A year ago today, the body of my mother was laid to rest in a cemetery outside of Los Angeles. We know she wasn’t there but the arms that held me as a little girl, the warm eyes that greeted me as a confused teen and the smile that stayed with me as a joyous bride won’t be seen again. They all belonged to a body that had done its job here on earth. The sweet soul that was once among us, is now peacefully worshiping at the feet of our loving Saviour. There is significant pain that is soothed by hope and a peace that truly passes understanding.
My recent routine in the morning involves sitting by the fireplace with my hands clasped around a steaming cup of creamer doused coffee. On my coffee table, side by side are two bibles that both hold deep meaning. Both are in need of new covers, both have highlighted pages and occasional notes in the margins. One I have had for almost 25 years, the other only one very short year.
The red one, a New King James Version of the Open Bible, with my maiden name engraved on the front. Never one to be like everyone else, I wanted to spell it Kaye with an “e” (long before I was ever introduced to Anne of Green Gables, I was sure that adding an “e” to my middle name would somehow make it more interesting). So when my parents bought me the new bible, Mom had the printers add the extra letter.
It was a beautiful Christmas gift, given at a time in my life that I am frankly surprised I didn’t reject it. This was one of the darkest periods of my life filled with insecurities, doubt, discouragement and deep depression. I had strayed away from the beliefs I had at one time held dearly, creating a chasm between myself and my family but even worse, between myself and my God. The beauty of the timing is that when I was ready to return, my Lord was waiting and so was this treasured Christmas gift.
The mauve colored bible on my table is a thick study bible and as I have mentioned before, it is highlighted with the sweet verses that were so meaningful to Mom. There were words that she memorized and kept in her heart in order to comfort herself in those later days when she could no longer find the pages. She used them to comfort herself when confusion would overwhelm her. As her mind was slowly drifting away, the one thing that never did was the peace and calm she found in resting in her Lord and Saviour.
Both are precious to me. I like hopping back and forth between the two different versions to gain clarity. Its delightful to read what was precious to Mom and what she thought about certain passages. When I pick up the one that guided me through so many years, I see old notes. Some mark the times that I was struggling and others when I was experiencing triumphs or learning key principles for my life.
The past year has emphasized even more for me that I don’t have time to take anything for granted. My relationships, my faith and whatever time I might have left on this earth are priceless. Those two beautiful leather bound books hold within them the heart of my Heavenly Father and the love of an incredible mother. A mother who never stopped praying to or praising her God. A woman who never stopped believing that the love of her God could deliver a confused and helpless soul, entrusted to her to raise into a grateful and blessed woman.