Written by Becky Smith
My Mom passed away January 17, 2006. For several years prior to that she had been declining, and for me, trying to cope with two aging parents was quite trying. We tried in-home care for them, which didn’t work out. Finally, in November of 2005, my brothers (both from Texas) and I had to make the decision to move Mom to an assisted living facility. I think she gave up after that.
Mom hadn’t communicated much in those final years. And she became “beige.” Red had always been her favorite color to wear, but when illness (dementia) overtook her and she lost herself and her personality, she chose to wear only beige clothing. I think this was a reflection of the retreat into herself.
And yet there were moments of sparkle, of her former self. I remember when another resident wandered to her room and she called out “Come on in!” Two days before she died, when I walked into her room, she flashed me two of the most beautiful smiles that I had ever seen. Smiles were not something I had seen for quite a while, and I treasure that gift from God, that glimpse of my real Mom to hold in my heart until I see her again.
But God was not through with the gifting. In December of 2006 I was given the sister I had never had. Mom was gone, but God gave me a piece of her to fill the void. It turned out that Mom had given a baby girl up for adoption back in 1940. I might never have known this but for a letter my cousin found in a cookbook. The Lord knew just how to cook up this miracle for me!
My sister and I first met each other just before Christmas 2006. What a gift from God! With both of my brothers living so far away, He gave me my very own sister right here in Michigan! The night we met was incredibly special and we share a very definite resemblance to one another. Finally I am taller than someone!
I had made a scrapbook of photos of our Mom for Ione. As we were sitting together looking at the pictures we heard a sudden “thwack” and looked up to see a red Christmas ornament propelled from the tree. It bounced and rolled toward us! Was this a sign from God that Mom was happy at our coming together? I like to think so!
Some months later, as I was dealing with the aftermath of cleaning out my parent’s home, I became very emotional. It felt as though I was literally shredding their very lives and existence. Through tears, I cried to God “I need Ione.” Moments later the phone rang. Yes, it was my sister!
We’ve shared much since then, and we love each other dearly, like… well, sisters!
If you’ve never experienced the incredible love, the extravagance, the deep caring of our Lord, I urge you to call upon His Name. Ask Him into your heart and your life. He wants to work miracles in our lives, but it is up to us to invite Him in.