WHERE THERE IS SADNESS, JOY

Always Generous, Gracious and Giving

She was my JOY.   Now she was gone…
I asked her, only hours after Grandma died;
“How does it make you feel?”
“Like an orphan”, was her answer. 
“But Mother”, I responded, “You have us.”
“I know honey”, she said. “But this is different.”
Carrying our second child,
I was filled with the JOY of life and annoyed at having to deal with death. 
I wanted Mother to tell me it wasn’t so bad.
Grandma was old. Eighty years was a long full life.
In a coma, Grandma hadn’t suffered. 
I wanted Mother to move on to lighter talk and future plans.
  I wanted her to ask how I was feeling today,
resuming our daily ritual.
She was always the giver. I was always the taker.
Years passed and now Mother was in her eighties. 
She shared with me the ominous news
that she had found a lump in her breast. 
“Mother” I said, “I am absolutely sure that it will not be malignant.”
When the report came back Mother said,
“Well, you were wrong. It is malignant and the involvement is extensive”.
Now, I who never wanted to deal with anything uncomfortable
was required to face the unimaginable.  
Mother was  going to die. 
Try as I would, I couldn’t get my mind around that fact.
A friend said to me,
“It’s part of life, although it’s not the best part.”
I was angry with my friend
for her crude and thoughtless remark. 
How could she be so matter of fact in the face of my devastation?
She offered.  I refused.

In the days and months to come,
Mother calmly accepted the diagnosis. 
She was always generous, always caring, always gracious and giving.
She was ever accepting. I was ever refusing.
The following January,
a friend and I vacationed for two weeks in Florida.
Upon our return I learned that Mother had suffered a heart attack
a few days earlier.
She didn’t want me to be told
because she wanted me to enjoy my vacation.
I could learn of it when I returned home.
She was protecting. I was accepting.
I visited Mother in the hospital the day after returning home from vacation. As she lay in her bed she was cheerful
and interested in me.  
“Maybe it wasn’t so serious after all”, I said.
  She answered “No, something very serious is going on.” 
She began to talk to me of times of JOY. She spoke of happy things and times and places. 
Upon leaving, I said,
”See you when you come home”.
“Ok honey”, she said
for she was due to come home on Monday.
She would be in the hospital one more day.
The next day, she died.
She always gave me her love. I always accepted it.
 
Mother was gone.
I felt smothered by a blanket of grief.
She was as much a part of my life as my heart and soul.
Now she was gone.
Her belongings were still here; her clothes hung in the closet.
Pictures she had painted hung on the wall.
They were only “things”.
Weeks passed and my seemingly endless river of tears
began to subside.
On a stark February night, I visited my friend
who is a shepherd.
It was lambing time.
She was required to make frequent visits to the barn
to check on the well being of the ewes.
I found her there
and we began to talk.
Surrounded by the rumblings of her flock
and the sweet smell of freshly scattered straw,
the rawness of my grief began to pour out.
 
With gentle encouragement
my friend shared her own journey
through the painful loss of both parents
during the preceeding years. 
With deep compassion she shared her healed grief. 
I knew that with her consoling love,
I too would be healed through this journey of grieving.
My friend offered. I accepted.

Next morning as I prepared my morning coffee,
my glance fell upon a plaque hanging on my kitchen wall.
Reading it as if for the first time,
I understood the message of St. Francis of Assisi.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness,JOY
Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in the giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Dear Lord
Thank you for the loving, giving people you have placed in my life.
Help me to be the consoling,  understanding, loving and giving instrument of your peace
which has so graciously been given to me.
Amen
copyright©2019
 
Printed May 2017 at Sunlight Press
          Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
          memoriesaremadefromthis.com

CHERISHED POSSESSIONS

 

Where Is Your Heart?

 

Did you offer to release something for the Lenten season this year?

  Do you remember what it was? 

 Was it a cherished possession
 you have always dreamed of owning 
and handing down to your children?

 Perhaps it was a particular item you needed 
in order to complete a collection. Now you were giving it away.

Was it an object you’ve desired to own for years?

Could it have been an item

in which you’d lost interest?

In the Gospel of Mark, a man comes running to Jesus,
 kneels down before Him and asks, 

“What must I do to get to heaven? Jesus answers, “You know the commandments, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie,

always respect your Father and your Mother.”

