Dear Mrs. Elderly

You may not remember me, but I will never forget you.

I was visiting you at your temporary residence in a long term care facility, and you looked longingly out at the beautiful grounds on that late spring day.  The flowers were putting on a show, and you couldn’t afford to waste one more minute lest the rising temperatures would cause you to miss it altogether.

I guided your wheelchair slowly through the winding paths that meandered through carefully kept beds of annuals and perennials. You instructed me about each one, as you reminisced about your own garden at home.

Small talk and flower talk slowly turned to talking of family, and you, slowly and carefully turned the conversation away from yourself, and inquired of mine.  You were like me, you had a boy and three girls, and I spent a few minutes picking your brain for your advice and parenting tips and tricks.  We both agreed that there is a special dynamic with our youngest that we did not see with the others; a special, heart-wrenching, frustrating, worrisome angst that grips and squeezes, and threatens to suffocate even the most prepared, level-headed, practical Momma.  These youngest children (especially girls), we concluded, have a way of pushing our buttons, testing our limits, and trying our patience.  They are the ones that lead us straight to the throne room of heaven, crying out for mercy on behalf of our limitations and failures.

You looked at me, and though you had no way of knowing the battle that was raging at home with my girls, somehow, it seemed you did, and I felt understood.  You took my hand, looked me straight in the eye, and with the conviction of someone who has been there, you said “Don’t you worry about those girls, Lyn.  They will all three grow to be mighty women of God one day.”

Mrs. Elderly, do you know I have clung to those words for five years now?  Do you know, that in the deepest, darkest nights, when I thought God had turned his back on me and my girls, and the devil had won the victory, your words echoed in my mind?  I heard them when my oldest daughter, unmarried, took me out for coffee to tell me she was carrying my first grandchild.

Mighty women of God

I heard them in the midst of second daughter’s panic attacks.

Mighty women of God

I heard them when I drove our youngest daughter to counseling sessions.

don’t worry…one day

Again, when I found drugs in the bedroom and fresh cuts on my baby girls body, when I got a call from the school that she was being sent home, strung out and high from some bad weed that had been slipped to her.

Mighty women of God

Mrs. Elderly, some days, when I couldn’t see or hear God, I heard your words, and I held on a little longer, a little tighter to a promise that I know I heard once, in a garden, from the heart of God through the words of a gentle lady.

Thank you, Mrs. Elderly, for beautiful words spoken in due season.

11 comments on “Dear Mrs. Elderly

  1. What a beautiful story.
    My heart aches for all of the trouble you have endured. May God bless you.
    I know how hard it is. I’ve been in your shoes.

    • Oh Kat…thank you. He does bless me, more than I deserve! And He plans to bless eternally, that is the wonderful hope we have in Him.

      I just found this quote and thought “how appropriate!” Enjoy.

      “One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end of the road without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And there numbers were so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings.”
      –Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, #153

  2. My eyes are overflowing with tears and I am blessed that God saw fit to show you in your own way that all you could do was trust. Trust in His goodness, Trust in His faithfulness, Trust in His unfailing love. Trust that all things do work together for good. Oh God you are good!

  3. Look forward to reading more of your blog Lyn, thanks for sharing that special moment with Mrs. Elderly; Its amazing how we speak without thinking how far reaching a small act of love can go!

    • Isn’t it!? What a humbling and awesome thought, to be able to affect the next generation just from a word spoken at the right time and place!

      I look forward to seeing more of you here…as well as your own thoughts at your place. Blessings to you and yours, G.


  4. Thank you for the Like today! It led me here. What a beautiful post! May we all follow Mrs. Elderly’s example and bless the people we come in contact with.

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