Monday, October 5, 2015

happy birthday, mom

Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.

There many days that stand out in our minds.  They made history.  They are important to remember.  They are long gone but stick around on our calendars and in our minds.  Here are some of those dates:

December 7, 1941 --- the attack on Pearl Harbor
September 11, 2001 --- terrorist attack crashing the World Trade Center
November 22, 1963 --- President John F. Kennedy was killed
January 28, 1986 --- space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff
October 4, 1941 --- day my mom was born

The last one might not be in your memory as it is in mine.  I wasn’t there, but my life was impacted big time that day.  My mom has helped shape my life.  Her prayers and support have meant much to me.  In fact of all the people who have pulled for me my parents, both my mom and dad, are at the top of the list.

Most of you know that the last few weeks have been very difficult for our family, but we are blessed in so many ways.  I ask that you continue to pray for my mom as her health continues to decline and pray for my dad and my brothers as they help care for my mom.  It really is hard to be 1,100 miles away in times like this.

12 days ago I got a call from my dad, and he shared that my mom’s health was critical.  I immediately flew to Oklahoma to be with my family.  It was so difficult that my dad and I were at the funeral home that Thursday morning planning for her memorial service that seemed imminent. 

But Friday morning changed things.  My brother Steve had stayed at the hospital overnight with mom, and early Friday morning she woke up.  I stayed at the hospital the next night, and about the same time Saturday morning mom was even more awake.

Those were blessed days as we thought mom would not make it through the day, but my family enjoyed more time, conversations, crying, laughing and so much more.  Those were special times as we talked about the past and the future.  We talked about heaven and our faith.  We talked about our family and how God has been so good to us.

It was this past Tuesday that it became evident that mom’s health was not improving and she was growing even more tired.  My mom made the choice to discontinue her treatment and enter hospice.  Her diagnosis is a swelling of the brain that was being held off by very high doses of steroids.  Now that steroids have been removed as has physical therapy the doctor says the days to come are going to be tough as she will most likely go back in to an unconscious state.  I can tell you that this time has been very tough, but our family will also remind you that we have been blessed.

Today is my mom’s 74th birthday.  Many people have sent cards of encouragement and birthday greetings, and for that I am very grateful.  Yesterday at The Community Fellowship our church family gathered around me, my wife and our kids to pray for us.  That was very special.  I am grateful.

Judy Harrison, my precious mom, is an awesome lady.  I want to tell the world today how much I love her.  Further, I want to honor her.  Her faith has been so strong through my 45 years of life.  She has put up with my struggles and poor choices.  She has celebrated my successes and help us enjoy my wedding and the birth of our kids.  My brothers have been through much the same.

I do remind you, each of us, to cherish the time we have with those that we love.  We never know when we might lose one of them.  The days and weeks ahead will be difficult for our family, and I will be back in Oklahoma sometime soon.

Happy birthday, mom, and I pray we will get to talk for a few minutes today.  You are an amazing woman, and I love you very much!

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

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