My heart is overwhelmed with sadness and grief My soul cannot bear it alone Life’s storms are too great for my steadfast feet My spirit is sinking, I’m almost gone But someone is reaching to take my burden away He has a spirit of kindness and love His touch has vanished the night into day Now I’m light and free as the dove He draws me nearer and nearer to his heavenly throne And lets me see visions of that city fair I fancy I see loved ones perfectly at home Basking in the sunshine of his presence – God’s son!
Letha Bernice Tackett, April 3, 1982
While searching for a document in my computer files I ran across this poem, pinned by my Mother in 1982. As I read it I could almost feel the words settling deep in my being as if they were just now being spoken from the depths of my soul. Words written forty years ago that God knew I would need tonight.
I have felt deeply sad and overwhelmed with life’s grief this week. Christmas season usually brings a gentle melancholoy with it, but this year has been moreso. The world is weary and banged up pretty bad. I’m feeling it to my bones. I’m weary from dealing with what we thought was the flu but turned out to be covid. I’m weary with words that were hurtful and misunderstood; weary with unanswered questions and where do we go from here. I’m weary of all the exhausting coversations in my head that I wish I could share with my Mom who always had a way with words.
But God. Isn’t it just like him to lead me to words from my mother, written long ago, that were born out of her faith in him. Words that gently remind me that I can’t bear the weariness alone. The storms are too big to carry on my shoulders and the resolutions are his to make.
The realization that he is my hope in all things, including the worlds bruises as well as my own, brings freedom. I can let go of the overwhelm. I can let him draw me ever closer to him and the hope of my heavenly home where I will stand in his presence with the world’s weariness far behind me. Where my mom and other loved ones are already basking in his light.
With loving kindness God has granted me peace in spite of lingering illness and questions without answers. He has reminded me that I don’t have to figure everything out. I can go quietly on and allow him to do his work in his time. Recognizing that truth brings freedom. With freedom in him I have everything.
In him and through faith in him we may approach god with freedom and confidence.
As we go into this last week of Advent my prayer is that you will find freedom in the anticipation of the coming King; the Child that Isreal waited for so long ago and the redeemer we now wait for with anticipation of his second coming. Allow your weary soul to quietly wait in peace.
I look across at your house and see shadows of the trees dancing in the sunlight and I’m reminded of our porch dances.
You’d sway to the rhythm of your own music and smile impishly. Even though I was across the yard looking through my window I knew there was a twinkle in your eye.
As you twirled under the porch light, I waved and danced along with you wishing we could stay like this forever; a happy moment suspended in time.
I loved when you danced because that meant you were happy. You were so full of life and even when the Alzheimer’s was robbing you of so much you still had a passion for living.
I’ll never forget the time you told me about your dancing skirt. It was denim with several gores; it came down almost to your ankles and it had a nice twirl. I came over one day and you had it on. You told me that when you put it on it made you dance. That skirt is long gone but I hope it is making someone else dance.
Today is a day to remember. You’ve been gone two years and I miss you so much, but when I think of you dancing in heaven it brings me peace because I know how happy you are in the arms of Jesus.
I hope there is a porch in heaven so that someday soon we can dance again.
Let them praise His name with dancing….Psalm 149:3
As I walked in from the laundry, I caught a glimpse of the picture of the old bearded gentlemen praying over his bowl of soup. And for a fleeting moment I wanted to call you to tell you that after several months of not having a home he finally has a place on the wall in my kitchen. Right above the bench I purchased when I worked for a garden furniture company.
You remember how he always hung above Grandma’s little kitchen table as if he were watching over and praying for all of us. I never thought about that picture much as a child. I just knew it was there. It was a constant just like Grandma and You. I don’t remember exactly when you gave it to me but I’ve always cherished it. Now that it has a home again in my kitchen it feels right.
I look at it and memories are suspended in time, memories that connect the three of us. The bitter sweetness of it all washes over me. I sigh wishing for just a spot of time for the three of us to sit around that little table sharing doughnuts smothered with grape jelly and laughing at something nonsensical that no one else would understand.
I’m hoping that God has a little table reserved for us in heaven with doughnuts and grape jelly.
Well, it has been a while hasn’t it? This is my first post in over a year. Today is the first in a long time that I have wanted to sit down and write. You never know what will cause the spark. I had just put a load in the dryer and was returning to the kitchen to finish the dishes I had started when I caught a glimpse of the picture. It gave me an odd sense of joy and melancholoy at the same time and for a brief moment I thought I should talk to Mom. But of course in such moments I immediately remember that I can’t. So, sometimes I talk to her in written form. I also did this a few weeks ago when I was sitting at my work table and happend to look out the window and across the yard at her home. I was prompted to write a note then on some scrap paper so I wouldn’t forget the thought. Someday soon I’ll share that with you too.
My family is important to me and I was very close to both my mom and my grandmother. The picture was my grandmother’s given to me by my mom when grandma passed away. I remember sitting at that table many times when I stayed with grandma. She loved to put jelly on her doughnuts.
I don’t know what sharing this with you today means, but maybe it means I’m ready to write again. For so long I have felt blocked and couldn’t find the joy in sharing words with you. I would think of things and even “write” them in my head but didn’t put pen to paper or pursue them. I just wasn’t ready for some reason. I think I felt lost and couldn’t find my sense of place. I know I’ve needed to grieve and heal. Life, of course, has it’s ups and downs for all of us and we have different seasons that shape us. Sometimes a hard season or two can cause us to retreat. But, eventually if we hold on we see the light again and healing begins.
Thank you for reading,
Grace be with you, mercy and peace, from God the Father, in truth and love. 2 John 3
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
As many of you know my mother wrote poetry. She was never formally published but I wish we had pursued that while she was alive. She was in a poetry writing group for a while and had a few published in a couple of newspapers. She also generously shared poems with others when she felt a poem had a message that could encourage the person in whatever circumstance they found themselves. If you have a handwritten copy of one of her poems I hope you keep it as a treasure.
I promised her when she was in hospice that I was going to see that her poetry was published for the whole world to read. I have published a few on my blog, but I have plans, God willing to do a book of her poetry. Most of her poems were written in the mid-seventies through the mid-eighties. They were actually quite good; some, a little rough around the edges, needing some final editing.
In 1975 during Holy Week, on Good Friday, she wrote an Easter Poem and titled it Hallelujah. Because of the repeating refrain of This is Easter Morn I thought about changing the title of the poem but decided that the whole concept of Easter is definitely one big Hallelujah and that must be how she felt about it, so I left her title. I’d like to share it with you:
Happy Easter! I hope you find a church and attend on Easter Sunday to Worship our Risen Savior!
Celebrating in Grace,
If you haven’t read it yet, I shared a whole series about losing my Mom to Alzheimer’s. I shared a few of her poems throughout the series. You can click here to check it out.