My Mountain Mother

In the hills of West Virginia, she began her life
the daughter of a coal miner and loving housewife.
Born at home in Plymouth Bottom, the coal mine town
where the company required they settle down.

Blind to the poverty of the coal dust streets
her joy was shared with each person she would meet.
She eloped at 15 for marrying young was the custom
and within two years, a new life she welcomed.

Mom and Me
Mom and Me

Blessed twice more in rapid succession…
her family complete, a smile her permanent expression.
The love story continued with a promising future
until tragedy struck and left her a single mother.

She moved to Ohio looking for work
for she couldn’t support her family as a restaurant cook.
Nights in a factory were difficult and tough…
we didn’t have much extra but always enough.

Her children grew and built lives of their own
leaving her proud of their independence but feeling sad and alone.
Out with a friend, one night she chanced to meet
a smooth talker that swept her off her feet.

Thirty years ago she married her second love
and while taking a new name, she gained a daughter and a son.
The new couple sped through the years enjoying each day
as they laughed and loved in their own special way.

Graduations and weddings and grandchildren, now eleven
drove her empty nest to yearn for attention.
Looking through the window, she found her calling
to rescue stray kittens, now her life had new meaning.

As the years passed, her heart began to weaken
perhaps drained from the love she shared without hesitation.
We felt her embrace and affection in everyday actions
for saying the words, didn’t often happen.

She learned as a child to keep her feelings contained
and limit expressions of emotion, the reason unexplained.
It was sometimes difficult to see through her tough exterior
but we knew she loved us deeply, and that’s what matters.

I held Mom’s hand as her breathing became shallow
and reminisced of a vibrant woman, who was now only a shadow.
I wished to go back in time for a long sweet embrace
to tell her “I Love You!” and “You can never be replaced.”

We said good-bye as Jesus welcomed her home
and rejoiced in knowing we would never be alone.
For we see her smile that continues to glow
in every sunset that graces the heavens, both above and below.

Mom Smiles from Heaven

A Smile from Heaven

On Sept 2nd, my Mother was welcomed home into Heaven. Words cannot express the profound sadness left from her absence. A deafening silence has replace her words and laughter…leaving a gaping chasm in my heart. Her death brings turmoil over what went wrong and how to settle her affairs. Guilt invades my consciousness with nagging questions…Did I do enough? Should I have come home sooner? Did I underestimate the seriousness of her condition? Only God knows and for now, He isn’t talking.

Our emotional roller coaster left the platform on July 29th. At first, all appeared to go well. Then we began to notice “little things” that raised concern. Our fears were initially calmed with assurances from her medical team that all of the “little things” were normal for her procedure. Mom was released to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. The “little things” became more pronounced. After four days, the doctor ordered her return to the hospital. She had contracted a staph infection which led to an emergency surgery followed by kidney failure and breathing problems. One day she appeared to be better… the next day a new symptom would emerge. The cycle continued until she was too weak to endure another day. We were helpless to change the course of what is now history.

During each day I held strong…at least around my family. I attempted to detach from my emotions so I could function and keep up with the constant changes in her care. But when I was alone, the dam burst open and the tears flowed.

I cried out to God for direction… for clarity…                           for a reason why this was happening.

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