Thursday, August 16, 2012

Winter into Spring

I always believed that the greatest gift my mother ever gave me was faith.  As a young person it was a concept but in adulthood it became very real. 

In the winter of 2004 when my mother was very, very sick she told me that she knew her time was coming but that she wanted to wait until the spring.  She believed that the harsh Midwest winters would be too much of a strain on her friends and family.  She started telling me that in early November and continued to get more and more sick.  I couldn't see how we could possibly make it to spring, I wasn't sure that we would make it to Christmas.  The doctors kept giving us the 24-48 to live conversation.  The hospice nurse had been in my house twice telling us that my mother was transitioning.  My mother died early in the morning December 27, 2004.  It was 5 degrees below zero in Chicago, there was a blizzard in Indianapolis.  A few days later while getting things ready for her funeral I thought I just felt hot because it was so overwhelming but my car said that it was 75 degrees.  I pulled my car into a parking lot, got out and it was hot, HOT in December. It stayed hot that entire week.  My mother was buried January 4, 2005 in Indianapolis and we were not wearing coats.  Once in her resting place and most everyone was on the road or in the air heading back to their homes, winter returned in the form of a severe ice storms. I was stranded in Indianapolis for two extra days because of the bad weather.

In that time I was trying to figure out how she would hold on for a few more months but God had the power to turn a Midwest winter into spring.  That was a power beyond coincidence and it wasn't magic either.  The news reports said those temps had neither been the highest high nor the lowest low, but never in history had their ever been such a drastic gap in temperatures and in was unexplainable.  I'm sure those days had different meanings for different people, weathermen tried to explain it but couldn't, and for some it had no meaning at all.  For me it was my mother's last lesson before dying; God is faithful to the end even unto death.  Death is never easy and losing a mother is something that is hard to explain but knowing for sure that she did not leave not one day before she was meant to leave allowed me to truly let her go in peace. It also showed me in the most demonstrable way that no matter how dark any day may be, my creator has the power to move mountains, heal broken hearts, and turn winter into spring.   

I believe that there is a power greater than myself, a way over every wall, and an opening in every dark place.  I can choose to focus on the darkness or put all my effort into finding the little light.  I could be angry about hardship and loss or I could choose to revel in and celebrate the fact that there is never loss without renewal. Whenever I think of those hot December and January days of 2004 moving into 2005, I smile in the knowing that no matter what happens in this life, my life is as it should be. 


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