Last night…. After work … I decided I should run over to Mom’s house to check on it…especially after the ice storm we had over the weekend. My Brother went back to Chicago on the 30th of December and when he left….
He turned down the heat… shut the lights off and set the Alarm system….and closed the door behind him!
No one has been in it since then.
Mom passed away on the 13th of December. I knew in my heart this would be her last CHRISTmas here with us, but really thought we would have her at least through it….. but life has a way of throwing us curves. Needless to say the month of December…. Including CHRISTmas and New Years …. Has really been a blur. So much happened in that relatively short period of time and when I think back on them it seems like a lifetime ago.
On the way to Carthage…. I called my brother to let him know I was headed that way and if he got a call from the Alarm System….it would more than likely be a false alarm. Alarm systems and me have a love/hate relationship. I almost think they are more nerve racking having them than not having them. I reaffirmed the code with him as well as the “magic word” to give to the person on the other end of the line of the call we may or may not receive….I then proceeded to my destination.
I stood outside the door of my Mothers house…. making sure I had the right key….. and then turned on the flashlight on my phone in order to have all my ducks in a row before opening that door.
Door open…. and the please enter code jumped to attention….. buttons pushed….. and now… that mechanical voice told me the Alarm system is now officially…. off!
After the alarm system was successfully deactivated…..and I had time to breathe…. I am not going to lie….
I began walking through all of the rooms…. each one stirring up specific memories. The first one was no welcome from Mom’s little dog that is now living at my house…. but the memory still flickered across my mind.
The next one…. turning the corner into the living room where I knew in my heart and in my head that I would not be seeing her curled up on her little love-seat with her coffee and blanket wrapped around her and QVC on the TV.
I Cried…. again!!!
I continued my journey through out the bedrooms…. kitchen….. and then down to the basement….checking for things that might have looked out of place. Coming back up from the basement, I grabbed one of her cups she got from one of her many stays in the hospital and watered the few plants she had. I checked the windows …. ran water through the faucets to make sure nothing had frozen….and to run the “stale” water out….. checked the timers…. and…..
I cried some more.
The house…….It was so quiet! It felt cold. It felt lonely. It felt empty.
Although…..I have been in houses where no one was home or that were empty before… none of them were …. MY Moms house! Such an un-explainable thing….. and something I think I can honestly say I have ever really never experienced before.
I gathered a few things that I was going to take with me. I Shut the lights off…. Locked the door …. sat the alarm…. then closed the door behind me. I left Moms house this time ….. feeling …. very unsatisfied with my “visit”.
On the way to work this morning…. I was talking to my oldest son about going over there last night.
I told him how strange it was walking in to that house for the first time… by myself…. without Mom… or my Brother… or my boys. After awhile, we agreed that the house no longer will ever be the same …. NOW…. It’s just that…. A HOUSE.
The HOUSE ….. the same house that only a month ago was full of life….. is now just a shell of that life that once lived there The life….. are now memories…. memories that are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts. The laughter that rang through the walls of that HOUSE….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts…. or on a recording of days gone by. All of the past CHRISTmas memories…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones, or in a picture album. The good times… and the bad times…. will forever now be tucked away…. Inside us…..But never forgotten.
I then said…. It kinda reminds me of when a person passes away when we go to the funeral home. We go … only to visit the “shell” of the life that once lived there. The memories….of that person…..are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts. The laughter that rang through the walls of THAT house….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts. All of the past memories we had with that person…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones…in a photo album or in our hearts. The good times… and the bad times…. will forever be tucked away…inside us…. But never forgotten.
Houses…. things… can be replaced. There is no life in them on their own.
People…. Family…..Friends….. Relationships…. are truly irreplaceable!
Life…. is a cycle. Hard to truly understand until you have lived through those cycles of life!
Here today… gone tomorrow.
James 4:13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
But…. gone for a Christian…. is not really gone. It is a relocation! Our bodies becomes older…. tired and weak….. year by year…. and eventually… we will all relocate ….. somewhere!
If you are a born again Christian and have made Jesus your Lord and Savior ….. then the Bible tells us we will relocate to Heaven and live forever with our Heavenly Father!
2 Corinthians 5
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3 For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4 While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
My heart….. although still healing from the sudden loss of my Mom…. is comforted by the hope I read in my Bible. My moms house will remain empty…. and as we sort through things…. will become more and more empty. We will Remanence while we see…. touch … and feel our way through her things. We will laugh….. We will cry…. holding on to those memories we may have even forgotten through out the years and making new ones as we do.