The man replies, “Teacher, I’ve never broken a single one of those laws.”

Scripture tells us that Jesus felt genuine love for the man.

He said to him, 

“You only lack one thing, go and sell all that you have

and give the money to the poor,

 and you shall have TREASURE in heaven.”

A difficult thing was required of the man. 

A difficult thing is also required of you and me.

So then what is required?

Would we give up our home 
in order for a poor family to have a place to live?

Would we give up our annual vacation
 in order to give our employer 
the opportunity to give
vacation pay
  to a person who has no employment?

Would we transfer our civil rights 
to someone who has none,

 such as an illegal immigrant?

Jesus told his disciples

“It is easier, easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle 
than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

The disciple, in turn, exclaimed,
“Then who can enter and be saved

if a rich man cannot?” 

Who is a rich man? What makes him rich?

Jesus suggests that the things we TREASURE most 
are the things that make us rich. 
Those things are our homes,
 our parents, our brothers and sisters,

 our children and our property.

Are we willing to give up those things 
for the privilege of entering heaven?

Jesus tells us we will be rewarded one hundred times over 
with the same things we willingly gave away.

 We do this for the love of God

 and for the privilege 
of being able to share with others

 the Good News of the Gospel.

In addition to receiving such abundant rewards,

 we will also receive persecutions.

In spite of them, in the world to come
 we shall have eternal life.

The Christian walk has many twists and turns.

What things then, are to be desired?

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering.

 Abraham was willing to obey.

 In Genesis 22 the angel of the Lord told Abraham

 to stop and not hurt the boy.

 “For I know that God is first in your life.

 You have not even withheld your beloved son.”

Is God first in my life? 
Is He first in yours?

Will God wait for us 
as we take these faltering steps 
to become closer to Him?

How many times will God forgive us
 when we don’t quite measure up?

I should have made that phone call.

You should have stopped to visit that person.

Why didn’t I send that card?

Why did you refuse when you were asked to serve
on a committee at church?

You said, “Ask someone else”.

 Someone else was asked

 and someone served God 
in the place that had been offered to you.

Do you sometimes wonder 
if that person will take your place
at the gates of heaven?

Years ago I had a small hobby business, 
photographing objects of nature 
and creating note cards, greeting cards, 
and pictures for framing.

I love to take pictures.

 

 Willing subjects are everywhere.

…. sunsets, rivers, trees and birds.

Old barns tell a story of their own. 

Wonderful TREASURES are all around us

everywhere we look

every day of our lives.

In searching for a name for my business, 
the name  “TREASURES” came to mind. 

From Scripture, 
a line in the Gospel of Matthew seemed appropriate.

 “Where your TREASURE is,

there will your heart be also.”
(Matthew 6:21)

Where is your TREASURE?

Did you know that your heart is there also?

Your heart is the very thing that gives you life.

Is your heart and TREASURE with Jesus?

copyright©2019

Photographs By Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THANKSGIVING AS THE YEARS GO BY

THANKSGIVING

1964

(Musings of a Homemaker – Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper)

“Get that thing out of here and don’t you ever bring a snake into the house again!” 

Turning from  the kitchen sink just as my young son proudly showed me the snake he had captured in a jar.

I shouted.

It was the fall of  1964.  I had three young boys under the age of seven and dirty laundry in the laundry room. Now I was being confronted with a snake in a jar.

Reality was here to stay.

 

Our countryside is beautiful today.

The joy of living in this wonderful place never changes for me.

Snow covered fields have not yet arrived.

Even so, the pleasant anticipation of their coming is a given

during this precious season of THANKSGIVING in northern Michigan.

There will be no time for me to fix turkey and pumpkin pie this year.

With my three boys to keep an eye on, laundry to do, and dishes always in the sink,

where would I find the time?

As is often the case,

Mother and Dad will rescue me.

They will calm our appetites with an invitation to a bountiful table at their peaceful home.

The joy of the annual THANKSGIVING family gathering

fills us with good food, a pleasant time and memories of being together.

My greeting card list has not reached the length it will be in the future.

I’m trusting that some of our friends,

who send cards to fill our mailbox,

will understand when they don’t find one from us in theirs.

Each year it warms our hearts to reach out to friends and family.

Little boys in need of attention at unexpected times,

assure the notes will be short.

