Friday, January 20, 2012

Radiant Last Memories

Today is a hard one for me.  I have wanted to write about the last full weekend we spent with my mother before her death for sometime now.  It was a weekend that was truly euphoric and felt absolute heavenly.  I have thought of it often and am awestruck at the feeling that I had that entire weekend.  It is not a feeling that I can explain.  I can try to get close with many adjectives but I know I really won't even scratch the surface.  I have wondered if God gave us this last gift.  Now after reading Raising Cole, I am certain that He did and it seems He does this often.  Marc Pittman writes about his last full day with his son.  He writes about how his son "glowed" that day.  How they spent the entire day together.  Doing simple things. But how close they felt and how happy. 

I can tell a similar story.  It was back in July and my mother and step-father wanted to give our boy a weekend at a deer camp of a family member as his birthday present.  Instead of buying him toys they wanted to take us all to the camp to just have fun.  Saturday morning we loaded up and drove the long drive to a place near Palestine, Texas.  Along the way we stopped and ate lunch, we laughed lots and played jokes on each other.  It was a long drive to east Texas but when we arrived at the camp the mood became one of total peace. 

We drove the dirt road into the camp to the camp house that was sitting a few yards from a serene little slew.  We got out of the truck walked around and took in the beauty of the place we would spend the next two days.  Looking straight up the trees made a lovely canopy that shaded the cabin.  Looking ahead there were miles and miles of woods, dirt trails for riding ATVs or just walking.  Birds were singing and squirrels were scampering. 

We took the road leading back to the barn where we found several four wheelers, razors and rangers.  Our boy and his daddy climbed onto one of the four-wheelers.  Our girl and my step-father strapped into the razor and my mother and I jumped on the ranger.  We spent the next few hours driving, racing and kicking up dirt all over the property.  We would ride a little and then stop and talk.  Then we would ride a little more.  I rode the entire time with just my mother.  I can only explain this time as an out of body experience.  Even as it was happening, I remember thinking just how happy I was.  That truly this ranked in my top five of life experiences.  My husband and children with my mother and step-father just having the time of our lives.  The laughter that day was incredible.  The experience felt radiant.  It felt heavenly.  Everything about it glowed.  We were all so happy! 

At times, I felt like we were in a movie and that lively, happy music should have been playing in the background as our scene from the day played out.  I had never had this experience before nor have I experienced anything like it since.  I must say I am glad that I have not.  I do feel that God was present that day and that he orchestrated our every move.  I do believe He gave us this last joyful time together. 

We saw my mother a few times after this.  My husband's last memory is of us at her house.  We were in her kitchen eating a snack.  She was feeding her grand kids, something she loved to do.  I remember this too but the most vivid blessed memory for me was this weekend at the camp.  The time that I felt tingly with happiness.  From my head to my toes I felt warm with absolute joy.  I can think of it now and the tingling comes back, fresh on my mind, fresh in my heart. 

I have wondered about this weekend often since my mother's death.  I am comforted every time I think of it yet, I am troubled too, because the tingly feeling is so intense it is almost as if I should have known.  I should have known it was too good.  It was not earthly.  It was a heavenly feeling because it was a heavenly gift.  It was a gift my Lord was giving because very soon He would take away.  There is a time for every season and very soon the season of death and grief would be upon me.   But, before I began walking through this fire, through this season, I was racing through the most lovely acres in east Texas my momma by my side laughing her head off. 

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