Go get it…

Marie Ellen (Mom) has dropped many a wisdom bomb in her day. She’s 97 and still dropping ‘em most Sunday’s in letters to her few. The two that seared me the most?

When departing for college back in 1977 she delivered some ccd magic. “Chester,” she began with a tone of unmistakeable finality, “have a great time in college. Learn something. And, remember this. You are not coming home. You’re on your own.” She meant this in the most loving, matter of fact way. I knew she wasn’t kidding. I hadn’t planned a boomerang. It was time to fly. En brera…

The second bomb came the next day upon arriving at Taylor University. My dad was weeping and couldn’t really converse. I felt his deep sense of loss at my leaving. I knew I was his only son and how much I meant to him. I hadn’t yet learned to return the volley. So, as he wept, Mom hit me again. “Chester, remember this. Nothing worth possessing has ever been given. If you want something, you’re going to have to go get it.” Damn.

You see, Marie grew up in the dirty thirties. She survived her dad leaving ‘em at five years old. She survived being poor and dirty through the dust bowl and Great Depression. She survived leaving home and getting her college and nursing degree when few women were. She survived and thrived even though she rarely smiled visibly (stained teeth from nasty well water). She smiled inside as her faith carried her forward. She always reminded me that wasn’t free either. Sure, receiving the gift of grace was. But the giver paid a price.

Thanks, Mom, for all the wisdom bombs. Thanks for loving me enough to speak truth into my sorriness. I’m doing my best to pass them along. Who, friend, is helping you along? When was the last time you let ‘em know you appreciate the love? You’ve been reminded. Most learning is remembering. Good.

Live hard. Love harder…

2 thoughts on “Go get it…

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