Life Marches On
In July, we welcomed new life into our family. She is our first grandchild and I’ve written about how she brought me to my knees as her mother labored to deliver her. We have visited her, cared for her ill mommy, and welcomed her to our home.
Her visit to our house was brief and unexpected. It was so welcome, to meet her grandfather and uncle for the very first time. She smiles and loves to snuggle, so it’s the perfect age and stage to be introduced to new family members.
Her first long trip (6 hours) came because her great grandmother was about to exit this life. She was on her ‘last lap of 90 years’ as my husband aptly described. It was our daughter’s desire to make the introduction of the new generation to the passing generation. She was successful in achieving that goal. They made a visit to the hospital where the Great grandmother was receiving care in time for Little Lady to meet and greet. The Great grandmother was thrilled to have the opportunity to hold and meet this treasure. She never thought it would really happen.
This is a bittersweet season in the lives of our children. It is also a wake-up call for them to realize with experience the passing of the baton from one generation to another. For me, it is the opportunity to watch the fruit of the spirit evidenced in a reverse.
This woman, about to leave life as we know it, has spent her life serving others. She abandoned what she loved doing to devote her energies to rearing four amazing individuals and serve their father. Her natural talents and love were for radio broadcasting. If you have met her, you know her distinct voice clearly qualified her. But in small town Iowa, few were the opportunities for her to use her skills.
Instead, she used the skills her mother modeled as a homemaker. She cleaned, cooked, organized, and served for the many years her babes grew into adults. She never complained though I know weariness often overwhelmed her. She was the epitome of submitting what she wanted for what was required.
When her children were grown, she returned to the university where she earned her degree before her marriage and to the radio work for which she was so perfectly suited. In her last years, she has learned the skills of electronic media to maintain contact with children and grandchildren spread across the country, traveling in and out of the USA. It has broadened her skill set and kept her active.
Now she faces graduation. She has earned her degree in living well, loving deeply, and serving long and hard. She is about to be birthed into eternity. She will soon be held in the arms of her Savior, beaming from ear to ear. There will be no more pain from holding twin boys on each hip, carrying them to keep them out of trouble. The pain and suffering of enduring divorce, watching her only daughter survive cancer several times, and seeing a grandson’s life changed in a heartbeat will seem like a fog compared to the glory and grandeur of heaven.
And I get to watch her children suddenly turn into the care takers, who administer gentleness, kindness, long suffering. They rise up and call her blessed for they look around them and suddenly see the sacrifices their mother made were the very essence of their existence. She is the reason they have been successful. For she is the one who taught them moral courage, to laugh at themselves, to give up one’s life to benefit another.
We should all be so fortunate to have an example like my mother in law, Frances. She is one in a million. If you met her, you know. If you have met my husband, you can see a glimmer of all that was good and kind in this woman.
Frances Leone Whisler Hudson Nathanson: December 3, 1927-October 8, 2018.