Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Memories of Mama...and Things She Passed Down to Me

One of my daughters is a blogger and she recently started a “Wednesday Walk Down Memory Lane” addition on her blogsite, and she challenged other bloggers to write down some of their memories on Wednesdays and add them to their blogs, or link them to hers. She also encourages them to print them out every week so that they can become a book of memories to give to their children someday. This same daughter has always kept a journal and has also written a book that was recently published. She finds it easy to express herself through writing. This may be something that runs in our family.

I also enjoy writing down memories, or things that are in my heart or on my mind. I find that it is a creative outlet for me and maybe even a way to minister to others. I don’t worry about correct grammar, spelling or sentence structure,…I just let it flow and then I have my husband proof read it and he is more than happy to correct any major mistakes!

I think some people would like to write but they think they don’t have the time, or the ability, or they think that nobody would be interested in what they have to say. I would like to challenge those people to just start somewhere and write something to see if it unleashes something inside and see if it doesn’t come along easier than they think. Perhaps like me, you might find out that it is in your blood and has been passed down to you. (:>)

When I was a child my mother only had one arm, as she had been in a car accident and lost her right arm before three of her four children were born. She had been right handed, so she had to learn to do everything with her left hand. I imagine that this was a very hard thing to do, but she had no choice, so she relearned everything from handwriting to tying her shoes, to diapering a baby with only one hand. She often used a typewriter when writing letters and I always admired the way she didn’t let her handicap alter her life if she could find another way to accomplish a task.

I would sit with her and watch her type letters to her family and friends who lived in Texas where she grew up. She loved to keep in touch with them since she had moved from Texas to California. Writing to her loved ones was something she enjoyed. I would get a pad of paper and a pencil and write to them too, and I think this is when I discovered that I liked to write. Mama would help me and it was a special time for the two of us. Over the years we enjoyed writing Christmas letters and addressing cards together, and this is something I love to do to this day. It evokes memories of mama for me. We would string the cards we received around a doorway, or across the front room window. I loved all of the pretty pictures on the cards, and especially liked the ones of baby Jesus in the manger. I liked to read the friendly replies we received in response to our letters.

When was the last time you sat and wrote a letter to a friend? Maybe you should do that today. I am sure that it would be appreciated and maybe even be a blessing to someone who could use some encouragement. Mama was good at encouraging others even though she had a hard life raising a family with no help from a husband most of that time. She was faced with many challenges, but with God’s help she faced them with faith and courage.

Back then the cars gear shifts were on the floor and since my mom lost her right arm she had to relearn how to drive a stick shift, letting go of the steering wheel, reaching over with her left arm to shift the gears. Now I think the hardest thing for me to do after a car accident had claimed my arm,… and almost taken my life, would be to even get inside another car, let alone learning to drive again with only one arm, but my mother had fortitude and she gave everything a try. It did become easier when they made automatic transmissions and she didn’t have to shift the gears, and when someone also attached a little knob on the steering wheel that made it easier for her to turn the car around and easier to crank the steering wheel as she backed into a curbside parking place etc.

When I was a child I didn’t always appreciate my mama, and I took for granted much of what she did for me. But as I became a mom and was caring for my own children, I often stopped and wondered how my mama would have done the task I was doing when she only had the one arm? I still do that, and I fondly remember all of her efforts that made my childhood a happy one.
Kneeling by the bed or sofa, mama and I would pray for our needs, and for the needs of others, and when we were done she would often times have tears in her eyes that she wiped away, but there was always a peaceful smile on her face even though the tears were there. I know that same peace that comes from carrying burdens to the Lord and leaving them there,…and I thank God for a mama who taught me to do that.

It has been over twenty years since my mama went to be with Jesus but what she taught me lives on. I love to think back and remember her, and there is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t have some special memory of her. I am glad my daughter challenged me to write these memories down today. It does my heart good to share them too. Just writing down my feelings revives something inside of me. I think God brings these things to my mind and wants me to count them as blessings in my life.

How about you? Do you have a blessing to share with others? Some memory, some feeling that needs to be unleashed? Why not give it a try? Walk down memory lane and write it down. Share it with others and be a blessing,…and give glory to God. And, if you have some burden in your life or a handicap that you face everyday, step out in faith as my mama did and trust God to get you through it, one day at a time. Who knows, maybe you have a child who is watching you and learning from your example!


kim said...

Linda, I believe writing Does run in your family. I love reading your daughters and your grandaughters blog and now I have enjoyed yours as well. I just wanted to tell you that I don't know Lynette, I have never lost a child, I don't have the talent she has for writing but I do love the same Lord as she does and she has been a true blessing to me. I know you are very proud of her. I look forward to reading your post in the future and pray that God blesses your family in the years to come.

Lynnette Kraft said...

Despited everything, Grandma kept moving forward. I wish I'd had the opportunity to know her better when she was alive, but I greatly anticipate the day that I'll be able to spend eternity with her. :)

I'm excited to read all of your "Wednesday's Walk down memory lane" posts.

Love you.

karin said...

Though I may not make the commitment to the Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane - because I work and have time constraints - I love the idea though!!
I'm impressed with 3 generations of writers in your family who bless others by blogging.

I've got an award for you at my blog!