The printed verse on the card must say it all.

Mother always had her Christmas greeting cards prepared to send

the day after THANKSGIVING.

I’m sure she remembered to prepare them

when pressing family matters used her time too.

I can assure you,

 there were no snakes in jars at the home of my parents

during the growing up years of my sister and me.

The two of us did not consider such creatures pleasurable.

 Mother was ever faithful with her early holiday greeting.

She enjoyed the notoriety of being the first greeting  to be received by family and friends.

A portion of THANKSGIVING day was spent composing her handwritten notes

expressing love and best wishes for the coming year.

Time will tell if Mother’s traditions fall to me as the years go by.

* * *

New Memories

“2017”

This may become one of the most interesting THANKSGIVING and Christmas holiday seasons to date.

Married sixty-two years in 2017, my husband, at the age of eighty-seven,

 passed on to his next life in the month of February.

Two of our little boys are now grown men.

Our middle child died four years ago.

The experiences of all our lives

have taken a very different turn.

The joy of grandchildren and the arrival of two great-granddaughters,

Willow and Eva,

 has filled my heart to overflowing.

At the age of eighty-three, 

it may be a bit too much for me to entertain the entire extended family

here at the farm for THANKSGIVING and Christmas holidays.

Looking at it in a different way,

it will become a memory in the making for some of the younger folks

to host pleasant family occasions.

There is a large electric cooker in the cupboard.

 Recipes for pumpkin pie,

handed down from generations past,

 lie inside the recipe box

which once belonged to my Grandma.

Four packages of pumpkin pie filling wait patiently in the freezer,

  prepared last year by my husband, from real pumpkins.

 Canning and freezing foods for the winter from the garden

was always part of his helpful preparation for winter.

I’ve been thinking about putting up the Christmas tree.
 How could I fail to do that?
 This precious season is all about memories, families and

the welcoming of the Christ Child,

no matter the changes the years will surely bring.

It really is the season for living and loving.

Those things will never change.

copyright©2019

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

A MOMENT IN TIME

 

AT THE END OF THE DAY

Looking Back

1995-2019

 
 

While enjoying the END OF THE DAY during a late August evening
 on our porch swing,
 The readily identifiable sounds of approaching geese
 could be heard.

 

The maple trees in our front yard formed a thick canopy over the place where we sat.We could hear the geese, yet couldn’t see them clearly.

 One glimpse through the leaves,
  told us there were five.

 

The farm has twenty acres, eight of which are hay fields. Geese often headed toward the fields at the end of the day, during late summer, to feed and to rest before starting their journey south for the winter.

As the five flew over our yard, 
a fluffy white feather floated quietly to the ground.

 What were the chances that a tiny feather
 could find its way
 through those thick leafy trees,
 coming to rest on the grass before us?

I began to think of the way we are linked together
 through His creation. The markings of the geese are specific,
  always the same for a particular breed.

 

Our family has now lived on this old farm 
for 60 years.
 This was an August evening, the END OF THE DAY,
 when my husband and I decided to rest 
on the porch swing 
to enjoy the quiet of the evening.

 

Just then,
 our Maker placed us together
 with other creatures of His creation.

 He is the One
 who all the oceans placed,
 set the world in space 
and created us.

 On this late summer evening, 
He chose to join His creations together 
for a special moment in time.

A coincidence? Perhaps…

* * * *

 

Winging low across the evening sky,

with necks outstretched,

the five in line responded to imprinted flight

formed countless centuries ago. 

A canopy of leaves formed overhead,

blocking them from view.

Gliding lower, wings now set,

the five flew toward feeding fields at dusk. 

How quickly they had come into our solitude,

then disappeared into the evening shadows. 

Now out of sight, ghostly silhouettes,

markings meticulously ordained when time began.

A snow white feather drifted slowly to the ground. 

Now cradled in the grass, 

The evening dew its bed. 

Binding our lives with theirs, 

All, now ever changed.

The great creative plan of One

who set the world in space,

the oceans placed, species defined,

now paused with us for a moment in time. 

We were one with Him.

It was the END OF THE DAY.

copyright©2019
 
Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
 

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

I BELIEVE

I BELIEVE

By Thelma Whitchurch Tuck

8th Grade – 1944

(Celebrating her 88th August 13, 2018)
“Happy Birthday to my sister”

I BELIEVE in the things I can see with my eyes..

