Last week after the time change as I was driving Mary Ellen to school, I headed down the hill facing east. The sunrise had occurred, with a bright morning glow. I thought of learning to rest in God.
Eight years earlier after a struggle through ten months of more changes than I thought I could handle, I quit my job. I had more time in the morning. Katie, in high school, took the bus, because she didn't want to be late. She could sleep on the dark fall mornings on the bus before arriving at school. Her bus came at six twenty. Mary Ellen in elementary school, didn't leave until eight thirty.
In February of that year, 2004, my mother had fallen and broken her hip, as well as her right wrist. Rehab and recovery were slow to the point that she never returned to her apartment. The end of March, my stay at home husband received a call from Lockheed Martin to work at the Tobyhanna Depot six hours away in the Poconos. This was a Tuesday and if his urine test proved he didn't do drugs, he was to start on that next Monday. Less than a week to prepare. We couldn't even go with him. He had no place to stay. The old station wagon broke down on the way there in Dubois or Clearfield. His dad helped him out, lending him their truck.
A long summer I continued working some distance from my home in eastern Ohio. I accepted a position within my company that in theory would keep me in one county and hopefully, mostly in one town of Cortland. That was the theory but I was not allowed to get off call. We went round and round, but instead of fighting, I felt God led me to quit my job, showing me exactly what to write for my resignation letter. I had had enough of my mother slowly drowning in depression and not doing her therapy at the hospital, my youngest daughter not doing her homework, until I came home, sometimes at nine o'clock at night. I wasn't cut out to be a single, career mom.
In November of 2004, I found for the first time it was not that easy to get a job that fit my family. I got the girls ready for school, then spent the day at the hospital with my mother, so she would go to therapy. In this month, I found rest. I always anxiously read through my Bible, devotions, journal my insights of the morning's reading. This month, I sat on my couch, watching the later sunrise, just letting the sun penetrate my eyes. I didn't pray words. I didn't think or worry, I rested in the knowledge I was in God's presence. He had me in His hand, guiding me. I didn't have to strive for things to work.
By the end of November, we had found a Skilled Nursing Facility for my mom. The Holy Spirit led me in words to encourage my mother as well as suggesting to one of the nurses at Sharon Regional, that Mom may be depressed. Zoloft ordered helped in that department. I unpacked clothes in Mom's new room, peace fell over me that only came from Jesus.
I was telling Mom one day as I sat by her bed about my rest in watching the sunrise. She smiled a little and glowed in my description. I thought of that face the other day as I drove down Highland Road in the faint November morning sun. Small tears formed in my eyes and I missed my mother. I've been missing her a lot lately; her apartment when sometimes she made me tea and served crackers or a new cookie she picked out. I miss visiting her in Mercer at the nursing home. Her last four years there, she truly was content. Everyone who visited her, remarked on how pleasant a time they had with her.
Watching the sunrise with no agenda is a rest the Lord taught me those eight years ago. How not to miss people who have died, He hasn't taught me. Maybe we are to miss them, cherish the memories and be thankful we had them in our lives.