It has been about five weeks since Mama’s passing allowing time for me to reflect about my own life. Getting introspective, I have asked myself many questions including: Am I in God’s will? What is my purpose here? Am I fulfilling my personal mission statement? Or, does it need tweaking? Am I making a difference in anyone’s life? My former husband and I did not have the blessing of children. I had always thought that I would have a full household and when they did not come naturally, the thoughts of adoption and/or fostering were considered... thus, one reason we bought The Lodge in White City. Originally, it had 14 bedrooms. That should have been plenty of room even with our renovations. However, that was not meant to be either. So, single again and without children or grandchildren, what am I suppose to do when I grow up? With Mama dethroning the female helm of our original Kendrick clan, I have faced my own mortality. Suppose that may be a bit natural since I am the oldest child. Perhaps a sense of responsibility? Not sure, but daily thoughts of purpose linger in my subliminal.
Now that Lent is almost upon us, what a great time of year to focus on what it is to be a Christian and my purpose. To joyfully look at and accept possible changes as great adventures. To know that God waits for me to seek Him.
Daddy is doing as well as possible though he misses Mama terribly. She would frequently tell him, “I love you with all my heart.” And, when she could no longer say that, Daddy would tell her the same and kiss her on her forehead when tucking her into bed at night. For Valentine’s Day, I had a coin made with those words inscribed on it and signed off with ‘Bibbie’ (Mama’s nickname). He treasures it. He is keeping himself busy and perhaps will build a house on his farm where the cabin and Elk Lodge are located.
When driving, I use VM calling, “Sterling (my English accent VM operator), call Mama and Daddy.” “Which number ~ cell, work or home?” he asks. “Home,” I instruct. “Calling Mama, home,” he replies and through technical magic, dials my parents’ home number. I find it quite bittersweet when he says that he is calling Mama home because that is exactly where she is now.
All the questions I have recently asked myself have challenged me in the past so this is nothing new but only another timely check-in point. We have all heard that life is short. Many choose to squander their time without a compass. I most often choose the opposite and pray that the magnetic needle is pointing towards God.
Your thoughtfulness persists to comfort me as I continue to find well-wishes in my mailbox. Thank you for all your cards, calls, love and prays after this life passage. Through your efforts, I have gained insight on many thoughts about death and losing a loved one. Levi Lusko wrote “Through the Eyes of a Lion” after losing his 5-year-old daughter. It was recommended to me by one of the sorority girls. Great book. I recommend reading it, and found the main nugget that I gleaned from it on page 152: “The more passionate you are about setting your soul to heaven’s time zone, the more progress you will make in your calling here on earth.” I wish I had written that ~ how magnificent … and how timely for me as I check my compass again!
Enjoy your Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations ~ spring is just around the corner!
P.S. The chef in me wanted to share this divine recipe with results worth every effort!
Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor on the last Sunday of each month in Sincerely, Susan. A former Kingsport resident, she currently serves as a house director at the University of Georgia in Athens. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected] To share your events for our Out & About calendar or to invite Out & About columnist Katherine Scoggins to attend, email us at [email protected]