May 11, 2012

Friday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: Job 17

Happy Fun Friday, SHINE girls!

What a week! I LOVE hearing these stories. For real, I do.

They all touch my heart and inspire me in some way.

Today is another story very dear to my heart. I asked my Mother to write about her Mother.

I knew she would write a post, but I had no idea how it would affect me.

My Mother has a whole lot of unanswered questions from her childhood, and this post touches on that. However, just reading her story below touched my heart on a whole new level.

I kind of knew most of the story, but there is something surreal in seeing it written out by my Mother here on SHINE.

Now, being in my thirties with two of my own children and hearing this story...it goes so much deeper into my heart.

I love my Mother--more than I could ever begin to describe with my oh-so-limited vocabulary. It breaks my heart that she was not able to have the same kind of relationship with her own Mother that she and I have.

However, God works in mysterious ways.

We may not ever know why...but we do know that He loves us. No matter what.

Okay, I will shut-up so that you can read her story. ;)

My Mother
by Ladona Allgood

 Last week, Jill called and asked me to do her a favor, and I said--" ok, what is it?"

She asked me if I could I write about my Mother here on SHINE.  Actually, she said my MeMe, my maternal grandmother.

My parents R.B. (my Dad) and Avis (my Mother) were hanging up their marriage and went through a bitter court battle.

Back in 1953, Mother's hardly ever lost custody of their children, but mine did and my Dad was granted custody over his two girls.  My sister NiEata is two years older than me, so back in 1953 when I was 3 and my sister was 5, our lives changed dramatically.

Our Dad  had been in the Navy already for a few years and with only an 8th grade education, he felt the Navy would be his job for life, so he re-upped. Our maternal grandparents were ask to be our guardians and keep us as Dad would be gone all the time with his duties to the Navy.

Many unanswered questions as to why, how in the world could this happen, what and on and on the mystery of what happened to our family's togetherness.

 So as I have given you a little background, now I will tell you about my biological Mother.

 She was 14 or 15 when Dad met her. My family were farmers and worked hard, and neighbors were your source of fellowship. So,  they got married when Mother was a mere 15.

 Mother was the baby of her family with one sister being the oldest and a brother in the middle. Mother was beautiful, musically gifted, neat in every sense of the word a great basketball player and student.  She had beautiful hands that were attached to her tall slender beautiful body.

 I didn't really get to know my Mother until the 1980's. Oh, but I did live with her for 3 years to finish high school, along with my 4 other sisters-- 3 of them by her second marriage.

Mother took me back to Charleston SC to where I was born and we have a picture of the two of us standing in front of the small house we lived when Daddy was stationed in Charleston.

As I had my own children, the unanswered questions kept popping up.  Mother kept everything inside.  I was always so nervous around her that it is almost ridiculous now in hindsight.   I just wanted to please her, to gain her love.

I had my chance when she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 1984, just when we were making progress on a strained relationship.

 She was the most fearful person I've ever known. So, when the scary C word took over her life, the fight for her life and our relationship became urgent and clear.

 Mother had begun to travel with a group of people and had just started stepping out to enjoy life. A life that had been so overwhelming since she was born. When the cancer came, her insecurities and fears took her right back to square one.

 She didn't want chemo. She wanted to live out whatever time she had being as normal as possible. However,  her husband put her on a guilt trip telling her that she should fight to live for us.

How sad. Mother endured endless amount of horrible fear in her short 2 years of life. She was so frightened of the IV chemo drip, that a few of us daughters were required to sit up all night with her in the hospital to make sure a bubble in line wouldn't kill her.

So many details. I want you to know that her battles were many, but 6 months before she died she found her victory in Jesus.

Oh, and I Forgot to mention that she was a member of the Baptist church in her small town and attended regularly. However, it took a cancer diagnosis to ease her into a calmness, a faith so visible, and peace that she had never had.

When  she was diagnosed  years ago in the hospital, I went to the bathroom, got on  my knees and asked only that God would not let her suffer and take away her fear.  Also, I asked that if she was to be healed that would be between her and him.

He granted that prayer request beyond what was hoped for.  She wrote me a small card in the middle of her last 2 years of life, and on it she told me things I had never heard her say to me. Words of thankfulness, love and admiration for me as her daughter as a christian and to cherish and hold on tight to today.

 But, the most inspiring  message she wrote was how she SO believed in the power of prayer. She believed in it so much that she said one day she would like to have a computer and start a pray chain as she had received much comfort  through all the people that were praying for her and she wanted to give back.  This was the mid '80's. Unheard of.

 Today, Jill is living out my Mother's God given dream through this SHINE ministry.

My Mother was 55 when she died. I was 36.

God gives me proof of how He was in  charge of one of the worst times of my life, and it has taken this long for His promises to my Mother to show itself completely.

 I am so thankful for my Mother's (Avis) life. She is standing there in Heaven where she deserves to be.

When  she was so sick I told her that  God  would  heal her, and she said "But Why Would He?" Now she knows her healing was to be with Him:   Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you." 

For the first time in my Mother's life a few days before she died, she looked over at me and gave me the sweetest comforting look that said I am at peace. No words just the spirit of God and his angels surrounding her.

Life is complex at times. The next time I am asked to write it will be all about my other Mother-- my MeMe (my maternal grandmother that raised me). She gave me God as my lifesaver and the rest of the story.....

oh the memories,

Ladona

Me, my cousin Danny, and my Mother