Monday, February 20, 2012

Honor Thy Father

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4
I have struggled with deep, dark depressions for most of my life. Since my early years, I have been melancholy and had a hard time functioning at the same level as my peers. This means that, as an adult, I have often been living with my parents rather than on my own. I suppose having a roommate would have helped, but I never trusted anyone else enough to let them see the effects of the depression. In fact, letting my husband see the effects of my current depression fills me with shame and guilt. The only person I ever truly trusted to see me at my worst and still love me was Mama. 

Needing to be around Mama so much putting me in Daddy's orbit just as often. Living in his home came with the understanding that he could behave any way he wanted and I could like it or leave. Any rule he made was law. Any commentary he wanted to offer on my life was to be taken meekly. Any angry outbursts on his part were to be endured without fighting back. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating Love

Today is our first Valentine's Day without Mama. This time last year we were taking stuffed toys and sugar-free chocolates up to the nursing home she was in. 

I know that Valentine's Day is supposed to be for celebrating romantic love, but Mama celebrated all kinds of love every February 14th. She sent cards to her grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She made us heart-shaped bologna sandwiches for our lunch. 

The biggest (and strangest) gift I ever got from Mama on Valentine's Day was an electric typewriter my senior year in high school. I think she meant to get it for me so that I could have it for college (Daddy sold office supplies, so she got it cheap), but it came in in early February, so instead of waiting for graduation, I got it February 14th. I was getting ready for school when she walked in to my room with a huge brown box and said, "Happy Valentine's Day". I think I was even happier about such a nice gift just because it was given on a day that my Mama really loved to celebrate. The kids my age were not all that impressed, but my shorthand teacher was jealous. 

This morning, every family member currently staying in my house (husband, father, sister, brother-in-law, and son) got a card I had picked out for them weeks ago. I got a really lovely card from my husband (and a promise of a date tonight). 

I've shed a tear or two over Mama not being here, but I am glad she taught me to celebrate the love God gives us for each other - not just on February 14th, but on every day.

I hope that you all are celebrating the wonder of love today. I'm sorry that I did not get a card for every kid in our class, but I'll say it here: Happy Valentine's Day from me to you.