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Archive for August, 2015

My mother was lovely woman. She was vibrant, beautiful and full of sass. She accomplished a great deal in her early life.  Before she was 30, she owned and operated two hair salons. She had a nice home, a sharp car and security.

Janis posing at beauty salon

She met and fell in love with my father at age 29; they married and she gave birth to me at age 31. My father was climbing the corporate ladder so he worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.  Mom either took me to the salon with her, or got a babysitter.  After a while it became a hassle, so she sold her businesses and settled in as a stay-at-home mom. She was the “doting” mother, had me involved in just about every activity under the sun and was there for every dance lesson, baton lesson, singing lesson, clarinet lesson etc., etc. She was proud of me and was my biggest fan.Mom bouncing me on her knee at Grandma Malones

My mother loved to take care of my father. I remember my favorite times as a child were Saturday evenings. My father would be home and we would sit around the television and watch The Carol Burnett Show.  My mother always made it special because halfway through the evening she would serve what she called a “relish tray” complete with assorted pickles, olives, cheeses, sardines in mustard sauce and crackers (my dad’s favorite); she made our house a home. Dad loved his career; upper management suited him well and he was proud that he made a very comfortable life for us.Christmas Eve 1969 Mom, Dad, Me, Fifi (2)

As the years ticked by, the focus became money, cars, vacations, houses – excess. No focus was placed upon the marriage and after 16 years, my father walked out. My mother was devastated, she poured her entire being into this life that now no longer existed. She always said that my father was the “love of her life.” She held onto it like an unforeseen banner that she would wave whenever anyone tried to get close. The light went out of her life and she never moved past it.

Over the years, I watched a confident, vibrant, self-assured woman disappear behind a veil of her former being. She never released her pain, she was unable to forgive my father for the choices he made and rehearsed the dialog over and over every day for the rest of her life. She never regained her spirit and allowed bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness to settle in and take up residence.

I watched my mother struggle in the last few years of her life. She was tormented by her past and it looked as though it was going to take her. She spent the last few months of her life in a nursing home. She lost the use of her legs and feet, her hands and only weighed 87 lbs. One evening when my husband and I went to visit her, she whispered to us with all the strength she could muster and told us that she had a visitation from Jesus and He wanted her to deal with some things that she, and I quote: “had left on the back burner and she needed to confront them.” She told us that every night the nurse would come around handing out sleeping pills, but that night she was not going to take one because she needed to wrestle this thing out with Jesus. I guess I’ll never know what took place between my mom and Jesus, but the last few days of her life were full of peace and she went to Heaven fully healed of her bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. She finally received her healing, Jesus made sure of it and she left this life in peace with no more torment.

If you’re dealing with the torment of bitterness, resentment or unforgiveness, Jesus will chase you to the grave to make sure you release all that pain. But you don’t have to wait until the end of your life to do it – do it now, you won’t be sorry.

Simply acknowledge those who have hurt you, forgive them in your heart and forgive yourself for holding onto the001 (2) pain too long. Jesus will be with you every step of the way.

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