Today marks my mother's 75th birthday. I had planned a huge surprise party for her. In January I talked with a caterer friend of mine who lives near Mother. I started informing family and friends from back home. It was supposed to be a surprise, so I asked everyone to stay on the hush-hush.
The surprise was on me, I guess. Mother unexpectedly went to be with Jesus in May, six months before her 75th.
To say I didn't see it coming is an understatement. But Mother was more than ready. She'd been commenting to family and friends that she was so ready to "go home." I think she was discouraged with the world in general; she didn't like what was happening to our country, she hated the lack of commitment she saw from those who called themselves Christian, and she was saddened by the state of the church in general. She was ready for Jesus to come to her or her to go to Him.
She got her wish, but I was left with, "What in the world just happened?"
We were together the day she became ill. She literally collapsed into my arms. When I looked into her eyes so close to mine, I saw nothing. I remember thinking "This can't be happening" and "I've got to get help" all at the same time. I screamed her name over and over, hoping that if she was slipping away, she could hear me well enough to fight and stay with me.
And she did. For a little while. Then came the day when she leaped over the mountains skirting around Asheville, NC (where we were) and into the wide opened spaces of Heaven. She was free of the world's troubles...and I was left, with my brother, to wonder why.
In October, while continuing to clean out and sort through her things, I found a book she'd been teaching her Bible study circle of women from. It was an old book, dating back from the 50s. It was filled with the author's wisdom but it also held little treasures: her notes written in the margins.
The book is titled GOD'S PSYCHIATRY. I remember seeing it in my childhood home since ...well...childhood. I never opened it, I don't think. I supposed I didn't think I needed psychiatry (which I'm sure could be debated...). But I have to say now that the title is misleading. This is about recognizing the wounds of life. This is about making sense of it all. This is about healing.
The book was written by Charles L. Allen (1913 – August 30, 2005), a Methodist pastor from Atlanta. It was published by Fleming Revel, ironically who I am published with today. It's not a big book and it can still be found on Amazon. It takes the 23rd Psalm, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Beatitudes and breaks them down, line by line, to promote emotional healing.
What I want to share with you is what I'm learning from the book, from my mother's notes, and from my own journaling as I progress toward understanding and healing. So, beginning tomorrow and then once a week, I ask that you join me on this journey. Whether you've lost someone to death, are in the process of loss of any kind, in the midst of emotional wounds so deep...
Come. Heal with me...
Eva Marie Everson