I’ve written about my late Mum here before. She has an amazing story to tell. But today it’s National Woman’s Day and this coming Sunday it’s Mothers Day – so today I want to tell you why my Mum is one of my heroes – as a woman and as a Christian.
Was she a ‘mature Christian’? I’m not sure. She attended church regularly and served the church community we were a part of. But I wouldn’t call her a ‘mature Christian’ by any stretch of the imagination.
Was my Mum perfect? Probably not. She had her insecurities and problems. She didn’t always get things right.
So why, despite her imperfections, is my Mum a spiritual and female hero?
On April 1st 1985, when I was 8 years old – funnily enough, during Holy Week – my mother had a severe asthma attack. She ended up in a deep coma. Doctors said she was unlikely to survive, and if she did she would essentially be a vegetable
But my Mum did wake up. She was no vegetable.
However, Doctors said she had lost her short-term memory. Although she would regain a large amount of it and otherwise was perfectly normal, she would never be quite the same again.
But when my Mum first came out of her coma one of the first things she did, was ring my Dad (proof her long-term memory was fine). Here’s the conversation:
Mum: “I’m back!!!”
Dad: “Great. Where have you been?”
Mum: “Oh, I’ve been walking with Jesus by Galilee and He’s sent me back”
I first heard this story when I was 8 years old. And I am convinced if I hadn’t heard this, I may not have set off on the spiritual journey which led me into relationship with God. The God who had brought my Mum back from the dead.
And now, having seen her life and some 13 years on from her passing, I can see a bigger story at work.
Just after her death, we looked at her diary. For months before her asthma-related death, she had been writing reminders to herself to remind me to ensure her funeral was a happy one. I still have this diary now.
The last time she saw my sister was saying goodbye to her at the airport when she left to go travelling. My Dad commented in hindsight how quiet and almost sombre she was on the way back from the airport.
It convinced me without any doubt. She knew her time had come. She knew she didn’t have long. Her small 5ft 2 body had been enduring regular asthma attacks for 15 years, and she knew it couldn’t take one more big attack.
And strangely, it seems she had total peace about it.
My Mum was sent back from the grave for a reason. To bring up me and my sister. (you can tweet that here)
God wanted her…or allowed her, if you look at it a different way, to be a stay-at-home Mum, instead of the working Mum she would have been. So we would know the love, spirit and compassion of her heart.
If she had been a working Mum, we wouldn’t have been the same people.
And once her job was done, once she had done the job she was sent back for, God took her home.
My Mum is a Patron Saint, because for the last 15 years of her life she battled against her own brain, her lack of a short-term memory, against all life could throw at her – and was able to survive, and be an incredible Mum. A Mum who wrote a prayer in the form of a poem, pleading that God spare us any more suffering (which you can read here).
She never let her own incapcity hold her back, never let her diability defeat her, and found a purpose beyond it.
Almost without realising it, she’s a spiritual hero too, because if Jesus hadn’t sent her back to be my Mum, I may not know Him in the way I do. And because despite everything she never gave up on God.
One day I will see her again. Without her asthma. Without her poor memory. Without pain and suffering.And we will celebrate together.
Because there was one other sure thing about my Mum. She always liked a good party.
Mum’s story: April 1st
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