“Bev, you need to bring your father and your sisters to the hospital right away. I am so sorry, but it doesn't look good.” It was the most devastating, frightening call I had ever received and I remember it so vividly, as if it was yesterday. A dear friend of mine, Goldsboro Fire Chief Gary Whaley, was working back then as an emergency medical technician on the EMS truck. He had responded to my mother’s horrific automobile accident. When we arrived at the hospital, and for the next few days everything remained critical.
I remember walking into mom’s room and seeing her disfigured swollen face, the tubes protruding from her mouth, and most notably all the bandages. Our family was told that she had cracked ribs and severe vertebrae damage, major lacerations on her face and forehead and had severed her lips and tongue. Only days after being admitted, she had stopped breathing, her body weak and fighting for life.
It was the announcement we all had feared, “Code Blue Third floor, Code Blue Third Floor!” Some will say it is just plain irony, I will tell you it was the very anointed plan of GOD, that the very first nurse to respond to the call from my mother’s room to resuscitate and bring her back to life would one day become, my mother in law...
I have always been drawn to the love story of Ruth and Naomi. In all honesty, I am blessed in that I have shared a very similar relationship with my mother in law. I can’t help but giggle as I recall the midnight hour Black Friday shopping excursions, the "all nighter” home renovation projects, and the countless times I have sneakily crammed my size eight feet and stretched her nearly 200 pairs of size seven shoes and slipped them back into the closet. Yet, I have also seen her uncontrollable tears as she stood by the grave of her young son who was accidentally electrocuted, her courageous battle with breast cancer, witnessed her hushed prayers at the altar for a husband who was fighting pancreatic cancer and I have seen her relentless hours as a caregiver to my husband’s grandparents before they passed away.
Several years ago, I saw her stand by a son as his wife walked out on him. I remember seeing the tears stream down her face as we stood there under the car port. Heartbroken, full of questions, filled with worry for her son, and a face full of hurt , she looked at me and with her voice breaking she asked, “Do you realize what you are doing? Have you thought this through? Bev, he wants his family back, he loves you.” She proceeded to tell me how her marriage had fought some very tough battles of her own, but never once had she walked away. Her words stung, were full of conviction and I selfishly refused to listen.
For months she cared for my husband who was battling depression from the separation, and yet she never once stopped praying or stopped loving me. You see she practiced the many traits of a godly mother. She realized she would face problems, and as a godly woman her first response was to pray. Things didn’t look good and at times felt like they were out of control, but she was confident in God and trusted his word. In the end, she was sure to give HIM all the glory and praise for working everything together for His glory and the good of those who love Him.
I like to picture her in my mind out in the field working, her frosted hair pulled back to reveal the wrinkles and the tired eyes from the sleepless nights, then she sees me driving up Westwood drive, she throws her hands up to the sky and shouts out “Praise the Lord!” I can hear her yelling out to the neighbors, somebody go and grab my son, prepare the fatted calf, my prodigal daughter in law is coming home. You see just like Ruth, my story had reached its beautiful day of redemption.
To My Mother In Law:
It was a little over two years ago that you stood on the promises of God and your faith never wavered. There were friends, family and even those in the church who said, it’s not worth it. Give up on her and move on. Yet you prayed even harder, refusing to allow Satan to have victory in your family. I want to say thank you for praying that hedge of protection and for standing firm. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me unconditionally. Because of your love and the beautiful redemption of Christ, I to will be able to leave with my children the legacy of a godly mother.
Happy Mothers Day! Love, Bev
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. -Proverbs 31:10
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