The geese and the ducks high up in the skies


The doe with her fawn going deep in the wood

The old mother hen as she cares for her brood

The fisherman quietly holding the line

The icicles hanging from oak tree and pine

My home, as it stands on the top of a hill

Meaning warmth and contentment, giving my heart a thrill.

But the best of all things that my two eyes can see,

Is the sight of “Old Glory” as she waves in the breeze.

I BELIEVE in the things I can hear with my ears…

The toll of a bell, the crowd with its cheers

The song of a bird, the hum of a bee

The low moaning wind as it blows through the trees

The cry of a baby, the notes of a song

The toot of a horn as the cars go along

The croak of a frog, the rain on the roof

Lowing cows in the pasture, a horse on the hoof

These are the sounds that my ears bring to me

In this wonderful country, the land of the free



I BELIEVE in the things I can smell with my nose.

A field filled with violets, a wild summer rose

The aroma of coffee, a pie or a cake

The smell of fish frying, just fresh from the lake

The burning of leaves, ground wet from rain

Freshly turned earth, or the smoke from a train

The smell of the woods with its cedar and pine trees

Newly mown hay, or a soft gentle lake breeze

Fruit blossoms in springtime, a field full of clover

Smoke from a campfire, when the day’s fun is over

To give up the pleasures we get from these things,

Is something we hope our life never will bring.

I BELIEVE in the things I can feel with my hands.

The great rolling ocean, the small grains of sand

The warmth of the fire, the cold of the snow

The snow or the rain as the wintry winds blow

The satin smooth skin of a child at its play

The fur of a puppy, the sun’s warming rays

The feel of the earth as the garden is planted

The vegetables harvested just as we planned it.

These are the things in this life we are living

That teach us receiving is equal to giving.

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THE MILES BETWEEN

 Our Son

Tim

 

October 31, 1959 – October 11, 2013

 

 

He was employed as an “over the ROAD” truck driver.

In three week stints,

his purpose was to cover thousands of miles delivering freight

to various destinations throughout the country.

He chose to have his wife and their little dog travel with him.

 

The goal was to arrive safely at his destination.

The journey enabled him to experience the miles between.

 

Our journey is the same.

We have our point of origin (birth)

And our destination (death).

How we travel the miles between

defines our purpose in life.

 

How we live out our purpose,

and with whom we travel,

is our choice.

When we choose to travel with Jesus,

the Holy Spirit is our constant companion

Every experience, every encounter, every trial

is bearable,

because He is with us.   

 

We grow in our faith

as the mile markers accumulate.

 

God says to us….

“I am with you always,

even unto the end of time.”

 

My Prayer:  Thank you Lord,

for being one of Tim’s traveling companions

as he lived through his life

on his way back to You.

copyright©2019


Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

 

Summer begins.
School years end. 
Sheltered and familiar halls of learning
will be left behind.

 It’s time to venture into the unknown future.

For some, the promised journey is exciting.
Others are hesitant 
to take this next step 
into an unfamiliar and very large world.

Emotions are deep. All paths lead to life.

Many  have traveled
along this road.

Hopefully long, 
sometimes narrow,
It is always a winding avenue. 
Complete with side trips,

choices may lead to
 higher education, 
marriage 
or family.

One decision will lead

 to service of country. All will hopefully lead to success.

 Each traveler uses his personal key 
to open the door to the future.

Ahead lie many unexpected opportunities.
Some may lead to a detour or temporary failure.

The insight needed

 to understand complicated directions
can help to find an individual’s happiness. 
 Life’s journey 

 guides us  by trial and error.

Remember the promise to beloved schoolmates?
“Our class will be different. 
We’ll keep in touch and we won’t forget.”

 Friendships of high-school and college days

 are never forgotten. 
Names may slip from mind,
  faces may fade,
 but memories of the times spent with friends and comrades 
will remain for  years. It matters not
which path is chosen.
 There will always be
 fond recollections 
 of the time of graduation.

 
 
 

The journey begins

One step 
and then another.

 

Musings of a Homemaker 

Houghton Lake Resorter newspaper – 1964
copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck
 
 
https://thatremindsmenet.wpcomstaging.com

THINGS I SHOULD NEVER FORGET TO REMEMBER..

 
“You need to change your ways!”