Someday…. new memories will be made in that house with a new family who will move in. Maybe they will be a newly married couple…. maybe a couple who are starting their family with a newborn baby to coddle. Maybe… a retired couple who will spend their last years in the comfort of all the unique nooks and cranny’s built into that cute little house. No matter who moves in….. they will make their own memories….some good….. and some not so good. No matter what kind or how many memories they make…. they will never replace our memories….. and that gives me hope in the cycle of life…. once again.
I love my Mom!
I miss my Mom! But…. one thing is for certain…..I know where my Mom is….. and….I will see my Mom again…. in her new home…. Heaven!!!
All things work together for good…..
We have heard it time and time again…. so many times in fact that we might have lost its real value. I see and hear people almost use it so much it just becomes a cliche’ …. or a feel good mechanism…Not that Scripture is a crutch like some claim…. but the Power… that is attached to such Scripture becomes watered down.
I …. am guilty of that as well….. until… Last night!!
As some of you might know… My Mom just passed away the 13th of December from a Heart Attack. I knew in my heart that this would probably be our last CHRISTmas with her…. but …. I never thought of her leaving us BEFORE CHRISTmas Day. She loved CHRISTmas and always wanted it to be special for as many friends and family we had left.
Needless to say…. THIS CHRISTmas was very different without her.
Last night…. I ran to the AT&T store … planning to deactivate her phone I had on my plan and also looking into an upgrade on my phone.
When I got there they told me they couldn’t do it there, but I just needed to call 611 and it would only take a few minutes. After SEVERAL minutes talking to the sales people (kind of like a car salesman) I finally wheeled and dealed myself into a new phone… and hopefully a better plan that wont break the bank….. Guess we will find out for certain when I get the phone bill.
I left with many mixed emotions. Finality of another piece of my heart that connected my Mom and me…. even through a phone….was now disconnected. Was excited on the other hand about the new phone I got…. but anxious …wondering if I did the right thing or not! Kevin…. my salesman… reminded me on the way out the door to call 611 to deactivate my Moms phone so as I pulled into the parking lot of Neighborhood Market to get a few groceries before heading home…. I connected to…. Charlotte!
Charlotte…. the rep on the line with me from AT&T…. was very pleasant when she answered the phone with the usual “how can I assist you today”?
I told her my Mom had passed away about 2 weeks ago and that I needed to deactivate her phone from my account. Of course she extended her deepest sympathies with the usual… “I can take care of that for you Ma’am” and proceeded to ask for all the verification information to make sure I was who I said I was.
When all was said and done…. with the assurance there was no disconnecting fees and it would be taken care of today…. she once again offered her condolences on the loss of my Mom…. when I said…. I really knew this was probably our last CHRISTmas with her…. but thought we we have her at least for this one…. and then…. I said… but I know where she is now and I WILL see her again.|
That is when she said… she had had many losses this year herself and she wished she could have that sureness of things going to be ok. I then began witnessing to her…. over the phone! Although the exact conversation is all jumbled in my head at this time…. mainly because I was in total Awe of what was taking place in the parking lot of the grocery store….It went something like….
Oh girl….. I dont know how anyone could make it with out My Jesus. He is who has given me hope through this and so many other trials in my life. By knowing Him…. and receiving Him as your Savior… you are guaranteed a life in Heaven.
She said…. she has never delved into that kind of thing before…. she said… well… I guess I believe what you are saying but it is foreign to me….religion and things.
I told her it wasnt a “religion” but a relationship with Jesus. I asked her her name… and she told me it was Charlotte…. I said Charlotte… I want you to do me a favor…. tonight… when you are driving home… and your car is quiet…. I want you to remember this conversation…. with a Lady named Teresa. I want you to talk to God. Tell Him… you want to know if what this lady on the phone is real. If YOU are real! And if so…. show me. Then.. I told her to watch over the next few weeks as God reveals Himself to her!!…. because …. HE WILL!!
I told her I wanted to hear how it came out… but she wasnt allowed to keep any information from phone calls and I told her to try to find me on Facebook. But I told her… no matter if I ever hear how God showed her how much He loves her or not…. I will believe that someday…. I will see her face in Heaven.
She thanked me for my kindness and a renewed hope in her heart as we said our goodbyes and her…. “if I can assist you with anything else….” pleasantries. I told her I would be praying for her… and I have…. several times since we hung up!
How awesome was that!!! My trip through the Neighborhood Market was a blur. I was flying about 5 feet off the ground… thanking God for allowing me to be His vessel for a soul who had been hurting and needed to hear about a God who loved her… a Jesus who died for her… and a Heavenly home to gain!
ALL things DO work together for good…..!!!
Romans 8:28 (AMP)
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.