy, at least not by most standards of wealth. But she was rich and she would go on to influence an untold number of people and generations to come.

She was rich in that she had loads of talent. She had a soft, smooth alto singing voice almost like that of Doris Day. (Who by the way was her favorite actor and singer.) Although music wasn’t really her passion, at least in the time that I knew her, it was her escape. When she was troubled or worried, she sang or listened to music. Music would take her away to a much calmer and pleasant place. She taught me, maybe unintentionally although I’m not certain anything she did was unintentional, to use music as an escape too.

She was also rich in friendships. She had friends that she had known since childhood and still kept in touch with. This was long before the days of social media or even cell phones. She never allowed distance or even disagreements to have a negative effect on her loyalty to her friends. She seemed to only see the good in others even when they were clearly in the wrong. I’m not sure if this was intentional either or if it was just the way she was wired. (She still believed OJ was innocent!) I think she tried to teach me this as well, although this trait hasn’t seemed to have caught on like she would have wanted.

She was rich in love. Just as she was always able to see the good in others, she seemed to love unconditionally. I say “seemed” to because I’m still not convinced that unconditional love is humanly possible. But it sure did appear that way to her. It’s not that she never got angry or upset with others. Trust me, she did. And in most cases she had every right to. But her love for that person or person’s was still there. She genuinely loved others. Especially her family. In fact, family, or to be more specific her children, became her passion. Right, wrong or indifferent, her children (all 6 of them) was the reason she lived. At least that’s how she saw it. Outside of her love and devotion to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, nothing, and I mean nothing, was more important to her then her children. Loving Jesus and her children was definitely something she intentionally tried to pass on to me. However, once again, I didn’t catch it as passionately as she would have hoped.

You’ve probably guessed by now that the woman born in that city in Kentucky that nobody has ever heard of is my mom. Mom passed away in 1998. It’s unbelievable to me that she’s been gone 18 years now. I hate that my children never got to know her. I hate cancer and what it does to the body. I hate not being able to have conversations with her like I use to. I especially hate not having conversations that I needed to have with her but never did. But, I love that my life was so influenced by her. I’m not sure what I did to deserve to be her child, but I’m thankful that God allowed me that privilege. I talk to people often that have been, or at least feel like they have been abandoned by their parents. I have no experience in this area. That thought is so foreign to me.

Don’t get me wrong, my mom was not perfect. And yes I am biased. I’m sure most of us believe our mom is the best. I pray that you do think that about your mom. This would mean that you, like me, have experienced a rich life.

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