 
I’ve heard that statement many times. 
Like the words to an old song, 
they keep going ‘round in my mind.
One of my life changing events was in early spring of 1989, as I recall.
 A few years before,
my husband and I 
had decided to raise sheep.
 
One day, I suggested we should get a lamb.. 
After all, we have this little farm.
Our grandkids lived next door, 
it would be fun.
 

 It wasn’t long 
before my husband came home
 announcing
he’d found a lamb.
 In fact, he’d found two, a male and a female. 
They were orphans.
They needed people to love and care for them.
That would be our family.
I don’t remember the exact time frame
as the events began to unfold.
It wasn’t long after the arrival of the lambs,
I casually suggested to my husband, we should start 
a flock.
“We have “Bo” and “Betsy” and the grandkids love them.”
We also had this old barn 
with nothing in it but nothing.

It was then we began our search for mature ewes.
 We would use them to build our flock.
 We had Bo.
who wasn’t what you’d call a breeder at this young age.
He would be in a year or so
when he was no longer a “lamb.”
 The plan to become shepherds 
was quickly put into action.
We were proud and excited about our new, proposed lifestyle.
 My husband was in the retail hardware business.
  I owned and operated a Hallmark shop. 
This would be fun.
A little something extra to give us something to do in our spare time.
One day a gentleman came to call
 who was interested in looking at our lambing operation.
I was more than happy
 to show him
  our nearly 100 year old barn,
 and our new flock of sheep.
Now, this is the point where I veer away from the sheep
 and explain some of my habits to you.
 I wouldn’t even be telling you this
 if it wasn’t that I had recently seen posts on Facebook 
from women 
who had observed the same event
 that I experienced
on my journey to the barn that day.
 
Without getting too personal,
 I’m going to reveal my lifetime habit
of getting ready for bed at night. 
Included in my habit,
was the removing of my jeans and underwear
together in one swift motion. 
Unfortunately this has, on occasion, 
caused a slight “public” embarrassment.
That’s odd, I said I would be
getting ready for bed “at night”.)
How could that possibly affect my actions in the daytime? Hmm…
Back to the fine gentleman 
who had come to look at our flock.
We were walking to the barn
 when he turned around, 
looked quickly back toward the driveway, 
and said,
 “Oh! You’ve dropped your hanky.” 
Intuitively, as I turned, I knew what I was about to see.
 The clump of white lying in the driveway 
was instantly recognizable to me. 
It was definitely not my hanky. 
It was my underwear, 
which had been clinging,
 (with the help of static electricity from the dryer, )
to the inside of my jeans. 
The undergarment had chosen that moment 
to release itself from the fabric of my jeans,
 and to embrace the ground 
in the driveway. 
“I’ll get it”, he said,
 turning around and taking a step
 toward the object. 
“No”, I said, 
“I’ll get it”.  
We were immediately in competition
 to get to “the hanky”first .
 I outran him by seconds,
 scooped up ‘the hanky’ 
and shoved ‘it’ 
into my jacket pocket.
 Bless his heart.
 He seemed totally unaware ,
of the rapid beating of my heart,
 which was not caused
 from the exertion of running
 to the area of the driveway
 in question.
 
You might think 
the experience would have been a lesson
 forever etched in my mind. It was definitely time to renew my habits.
 However, that was not to be.
Continuing…
One quiet morning in summer 
I had opened my Hallmark Shop at nine a.m.
 allowing my employees to come in later.
 
 A pleasant fellow was the first to stop by.
 He stood just inside the front door,
where we visited for twenty minutes or so.
 As he turned to leave, he said, 
“You may want to check the leg of your slacks
 near your right shoe”.  
With that, he went upon his way.
 
Looking down at my shoe,
  in full view
 was a visible display of one of my nylons, 
which was making its way
 past the static electricity in my slacks
 to heaven knows where.
Can you imagine
  what the nice fellow must have been thinking 
as we stood there and talked?
 He apparently had decided 
he would tell me 
just as he went out the door,
 without looking back.
 He must have envisioned the expression he would surely see on my face when I found the scene he’d described. 
I don’t know if men are prone to giggling. 
But I’ll bet this fellow was giggling as he made his way to the car.
At this moment,
 it’s important for me to tell you
  I’ve never had either of these experiences again.
 I really have changed my habits,
 about certain things.
My friends and family would tell you it is rare for me to change my mind about anything, and I still have some mind changing to do.
At Christmas that year, 
 my family gave
 me a bottle of fabric softener 
and a pair of nylons
with lace edged suspenders sewn on them.

