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A Widow's Sandwich
by Lynn Wallace
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Mom contacted pneumonia. She said, “I’m not going to the doctor.” I shuddered to think what might happen to my Mom. She gasped for breath, but refused to budge.

Marj, my friend, came. “Alice,” she pleaded, please let Lynn take you to the doctor.” Mom shook her head. Jack, Marj’s husband, stayed in his crew cab and prayed. Marj patted me and forced back tears as she walked to her car

After she left, Mom said, “I decided I will go to the doctor.” I smiled.

“You are dehydrated,” the doctor said. For over an hour the nurse let the IV put fluid into her body.” Before the doctor dismissed her, he said, “Get plenty of rest and liquids.” He prescribed an antibiotic. Then I drove Mom home. Chills went down my spine as I thought, What if she doesn’t recover?

At the same time my daughter ventured into trouble. Her Dad died of a massive heart attack. This fourteen-year-old did not know how to handle it. For many years she did not even talk about her Dad.

When the doctor told me, “Mrs. Wallace, we’ve done all we could. Your husband died,” I went numb.It was all I could do to phone the landlady and say, “Leon died.” She came after me and took me home.

Shortly afterwards, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Lynn, I want you to write for me.” Work that I loved helped to heal my broken heart. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, assured me I would see my beloved again. Tears tricked down my cheeks as my heart filled with joy and peace.

However, the loss of her Dad made my daughter angry. She scarcely spoke to me. About two years later, she stomped out of my house. “You’ll never see me again,” Lynette said.

She left everything she owned at my house, except the clothes on her back. In three days she returned to pick up some needed supplies.

With Mom sick and my daughter leaving home, the sandwich years squeezed in upon me. My heart felt constricted from two sides. I cared for Mom until she recovered, and kept writing.

The years marched on. Lynette returned to town. We enjoyed our time together as we celebrated Mom’s ninetieth birthday. All twenty of Mom’s family came. About one hundred came for the open house. Diana, my niece, stayed with the punch bowl. I took care of the guest book and seeing someone took care of the reception table. In all this I found a little time to spend with Aunt May who flew in for this occasion.

Shortly after this great time of refreshment with family, Mom sprained her ankle. As I cared for her, I again felt the squeeze. When after many weeks, she walked again without aids, we smiled together. “Lynn, you go home,” she said. I left for my cottage.

Before Mom turned ninety-one, she fractured her hip. The doctor placed a pin in her hip. For three weeks she stayed in a nursing home for therapy. My heart went pitter patter as this helped her to walk again. Every day I visited her and the nurse’s station. I groaned as Mom would not ring that bell. She did not want to bother anybody. After a few weeks, we went shopping together.

When Mom suffered a medium stroke, I moved in with her for three years. My writing slowed down, but I still found some time for it. I became Mom’s errand girl, and spent as much time with her as I could. Lynette received her CNA (Certified Nurse’s Aid), and helped with Mom’s care. Now we could hug each other.

My daughter moved out. Now she lives over one thousand miles away in Clarksville, Tennessee. She anticipates receiving her B.A. in 2011. At the same time, she started a Mary Kay business. She hopes to make this her career. I keep her in my prayers, as my heart swells with pride.

Nonetheless, in good times and in bad, my Lord understands. He eases the burden when things become too much to bear.

Mom professed to receive Christ at the age of twelve. At that time, she went forward in church. The preacher said, “You are saved.” Nobody talked to her. For a time after she had told me she knew the Lord, she did not want to talk about it. My heart ached for her.

One time she said, “Maybe it was just an emotional experience.” These things drove me to earnest prayer for Mom.

At ninety-seven Mom accepted the Lord. Lorraine, a caregiver, said, “Your Mom came to Jesus. I started with her favorite Bible passage, Psalm 23.” This caring person said to her, “If you have never taken Jesus as your Saviour, He is not your Shepherd.” Then she went through the gospel with her. I did not get all excited and jump up and down at first.

My excitement came when afterwards, we could sit down anytime and read the Bible together. That same year Mom took up residence in Heaven.

I miss her but rejoice she is with her Saviour. We shall meet again in glory with Grandma, my beloved husband, our Saviour, and others. Hallelujah!

Most of us have felt the squeeze. God will sustain each one, just as He upheld me. He does not want us to become anxious or troubled, but He desires to fill our hearts with His peace and joy.

My Lifeship: Studies in Proverbs for Women, contains some of my favorite memories of my Mom. See more about my book, my bio, and speaking at www.writingfrommyheart.com.

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