Written By Betty Fritz
With Mother’s Day approaching once again, I was thinking about my mom today. Mama wasn’t one who spoke often of her faith but lived it quietly everyday. Her Dad was a Baptist preacher and she was saved when she was 17 years old. She enjoyed nothing more than sharing stories about life when she was young. How nice it would be to sit down with her and catch up on all the family stuff. So much has happened in the years she’s been gone.
Mama was the glue that kept our family together, the faith that kept us alive and the comfort we always came back to. I remember sitting beside her in the rocking chair while she rocked my brother to sleep. After singing all the lullabies she knew she’d recite nursery rhymes till he drifted off. I especially enjoyed hearing about Little Boy Blue. I asked her to repeat it over and over till I memorized the words. With nine of us to raise, I’m sure there were more pressing things she could have been doing, but she never seemed to mind.
Mama always had time for cutting out paper dolls, teaching us games or settling an argument. I can’t imagine the many questions she probably answered everyday, the lunches she packed or the hurts she kissed away. Lysol most likely stayed in business because of my family alone.
My dad was a farmer and spent most of his life in the fields. In summer we all hoed cotton and hand picked it in the fall. Mama raised a garden and spent hours canning and preserving everything she grew. We all helped out with milking cows, slopping hogs and feeding the chickens that were always underfoot. How nice it would be to sit down again to Sunday dinner of mama’s fried chicken, homemade biscuits, gravy and green beans.
During the later years of her life, after raising all of us, she enjoyed working in the nursery department of our church. She seldom missed a Sunday and especially enjoyed working with the babies. Luckily they had a rocking chair.
Daddy passed away in 1979 and in 1982 at the age of 73 Mama suffered a heart attack. For six days she lay in the hospital. Apparently, she had also suffered a stroke then slipped into a coma. A machine kept her breathing but the doctor didn’t see much hope.
After a long afternoon at the hospital, I had left the waiting room where family members were gathered to go home to my own family. I stopped when I came to the long dimly lit hallway leading to Mama’s room. The words of the 23rd Psalm came to mind: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”… Death surely lurks down that hallway, I thought. Then came: ” I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” The words were almost audible as I felt the Holy Spirit remind me: “This is not some evil thing that’s happening to your mama. She’s simply passing from this life into a much better one.”
Suddenly I felt the dread pass from me and silently thanked Jesus for His wonderful love and reassurance when I’d needed it most. I wiped my eyes, blinked back the remaining tears and straightened my shoulders. The shadow was gone now and the promise of better things to come for my mama added courage to my spirit and a lightness to my steps. I was able to stop by her room and say goodnight knowing whatever happened she was in the best of care. The following night her spirit slipped away quietly….into the arms of Jesus.
About Betty Fritz:
My name is Betty Fritz. I was born and raised in Texas but have resided in Elkhart, Indiana for the last 25 years. My husband is a Hoosier so that’s how we wound up here. We have two daughters and a son plus 6 grand kids…..3 boys and 3 girls.
I retired last year after working for 24 years at Elkhart Child Development Center. I’ve been writing since a teenager and have taken several writing courses. I enjoy writing short stories. I wrote a book of poems, RHYMES OF THE TIMES, which was published a few years ago. I have written countless songs, a few for which demo recordings have been made. Recently I’ve been writing blogs..most of them about my faith and things the Lord has taught me in my Christian life over the last 51 years. My inspiration comes from my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and my desire to see that my grand children grow up in a Christian nation. My goal is to bring glory to Him and help others to see that there is POWER in the name of JESUS!