One of the changes I have yet to make
 is not to share with anyone 
the embarrassing things 
that happen to me.

I really do need to change my ways.

Photography by Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck

copyright@2019

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

 

GUESS WHO RAN THE RED LIGHT

(Here’s a clue, it wasn’t me.)

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

I’ve always bragged about my driving record.
As with many, I started driving at the age of 16.

I’ll grant you; I’ve never traveled much cross-country
or in a foreign land, (such as Canada).
Still, no person of the law enforcement
has ever flagged me down on the highway.

I’ve always been quite proud of that.

Oh yes, there was that time in New Hampshire.
Returning to the campground where our fifth-wheel awaited,
my husband was tired so I was driving.

It was almost midnight.
You may wonder why the time would be of importance.
There were no cars to be seen on the ROAD through town.
Trying to navigate the unfamiliar left hand turn at a cross section,
I didn’t see the traffic light.
It was blinking red, apparently.

I could see the red flashing light of the police car
in the rear-view mirror.
The traffic officer appeared at my window.
Why he was cruising this deserted ROAD at mid-night,
I’ll never know.
“I didn’t see the light, officer”, I said.
“I was searching for the turn and guess I was preoccupied”.

He was very nice and quietly said,
“You’ll need to be more careful in the future”.
There was no ticket…whew!

Now let me think.
The only time I received a traffic ticket
was in 2013
when
I was traveling a local highway,
apparently at the speed of 74 mph
in a
55 mph zone.
A township officer, who was hiding in a nearby forest,
must have believed she had a live one.
She followed me persistently
until I pulled to the side of the road.
She had clocked me at 74 mph in a 55 mph zone,
she said “Don’t you have a cruise control?”
“Yes officer” I said, “but it doesn’t work”.

“I’ll have to write you a ticket”, she said.
Standing by the car she began to fill out the citation.
“I have not had a ticket since I started to drive at the age of 16,”
I said, smiling quietly.

” I suppose I will have to quit telling my friends
I’m a “virgin driver”.
(I was quite sure she’d noticed my birth year of 1935
on the driver’s license.)

An understanding smile crossed her face.
“I’ll just write the ticket for 60 mph.”
“But be careful you don’t get another within the next three years
or your insurance will increase.”

 Thanking her profusely,I drove on my merry way,
silently cherishing my sense of humor
which was inherited from my Mother.

* * *

Continuing:

Last Monday I drove a few miles down the road to our local McDonald’s
where I intended to buy myself a Big Mac and an order of fries.
Just as I left home,
my son said “Pick me up a large strawberry shake”.

I did.

As is my usual routine
I drove through the Wal-Mart parking lot
which would allow me to enter the road at the light.
It’s much safer.

As I approached the light,
it was green.
Slowly proceeding across the highway
I prepared to turn left.

At this point I can only tell you what I assume happened.
There was a loud bump on the driver’s side of my car near my left shoulder.
The side airbag inflated.
Truthfully, I wasn’t aware of it at the time.

The car was now tilted a little bit to the right and was  located several feet to the right of the light.
A quick look told me there were remnants of a strawberry shake
all over my car,
up, down, and sideways.

As I recall,
the Big Mac and fries
were never seen again.

Wondering where my glasses were,
I noticed them sitting in the corner of the dashboard
on the passenger side of the car.

Now that’s odd, or maybe it wasn’t.

A nice gentleman came over to the car
and asked me if I was all right.
“Yes, I’m fine”, I said.
(Later was when I found the scrapes and bruises and aches,
but I digress.)

My son came to give me a ride home
and the wrecker took my car away.

A few days later the insurance adjuster called to inform me
the car was totaled.

I now have a new car,
a new appreciation for driver side airbags,
a new understanding of the need for seat belts
and some other things I haven’t thought of yet.

The lady in the car that crashed into me
had run through a red light
and apparently wasn’t aware of the color.
(Until she collided with me, of course.)

The lady’s car was also totaled.

Oh yes, there is one thing which has recently occurred to me.
This must become part of my driving habits.
When I’m approaching a green light in the future,
make sure that no one is coming from the right or the left, appearing to be maintaining speed,
 seemingly making no preparation to stop at the red light.

