"Mrs. Peterson was such a nice good mother! All mothers are nice and good more or less, but Mrs. Peterson was nice and good all more and no less. She made and kept a little heaven in that poor cottage on the high hillside--for her husband and son to go home to out of the low and rather dreary earth in which they worked. (snip) True, her hands were hard and chapped and large, but it was with work for them; and therefore in the sight of the angels, her hands were so much the more beautiful."
~ from the Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald
My youngest daughter crawled onto my lap last evening after we had laid my Mother-in-law to her eternal rest. She had a book in hand and asked me to read to her. It was the perfect balm after five days of traveling, remembering, planning the funeral service, and grieving.
The second paragraph in our reading was the one I quoted at the beginning of this post. Isn't it amazing how God orders our lives, down to the tiniest detail? The words were written over a hundred years ago and yet they were meant for me at this moment in time. If I were to pen an epitaph especially for my Mother-in-law, I could not have written anything more fitting or descriptive of her life.
It made my mind go other places; I thought of the terrible mall massacre in our city that occurred the very same day as my Mother-in-law's death.
In a strange way, it made me very thankful for the way in which I was grieving. Mine is a healthy type of sadness that comes from being temporarily parted from a loved one. Others in my city are at this moment grieving very differently. Their loved ones have been senselessly ripped away from them by the hands of a cold-blooded murderer. Instead of a loving and gentle parting, their grief is no doubt compounded with anger and a host of other emotions.
How might this tragic scenario have been altered if the young man who did the shooting had been blessed with a mother like Mrs. Peterson? Or like my Mother-in-law?
So this little post is a tribute to an unsung heroine: just a Mama who did her job well.
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master". Matthew 25:21