It was spring of 2013 when my sister called sharing my Mom’s diagnosis. I dreaded facing our mother, whom I had little relationship with for over 30 years. But my children were in college, they didn’t need me as much, and I was free to help my sister with Mom’s care.
Keri works long and stressful hours as a closer in a Title Company in San Antonio. She was unable to handle calls during business hours and she got home late every evening. I spent the rest of the year traveling to San Antonio as I tried to care for both Mom and Keri. I took Mom to chemotherapy appointments, ran to the pharmacy, did the laundry, and cooked meals for them both. One of my favorite gifts to them was cooking meals that Mom used to cook for me when I was young.
Keri’s house was in need of routine repairs, but she was never home to meet repairmen. We booked repairmen for my time there. The pump for the water well had the habit of failing daily and the repair involved a slight adjustment of a sensitive dial near the pump. I would put on “snake boots” for the often dusk or dawn walk to the pump to adjust that little sucker. Did I mention this is San Antonio Hill Country - teaming with rattle and coral snakes?
In the midst of a broken water well pump, numerous chores, a very sick person to care for, countless calls to pharmacies and hospice personnel, I found one of my most cherished times in my life. Each and everyday we felt the presence of God working in all three of our lives. We were energized when we were exhausted, we laughed and cried together, we shared stories, and we learned to trust in one another. We remembered who God had always known us to be. We were imperfect, but we no longer focused on the imperfections. We were loved so well that we were able to love each other well.
My sister and I have an honest, trusting, and loving relationship today. I will always be thankful for the opportunity gifted to me, to help serve my mother in her hours of pain and fear. Because of Mom’s mortal existence, we were born. Because of her willingness to open her heart and share this intimate journey of suffering and dying with us, we all grew together in God’s love and found healing.
He is who he says He is. He is the Good Shepherd who calls us by name and shows us the way. Only through Him are we beautifully and extraordinarily healed.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NRSV
Reflection Question: Name a time when God’s love overwhelmed hurt, brokenness or distrust.
Prayer: God of Many Chances, we give you thanks for the mysterious ways you call us to love you and one another. Amen
Posted on Wed, March 9, 2016
by Heather Portillo