I realize that for the next month that I have left being 54, that it is the same age that my daddy had his heart attack. He died way too young and at the time he seemed so ancient to me. Mom never held a public job, but she worked extremely hard in the fields doing sharecropping when I was younger. You see, Daddy didn’t trust her to work outside of the home because he was jealous of anyone she may have talked to during the day. He was blind with jealousy. He felt that it was her place to raise the children and have supper on the table at exactly 5:00 every day. I didn’t give my mother the respect that she deserved, and I guess that because she didn’t work outside of the home that I discounted her contributions to the family. How ashamed I am that I didn’t change my perspective to see the greater picture of how God saw her life.
Being in the home brought consistency and security, and no matter what turmoil we faced, we knew that when we walked through the door, that mom would be there to listen to our latest crisis, or to embellish our lives with her unconditional love. She never criticized us, but we knew that if we went in a wrong direction that she would be hurt; so in her way, she directed our steps to always do what was right and acceptable in the Lord’s eyes. If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would be more tolerant of her ways. I was the sophisticated one who was particular about how to set the table, or do dishes, or clean a house, but in the end: did all that really matter?
While I was cleaning, she would be spending time with the other children, laughing and playing. I had a Martha spirit and nothing could dissuade me from following through on my latest cleaning binges. It was if I wanted to purge the alcoholism from our lives and the only way to do that was to keep everything meticulously clean. That sense of urgency to make everything better has never left me, although today, I can manage the compulsive tendencies more than in the past.
It was hopeless. I couldn’t fix this situation. Daddy was an alcoholic, but today, thinking that for the next month I will be 54, I remember that Mom was a noble treasure that I cherish. I now am wise enough to realize what a fool I was to lose something so precious with her, time.