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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Peace (03/15/04)

TITLE: The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding
By Gloria Haynes


"It will get better in time," each of them said in one form or another.
I was sure that in a normal world where normal people enjoyed normal relationships that the death of one's mother could eventually get better in time. But in my world, that was just not the way it was.
Her battle with cancer had been long and hard -- not only on her, but on us all. I had yearned that last year to make amends with this woman I had spent so much time fighting with for so many reasons. But I had waited too late, for she wasn't having any of it. When she died that cool September morning, she took with her the only chance I had to put things right with my mother.
Those hectic funeral days passed by in a blur of old friends and family. I was farming out children to neighbors and juggling schedules to keep track of my family. When the burial was done and over, there was nothing left to do except go home and try to go on with my life.
The problem was, however, that in my mind there was no reason to go on. If my own mother had not loved me enough to help me set things straight, what chance did I have with any other relationship?
My hurt was sharpened by the anger that Mom had managed to inflict by "getting the last word in." As I sat with her body the morningshe died, my sisters and Mom's husband sat in the living room reading a letter she had left. In it, she told each of them how much she loved them and would miss them. As for me, she said nothing except she hoped they all could forgive me for being the way I was.
I was different. Vastly different from them. My head was full of wild ideas of being a writer and making "something of myself."
In the days that passed after Mom's funeral, I became deeply angry. I couldn't sleep. I didn't want to eat or spend time with my children. I just wanted to be mad at my mother for making me feel one last time that I was so unloveable.
On the fourth day after the funeral, I became overwhelmed with the need for sleep. Barely getting to the bed before collapsing, I fell into a deep, soundless dream that took me into a dark room. At the far end, a light shone down, reminding me of a spotlight on a stage. From that beam of light, my mother stepped forward. She looked so young and happy and healthy. When she held her arms out to me, I ran to her. She smelled like the Mommy I remembered from childhood, not the mother who had battled cancer for so long.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, unable to believe that my mother was there with me.
"I can't stay but a minute," she said. "They let me come back to tell you that I love you, too."
In the fifteen years that have passed since that day, I can say I was truly given the gift of peace that surpasses all understanding.

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 03/22/04
Wonderful - poignant, and heartbreaking, but what a peace to experience at the end.
Dori Knight03/22/04
i really liked this piece. it was sad, but it was well written.

good job!
Lynne Cox03/22/04
That's so sad! Being abandoned by Mom is a terrible thing that can haunt all the days of your life. I'm glad you found peace.
Geraldine Solon03/22/04
Wonderful story and an ending with a great impact!
Jacqueline Odom-Bullock03/22/04
This was beautiful and it must have been hard for you to share. May God bless you in your writing career and full fill every aspect you endeavor. I too believe in miracles.
Leticia Caroccio03/23/04
Your words brought much sadness to my heart. I am thrilled that you have been able to find peace. You should be commended for continuing to be the person you are meant to be. May God continue to work He began in you. Thank you.
The Lord can bring peace to our souls in many ways. I'm glad He gave you rest.
Helen Wiebe03/23/04
Very insightful! An article I wish my own children could read ... but would it matter? Would they hear? Would you have heard if someone had sent this to you? Only God can remove that blindfold. I pray He removes theirs before they have to tell a story like yours. Thankyou so much for sharing.
Gloria Haynes03/23/04
Thanks to all of you. This was very hard to write, and also very hard to live. I'm afraid my own daughter will be facing these same issues when it's my turn to go. Love to all, Gloria
Donna Anderson03/24/04
To reach into your hurting heart through a dream....God is so good!