I recently had the pleasure of finding an email sitting in my inbox from one of my mother’s dear friends, Juanita Scott. My mom had shared with her some of my note cards from a painting I had done titled, “God’s Light” and she was trying to find someplace where she could obtain more of them; thus, the impetus for her writing. Juanita lives hundreds of miles away from me, so we couldn’t just meet at the local coffee shop or go to one of the local art galleries where my work is displayed.
The note cards originated from a painting I had done years before titled, “God’s Light”. The scene depicts two children dressed in farm clothes heading out to a small pond to go fishing while off in the distance a storm is brewing. It was inspired by my children, whom to this day even in their teens, still love to go fishing any chance they get the opportunity. The action in the painting leaves one to ponder, as the old saying, “Is the glass half empty or half full,” since you could debate if the storm in the distance had passed or is yet to come; the irony left to the viewer.
However, Juanita’s email itself had an unexpected effect on me.
The act of mom’s dear friend reaching out to me felt in some small way as if my mother had reached down to me from her heavenly abode, if nothing else, to let me know she was still watching over us all.
Juanita had shared with me that my mother had been so proud of me, although this was something I rarely heard from my mother herself; our relationship was one of few words. My mother often acted out her love in many ways, more than mere words. In this case, she took the opportunity to share with her closest friends pieces of my artwork, a part of her that she was proud to share. I felt touched by the request and Ms. Scott was correct, I had not thought to put the notecards online for sale, since I usually only sold them at events as a side item; thus, they were nowhere to be found other than here at my house and a couple local art stores, many hundreds of miles from Juanita.
I replied back to Ms. Scott letting her know I got her email and that I would try to figure something out. I then put the thought on the back burner. The next couple of days would be quite busy with our musical performances at Silk Hope Old Fashioned Day and at the Cumnock Community Ice Cream Social; in other words, I already had a lot to think about. Time passed as it often does with our fellowshipping with the Lang Sisters and many other friends over the course of Saturday and then to add to the celebration of the weekend, we were to have a concert at church Sunday morning; the weekend just kept getting better and better.
Eunice Gillis, the mother of Pastor David King, put on a solo concert of singing and piano playing which was more wonderful than we could have ever imagined. During the performance, between the music played and the words spoken, something brought back the thought of Ms. Scott’s email once again. I’m sure Ms. Gillis reminded me of my mother and how she had always wanted to play the piano too and did eventually later in her life. Sunday morning, beautiful melodies echoed through the old church out of the magnificent concert grand piano as Eunice shared with us the story of her life in between sets. She too had been raised in Indiana on a small farm and was from a very musical family; could it get any better? As we absorbed the splendid sounds, I thought about my children who were sitting next to me, rapt in attention to the concert and how this might someday cause them to reflect back in life when they too sat in their front row seats to hear this beautiful elderly lady put on a show that was fitting for a concert hall of hundreds, yet it was just only our small congregation in attendance. I couldn’t help thing that somewhere up above us a heavenly host of angels watched. There among that legion was my mother, smiling and singing along.
After Eunice had finished I went up to thank her and give her a hug. As I stood hugging this wonderful lady, I felt a need to extend that embrace, the kind that you feel obligated to perform for fear of never having the chance again. My mom flashed in my mind and the scene from when she stood next to me, warming ourselves next to the heater before I left to return to North Carolina, came to me. I somehow knew that it would be the last time we were together on this side of those Heavenly gates. We spoke very little as usual but before I left, I hugged her tight and for a long time, much longer than usual; as with Eunice Sunday morning. Tears filled my eyes as I felt those emotions from the past unite with the present, something greater than us all, something Godly was at work there in that little church. I tried to whisper to Eunice that I couldn’t speak but even that was futile, so I just shook my head and hugged her once more and smiled through tear filled eyes.
Afraid my children would see my emotions; I backed away and tried to hide the blessing that was overflowing my soul; the music, the Holy Spirit and the hand of God. As we made our way out of the church I thought of mother again and how she would have loved this. I looked up to the heavens, as my eye followed the old church steeple up to an amazingly azure blue sky. I paused as I looked up; contemplating taking a picture. I started to reach for my phone and then noticed a tiny white cloud drifting by, barely visible, yet moving past as if she had somewhere else to go. I felt a warmth pass over me and knew in my heart, although she never said it much in my presence, mom was proud of what I had done and was now watching over my little family. I realized she had been there with us the day before as we sang and performed ourselves, once again passing around the invitation to the other angels to join her as she observed from her heavenly abode, telling them how proud she was and that she had been with us once more today, as I suspected, reveling in all the glory alongside us.
Later that evening I went home and made it possible for Ms. Scott to purchase those notecards online, so she could more easily obtain those heartfelt gifts that my mom had once shared with her, either out of kindness or as a token of her love. It was during that time that I felt the need to write about all that had transpired, since I wanted to share more than just the obvious with Juanita since she had unknowingly given me much more in return; thus this blog.
From a simple request came so many memories, yet so much can be gained from so little if we only try.
I pray I never stop trying to do God’s will, at least if nothing else, for my mother’s sake.