Going Through The Storm

                   Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you—1 Peter 5:7

We once lived next door to an amazing older woman. She had emigrated to the United States in the early 20th century from Hungary. She had come with her Aunt and Uncle but not her parents whom she had a difficult relationship with, as I recall her telling me. She was quite young, around six years of age and spoke no English. She had a hard time at first in school and with the neighbor boy who also did not speak English, but Swedish.

Why I consider her amazing  was for her take on life. Through every difficult situation she would explain all the difficulties facing her as she aged- her husband’s Alzheimer’s, her own declining vision, a fall that caused her a near fatal broken neck,  relationship stresses caused by her family obligations, and of course weather related storms that worried her. At the end of each discussion of her current hardship she would pause and exclaim; “But what are you going to do?” It was not so much of a question she posed to me as a calm answer to all that she was facing and had faced in her long life.

She had been through many storms in her life and she had this great perspective that there wasn’t anything you could do about certain situations, so why get upset. She didn’t avoid talking about her problems as though they weren’t there, she described them, faced them and decided she might as well accept things as they were. She went through.

I remember my Mom giving me similar advice; “This too shall pass” I always thought of it as kinda cryptic, but now that I am older and have been through the storms, I can now say my mom was right. When we are younger, it is hard to take the advice of our parents. We really do think we know everything there is to know about any given situation. But, given the current worldwide crisis due to the corona virus, I am beginning to get a slight glimpse into what the older generations went through and were forced to go through at young ages, giving them every right to know what they are talking about. They were strong and resilient, because they had to be. It wasn’t something they chose to go through. Oh we have had our own share of armed conflicts and large super storms, earthquakes, tornadoes in the late to early 20th and 21st centuries, but nothing on the global scale of the current COVID-19. Our lives have been disrupted and basic supplies are difficult to find. It is now that I recall my grandparents and even my parents stories of what it was like during World War II. Everyone received booklets that rationed items like, meat and sugar. people did not travel and my Mom told me of the air raids that often happened at night. If you were home you were instructed to turn out all your house lights and if in a car you would pull over and turn off the headlights. Apparently it was a regular occurrence.

So,as we are all a little anxious at this moment with our regular predictable lives on hold, let’s remember the words of previous generations. They went through and got through it. We cannot change what is happening, but in those moments when we feel anxious, we can be reminded to turn to God and cast all our anxieties on Him. Sometimes we cannot avoid going through hard times, we just have to. We can’t pretend we don’t have fears or anxieties when we do. It’s okay to describe our difficulties as my elderly neighbor use to do. But once we do, we can go to God and admit we need Him to calm our fears and still our anxieties. I know that’s what I have been doing. -God Bless – Nancy

Reality Check

Mother’s Day is difficult for me. I enjoy all the well wishes and the gifts from my Husband and kids, but its  still difficult. It’s difficult because I lost my mom four years ago, and well, there’s just nobody to say Happy Mother’s Day to.  If you’re like me, and your mom has died, then you probably know what I mean. It’s easy to say it to strangers and friends, but when your Mom is gone, it’s not the same. There’s this missing part of you that can’t be replaced.

If your much younger and your Mom is still alive, then you probably won’t get it. I didn’t get it either. She was just Mom. The parent that knew what you were doing, when you wished she didn’t. The one who seemed to read your mind. But, also the one who called at the right moment when you needed it most. The one who hounded you to date and had the perfect person for you- make that her perfect person for you. As the saying goes, you don’t know what you have until its gone. I really understand that saying now.

The most enlightening and frustrating thing that I have learned is this; I now have a better appreciation for the difficulties she went through as a mom. While I was out conquering the world with my can do, don’t care attitude, she was missing me. While I tried to change the subject when she complained to me, she was trying to reach out to me and have me understand and needed a shoulder to cry on. When she said “Stop by when you can” she meant “Please visit me, I like spending time with you and I need your company, and I miss you”   Now that my adult kids are out of the house, I get it. I really get it. Why hadn’t I understood it before?

We all get busy with our own lives and think we will have time for everything- later. They’ll be time to visit our family later. Or, maybe we think we know better than our moms when we are younger. Yep, that was me on both counts. Now,  I see and understand her so much better. But, I can’t tell her that, at least for now, until I see her again. But, I can help you to get it, before I did.

Here’s a list for you to consider: Your mom probably has some good advice for you, she’s been through more than you think she has, she was once young too and faced the same or similar situations, she really didn’t know what she was doing and learned as she went, her parents disapproved of her choices too and didn’t understand her, she was once the young one with the can do attitude who wanted to conquer the world, her mom probably had the perfect person for her too, but then along came your dad, she likes you as a friend too, and she would do anything for you and wants you to ask her.

I can only hope that you will take time for you mom and listen to her. Time and experience has made her wiser. She’s fallen on her face a few times and picked herself up. She knelt by your bed and prayed with you and for you. And she probably stills prays for you. She wants the best for you and hopes you won’t make the same mistakes she did. She wants to protect you from the hurts and the cruelties of the world. She is worth listening to. And the reality of it is this; as she gets older she will need you more than you think you need her. Reality is, you both need each other for your whole life. -God Bless -Nancy