Monday, April 19, 2010

Living in a Legacy

I have the privilege of sitting with my Mom in the hospital as she enters her third battle with cancer, now at 82 years old. I consider it a privilege, because it is a an unexpected opportunity to serve the one who has given of herself so sacrificially in my life and the lives of many others.

The older I get the more I see the legacy that she has created and left for me and my family. A mother does so many things, but more than anything else, she imparts herself to her children. This can be good or bad, but, in my case it is very, very good. Now at 54 years of age, I still find myself in many ways, seeking to emulate her strength of character, her generous spirit, her unselfish nature, and her kindness that she shares with everyone. I never knew anything but total acceptance, love, and support from my mother. I understand that I have been given a great gift.

As I have watched my mother interact with the staff of nurses in this small town hospital, I began to notice that she takes time to find out their name and then encourages them every time they leave her room by telling them what a good job they are doing. She hesitates to push the button to call for a nurse when she needs pain medication because she "doesn't want to be a bother". It doesn't surprise me that many of them stop by her room to tell her "good-bye" when they are leaving from their shift.

Just last night her surgeon called the hospital room to talk with me and he started off by saying,"your mother is an amazing woman". He then went on to tell me of her intelligence, her cheerfulness, and the grace and strength that he saw in her. These would be wonderful qualities for any person to exhibit, but it is especially beautiful to watch this fruit flowing from the weakened and battered body of the woman I call Mother.

Yes I, my children, and one day their children, are all living in the wake of my Mother's legacy. We've all inherited so much from this life well lived. I am grateful and humbled that I have this chance to serve and honor my Mother. Now every day is a precious gift.