89. Open Book

That’s the name of the next block in the Bible Sampler Quilt.

I’m going to take this term way out of context in this post today. It will serve to turn attention to me, me, me. Before I do so, I will say that reading the book of Revelation has been quite the challenge. For that matter, reading the Holy Bible is a terrific challenge. My self-centered human nature wants to read myself and current events into the passages. I know the Bible is a living word that speaks to me, but I remind myself that “Text without context is pretext”. And when it comes to the final book of the apocalypse, I must grasp the two-edged sword firmly in both hands and hold on to all of its truth that was written through the ages in order to even pretend to comprehend.

I know that I will in fact NOT be able to comprehend the full context of the book of Revelation. It relates to truths written back in Genesis, and the prophets, and the gospels. So many touch points swirl in my brain as I read through this final book. And Laurie Aaron Hird devoted no less than EIGHT blocks to the book of Revelation in the Bible Sampler quilt. I have no idea how I’m going to blog through this my friends, so let’s buckle up for the wild ride to the big finish.

So now I will abuse the scripture passage, the quilt block title, to serve my own purposes.

Open Book.

As I’ve probably already told you in previous self-serving posts, I tend towards privacy. If you know me in person, you know I am not what you would describe as an open book. So blogging has pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I’m going to say it has been a good thing.

We had my mom’s memorial service this past weekend. I’m going to share what I said as a tribute to my amazing mother. I don’t scrapbook, I don’t keep a journal, I won’t write a book, so it’ll be here for posterity.

Mom.

Born in the darkest year of the Depression, coming of age during World War II, like so many of her greatest generation, didn’t talk much about those times. And it was those hard years that shaped her character. Mom was strong, she was faithful, and she made her own happiness.

Mom taught me that family was important. Although her siblings were scattered across the country, and she was one of thirteen children, we visited with and got to know every one of them.

She always said “yes” to us kids – to acquiring pets, no matter how exotic, to music lessons, sports, scouts, to anything and everything we were inclined to try. She said “yes” to letting us host sleepovers, and choir parties, and afterproms, and even a surprise engagement party in our busy home. She didn’t helicopter parent us, she simply gave us strong roots so we could grow and bloom. She said “yes” every time the church called her: to serve on the altar guild, on W.E.L.C.A., to cook for Wednesday night Youth Club, and so much more. It would’ve made mom so happy to see us gathered here now, her beloved friends and family, in the church she loved so much. Thank you all for coming today.

They say your mother is your first teacher, and they say that good teachers lead by example. She was a first generation college graduate, first generation to strike out from the homeland of Fort Wayne Indiana to the Wild West of California. I followed in her footsteps and became a teacher. It was then that I truly saw her professional side, and I learned how respected she was in the educational community. My college professor worked with mom, developing a new federal program called Project Headstart. Later, mom would become a reading specialist, then end her thirty year career in the classroom.

She taught us economy and efficiency by example, too. After teaching all week long, she’d stop at the butchers on her way home from Golden Avenue on Friday afternoons. She’d load up on meat for the following week, and prep the meals that night. She could stretch a pound of ground beef to feed seven. One can of fruit cocktail or one box of chocolate pudding mix provided dessert for five kids. Mind you, those Dixie cup portions were small, but so were we. Saturday mornings we quickly cleaned the house with the promise of swimming at Uncle Kenny’s by lunchtime. Then after she helped our grandma with her housekeeping chores while we played, she’d pack us up, take us home, then freshen up for a night out with dad.

Then she became a grandma herself, and she poured all that boundless energy into her beloved grandchildren. The Broadmoor Place house was their happy place. We called it “Grandma-land”, and when the kids stayed there they baked, sewed, crafted, played board games, and went to museums, to parks, and to shops. She lavished her love on her grandkids. Camping at the beach was also a yearly tradition, and no one boogie boarded like grandma.

She was the best, and we will miss her. Especially during the holidays. Mom loved the holidays. She knew how to get all the fun from decorating, baking, and crafting. And the music, she loved music. Singing in the choir, the Christmas cantata, filled up all the spaces with joy and anticipation. She made such happy memories for everyone. She truly lived to serve. She taught us that loving others with such generosity of self brought real happiness.

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day. That’ll be a tough one for all of us who have said good bye to our moms. We just celebrated our first Easter without her here with us. I’ve altered a Christmas Poem which I will close with:

Easter in Heaven

You sing the resurrection hymns

That people hold so dear

But earthly music can’t compare

With the Easter choir up here

I have no words to tell you

The joy their voices bring

For it’s beyond description

To hear the angels sing

I know how much you miss me

Please wipe away that tear

For I’m spending Easter

With Jesus Christ this year

I can’t tell you of the splendor

Or the peace here in this place

Can you imagine Easter

With our Savior face to face?

So let your hearts be joyful

And let your spirit sing

For I’m spending Easter in Heaven

And I’m walking with the King.

One thought on “89. Open Book

  1. Beautifully written. My heart was with you, your sister and brothers, and the rest of the family on Saturday. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to attend. I would have loved to have seen you. Sending you a hug on this Mother’s Day. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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