Welcome to my blog, or should I say to the ramblings of an old man. I doubt that my ramblings are of much value, but at least I have an opportunity to share them.  So, please be kind and humor me. If nothing else of value stands out in these thoughts, I hope that you at least sense the value I place on a daily walk with the Lord.  That walk is what has provided me with motivation and a sense of purpose throughout my lifetime.  My prayer is that you, too, are experiencing this direction and joy in daily living which is available to everyone who puts his trust in Christ.  So, thanks again for joining me.  Please don't go without leaving some comments here so I can get to know you better as our paths intersect today in this blog.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Week To Remember

          There are particular days in your life that you never forget. For me, I will never forget the events that happened this weekend 24 years ago.  Please allow me to reminisce.

          On Friday night, November 5, 1993, we went to Lititz to visit my mother.  It was her birthday.  It turned out to be an extra special day for her because all of her children and grandchildren happened to stop by that day to visit her and that actually was unusual on her birthday  We had a very nice evening with her.
          On Saturday my wife and I headed to State College where we enjoyed the Penn State  vs. Indiana football game.  It was an exciting game, won by PSU, and we had a great time.  When the game was over we headed to Shamokin Dam to visit my wife's parents.  Her mother was in the hospital and we especially wanted to see her.
         But when we arrived at their home, about 6 pm, my father-in-law said that I had to immediately call my oldest son.  He didn't tell us why but he insisted that it needed to be done right away.  When I reached my son he informed me that my parents had been in a bad accident and that my mother might have died in the accident.  We were stunned, to say the least. We immediately left to make the two hour trip back to Lancaster.
          That trip was a blur and, fortunately, I did not get stopped for speeding.  When we arrived at the hospital most of our family were already there and mother's death was confirmed.  Soon my brother and his wife also arrived.  They had been on a weekend retreat at Sandy Cove.  We were told that a teenage boy, on his way to work, ran a stop sign and hit my parents broadside on my mother's door.  It is interesting that his parents quickly removed him from the accident scene so that he couldn't immediately be tested for drugs or alcohol.  We later heard that he hadn't been drinking for several hours before the accident.  I don't know how he legally avoided being tested.  I can't help but wonder if he was drunk, but at this point it no longer really matters.
          Dad wasn't seriously injured, but they decided to keep him in the hospital for several days just to be sure.  We spent several hours with him and I still am amazed at how he outwardly took the tragic news.  Later they gave us a chance to view mother and looking back I often wish that we hadn't done that.  I will probably never forget the images that are in my mind of how she looked.
          The next few days were also a blur as we made service arrangements and cared for dad.  But what I do remember is how close we all became as a family.  We all pitched in and shared all that had to be done. In a time of tragedy we were all drawn together like never before. We were also blessed with all the food that folks provided for us, enough that we didn't need to worry about any meals during that time.
          Dad was released from the hospital and we could then finalize service plans.  Together we decided to have a private service and burial and we invited our relatives and some very close friends to attend.  We had an open casket at the service. The casket was a wooden one representative of those that her father made for many years working in the casket company in Sunbury.  My brother was able to purchase a lot in the Moravian Cemetery, just a block from my Dad's home.  In fact, the plot almost overlooked his home.  
          The burial was followed by a luncheon at our church.  Then we had a memorial service in the evening following a time for family visitation  And the church was packed with a very long line of folks waiting to greet us.  Mother had so many friends who loved her.  We finally had to stop the visitation or the service might have been several hours late.  It was a beautiful, God honoring service that was fitting for such a special woman.  Unfortunately, some were disappointed that we didn't have an open casket so they could say good-bye.  But even today I have no regrets that we had decided to first bury her earlier that afternoon.
           Mother had touched many lives and she was greatly missed.  One example of this were the city kids in our Awana program who cried when they learned of her death.  She had been like a mother to them as she listened to them say their verses each week and they really missed her.
          Now I still miss mother, especially in November, and that November weekend was so difficult.  But as I look back I thank the Lord that mother never had to suffer the physical and mental problems and nursing home experiences that so many seniors must endure.  Now she had her share of physical problems that no doctor seemed able to diagnose and treat.  I admit that at times I thought her problems might even be imagined, but now I know otherwise.  I guess I am now my mother and am facing many of the same challenges that she faced. I am so sorry for ever having those doubts about her. I now better understand the frustrations and pain she faced.  But God immediately healed her when she stepped into His presence that Saturday night in November.
          Dad suffered, usually silently, but often the tears quietly flowed.  They loved each other and had built a wonderful life together for 53 years.  After mother's death dad always refused to even date another women.  God had given him a special mate who could never be replaced.  And he spent 16 years without her until the Lord finally took him home one February morning.  Those years he spent continuing to serve the Lord and set a Godly example especially for each of us in our family.
          We were blessed to have such wonderful parents.  Thank you, Lord!
50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner



No comments: