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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: 1, 2, 3, Up...
By Laury Hubrich


ď1, 2, 3, up.Ē The casket was raised to shoulder level. Four grandsons and the two sons carried this woman to her final resting place. Just as she carried her family in life, so her family carried her in death.

GOD, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.

Rose worked very hard and wanted so little for herself. What she had, she freely shared with others. She was perfectly content pouring her love and life into her family. She rarely asked for anything but gave of herself all the time, not only to her immediate family, but also to her extended family, church family, and her many friends. She had strength and stubbornness to get her through difficult days triumphantly.

(But she was still my mom-in-law. She had a way of driving me crazy. Did I mention that she was our neighbor? She would knock on our door and then walk on in. Sort of miss that now.)

True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.

She frequently could be found outside hard at work in her flower garden. And she also would lose herself in a novel. My mother-in-law shared her favorite classics with me. Donít know how her sons missed that interest. Summer nights she would keep her window open and listen as trumpet sounds floated into her room as a grandson played to please his grandma.

(When she couldnít see so well anymore to read, I had to convince her to try books on tape. Once she started listening to them, she was hooked. My new title: Replenisher of tapes. I had to delve into her mind to figure out what ones she would like.)

Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I'm not afraid

Widowed for twenty years, she worked hard at keeping her family together and her hard work certainly paid off. Her two sons stayed with her each step of her journey, from home alone, to hospital, to nursing home, and then again to the hospital. Iím sure Roseís heart sings as she looks down and sees this.

(It became a sore subject as time went by, Iím sorry to say. My husband spent lots of time at his motherís side and I would become irritated when it interfered with our family.)

when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd's crook
makes me feel secure.

Rose showed just how courageous she was by this journey she took through Death Valley. It wasnít easy on anyone to watch her slip away little by little each day but it was evident that was what was happening. She took her mind off the external and looked to the eternal.

(Oh my! Her house is full of stuff. What will happen to all her stuff?)

You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.

Gerald and James both shared many hard things as they watched their Mother slowly being pulled away from them. She is now free from pain and can roam around and do all she wants to do. We will forever remember Rose in this way: alive and very active and so in love with her family.

(I missed the phone call. I didnít get to say goodbye. Just the Sunday before I cooked for her but then took a nap and didnít get up as she left. I missed saying a last goodbye to her. I missed it -- twice.)

Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I'm back home in the house of GOD
for the rest of my life.

Rose, arms clasped behind her back, face forward, stubborn mind set, followed her Lord and King to her new home without looking backwards. No regrets.

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This article has been read 888 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Henrietta W. Romman05/15/08
Beloved Writer,I am SO IMPRESSED to have read this beautiful piece!

I praise the Lord for your "Beginning"...and for your flowing style.. Then to top all:You worked so smoothly around this awesome Psalm....rendering your story to be crowned with dignity and...much...much Christian Flavor.

Thank you dear Friend and may God Bless you as you write..Amen
LauraLee Shaw05/15/08
This is a masterpiece, and I'm certain it will be treasured forever. Much more than a memorial--a poetic keepsake and something for people to cry over and use for healing for years to come. Just beautiful. Masterful. Anointed.
Beckie Stewart05/15/08
Having been there....this is a beautiful tribute to what you shared in life and the impact she had on those she loved.
Debbie Wistrom05/16/08
Your style enriched your well placed words.

Loved the Psalm sprinkled through and especailly your asides.

Just what this parched soul needed today, thank you.
Marita Thelander 05/16/08
So tender and honest. Very creative way to give tribute and focus on a Psalm.
Dee Yoder 05/18/08
Laury, all the emotions and questions, and grief for a loved one are in this entry. Beautiful and honest...just like you. Ruth would love it, I'm sure! May God continue to bless you and comfort you and your family.
Lyn Churchyard05/18/08
Oh my! I can hardly find the words to describe this wonderfully poignant piece. Beautiful in every way.
Joanne Sher 05/18/08
Exceptional, dear Laury - I love the parenthetical "humanity" and the poetic beauty of this piece. Just lovely.
Joy Faire Stewart05/18/08
I was very touched by this beautiful tribute and the format was perfect. Also, wonderful last line.
Jan Ackerson 05/18/08
Absolutely beautiful. Three different moods, beautifully intertwined in a tapestry of love.
LaNaye Perkins05/18/08
Absolutely wonderful my friend. Bravo!
Yvonne Blake 05/18/08
Beautiful! I love you mixed the tribute, the memories, and the Scripture throughout. Isn't that how life is... a mixture of these things?
Thank you for sharing this, Laury.
Mariane Holbrook 05/18/08
This is so lovely I'm speechless. What a beautiful piece!
Pamela Kliewer05/19/08
You have touched my heart with your story. You showed us your mother-in-law in a beautiful way and showed us your heart as well. Well done.
Joshua Janoski05/19/08
I appreciated a lot of things about this piece, but I think what I appreciated the most was your honesty. You admitted things that many people would lie about or just not mention. For example, you mentioned how sometimes your mother-in-law bothered you and how you missed opportunities to say goodbye. I think everyone has had those times with certain loved ones who have passed away. I really admire you for being able to be so open and honest with this, while at the same time making it a beautiful tribute.
Sara Harricharan 05/21/08
Simply wonderful...and the transparency? It is beautiful, the relationship shared is one that is real-so others can relate. Excellent job!
Karen Wilber05/21/08
I love the flow of this--from the spiritual to the earthy and back again. (not earthly, but earthy) It shows how multilayered our relationships are. Wonderfully written tribute.
Cheri Hardaway 05/21/08
This is such a beautiful piece. You have captured perfectly the holiness and the humanity of such a journey through the valley of the shadow of death. My own mom died of cancer in 2000, and this tale reminded me so much of that time period in our lives. Good work! Blessings, Cheri
Joy Faire Stewart05/22/08
Congratulation on your well deserved win. Great job!
LauraLee Shaw05/22/08
Congratulations on highly commended. Sooooo happy your incredible writing was recognized as top notch, cuz it is!!!!
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
WOOWOO girlie - highly commended AND 16th overall. Awesome!
Sheri Gordon05/23/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. Simply beautiful.
Betty Castleberry06/06/12
This is a touching piece. I see beauty and even a tinge of regret. Ya done good, Miss Laury!