“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
The month of May not only brings May Flowers, but it also brings the Mother’s Day holiday (originated by the way, here in West Virginia), but also the 85th birthday of my mother, Patsy Ruth Stidham Adkins. This year, for the first time, we will be recognizing those two special days in the Alzheimer’s Unit of the Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Center. As happens with many other milestones in life, since December 22nd of last year, things will never again be the same in our family.
My mother was a wonderful example of a Christian woman and the ultimate minister’s wife. All the characteristics of the “virtuous woman” of Proverbs 31 were present in her life, but these few verses pretty well sum up the impact she made in this life.
I could write volumes on the things of eternal value I have learned from my mother, but let me just use the words of “King Lemuel” to say it succinctly and powerfully.
Mom doesn’t know that Mother’s Day is coming up soon. She doesn’t know her birthday follows shortly afterward. Furthermore, although she can name the names of her three sons, she rarely recognizes us, and cannot comprehend who we are when we tell her. She does, however, think she is in church most of the time. She travels about the 4th floor greeting nurses, aides, and fellow patients with a handshake, or a kiss on the cheek, and a hearty “God bless you!”
Several years ago, shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Mom went through the natural stages. First she was in denial. Eventually she fell into depression and worried about what the eventual outcome would be. With tears in her eyes she told us, “I’m afraid I won’t know who my family members are.” My brother, Bruce, told her, “Maybe so, Mom, but we’ll know who YOU are and we’ll still love you like we always have.”
She’s now at that place in life that she had feared. And so are we.
Much has changed since she cared for us as little ones, but this fact remains. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’”
We love you Mom.