Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go.”
Philippians 4:12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
With a week-long preaching gig in New Hampshire, I was only a little over an hour away from Mother's new home at the Clough Center in New London, NH. So, on the day I had off, I headed north with a friend from the Dover church.
Well, Rob and I did visit Mother a couple of weeks ago. There isn't all that much to report from that. She was in a new room at The Birches, a shared room with another resident. But the shared rooms at The Birches are very nice. A full wall separates the beds with a common living area. All her things were moved over, although the pictures weren't put back up on the wall since another move would be imminent.
I am catching up with my posting today (this is my third this morning) by ignoring my other responsibilities. I'm in a hotel room in northern Mass. where I stay during the Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church in New England. It's a required gathering for UMC clergy with business and worship and learning experiences stretching over four days.
I am an evil child. All of our family has birthdays in either April or May, and Mother's 76th birthday was May 26. The date fell on Memorial Day this year, so I had the day off. But I didn't go to see her. I didn't get a card in the mail. I felt wretched.
May 11 was Mother's Day this year. May 11 is also my birthday. On Mother's Day in 1959 my father took a picture of my mother sitting on the stone wall in front of our Rhode Island home. She was perched as gracefully as someone about to give birth could be, with a lovely backdrop of yellow forsythia. Later that day the labor pains began and she went to Kent County Memorial Hospital for the birth of her first child. At 2 am on Monday morning, her labored breathing gave way to my first breath.
I wasn't planning to visit. The weekend was very busy with every day already including four or five hours of driving. It would have been my only day at home. But in my bedroom is a picture of Mother from her college days. Her bright, beautiful face smiles down on me from atop my dresser. Here she is in 1954.