 I can remember that.

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com

SHE LEFT ME WITH A MEMORY…

Remembering Mary

They appeared just before the service began.

 He carried a small pillow under his arm. 
 I wondered why.

 Together they sat in the front pew, listening attentively.

 One Sunday, as the service ended, Mary’s husband stood to leave.
 The pillow he had carried under his arm now lay on the church pew
where he had placed it.It showed two dents from his hipbones.

 A World War 1 veteran,
 Don had been gassed during the time of his service
 to our country. 
He was frail and attentive and attended the worship service with Mary
 every Sunday. 

I would never have known Mary
 had it not been for attending the same church as she and her husband, Don.
She was a faithful worshiper

Together, the two entered the sanctuary each Sunday.

 Leaving quietly without conversation, 
they offered a nod and smiles
 to those who greeted them.

Mary was a tall woman.
 On Sunday morning, she was always attired in her Sunday best.

 In winter, a bandanna around her head
 saved her from the cold and rain. 
Old-fashioned rubber boots protected her from the elements
 when necessary.

 

Mary would never know the lasting impression
 she made on my life, and surely on the lives of others.
 Her faithful love of the Lord, deep affection for her husband and two sons, and respect for the flag of our country was a lesson for many if they would only observe.

She never served on a committee at church, but attended every meeting. Having no vehicle,
 she walked the distance to the meetings
 from her home,
 a mile away at that time.

 One special meeting was scheduled to discuss the building of a new church. 
It was held on a summer evening.
 We gathered in the basement of our old church,
 and Mary was there.

The idea of our small congregation taking on this large project had been discussed for some time.
 During a moment of quiet in the meeting,
Mary reached in her old worn purse, pulling out a wrinkled bill.
 As she laid  it on the table, she said,

“There’s your first dollar”.
 The project was underway.

One January morning, 
church services were cancelled due to a blizzard.
 It was dangerous to ask the parishioners to venture into the storm.

I felt warm and cozy 
as I sat in my living room
 watching only a few cars driving down the highway.

Then I saw Mary.

 She was walking toward church, 
carrying her Bible.
 The ever present cold weather scarf 
was tied under her chin.
 Her long wool coat now offered protection from the blowing snow.
 I felt ashamed.
 I didn’t live as far from the church as Mary.

 I had a car.
Mary was walking.
I was relaxing in my nice warm house.
 The scene has stayed with me for many years.

Recalling another dreary day, as I was driving home,
 I saw Mary walking in the heavy rain.
Carrying her Bible, she was heading toward home.

 I stopped to give her a ride and asked her where she’d been. 
“I was at a Bible study at the church”, she said.

 As she climbed out of the car in front of her house,
 the rain was increasingly heavy. Thanking me for the ride, she walked over to their flag pole. Carefully retrieving our American flag from the pouring rain,
she folded it, and took it into her home.

Mary’s  favorite saying was; 
“God knows all about it!”

Reverend Jim once commented,
 “If it were possible to ride into heaven on someone’s coattails, 
I’d choose Mary.”

 

I hoped that Mary would have enough room on those coattails
 for me.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”
(1 Peter 5:5 NKJV)

Unattractive,

    Uneducated,

          Uninformed.

Not practiced at correctness,

  Mary lived her life     

One

Simple

Uncomplicated day

At a time.

Never indulging in self-satisfaction,

Nor pursued by dreams of personal success,

Her simple life was unadorned with expectations.

Knowing no pretense

Mary cast her lot

With God.

God first

Love

Worship

Prayer

Service

Family second

Love 

Prayer

Care 

Service

Country third

Love

Service

Prayer

Respect

No unexpected event

No shortfall

No misfortune

Could cause her simple faith

To waver.

“God knows all about it,” Mary would say,

With a countenance that displayed

Unflappable peace.

Her life was uneventful

Her faith unshakable.

Her example unforgettable.

Never doubting the unquenchable supply

Of God’s love and care,

Mary lived to the fullest

The abundant life

Of a saint.

Her legacy to those who knew her

Was a trail of unerring discipleship

On her way to eternal life with God.

March 31, 1996

copyright©2018

Photographs By Mary Anne Tuck

memoriesaremadefromthis.com