I Remember Mom: So Strong Be, The Power of Loving Kindness

By Richard Mabey Jr.


It was during the early Summer of 2017, that Mom took to being in a wheelchair full time. It was a big adjustment for Mom. But, amazingly, Mom took it all in stride. As the Brits would say, Mom kept a stiff upper lip and refused to resign her smile.


What happened was that Mom’s arthritis had reached a dramatic new height, specifically in her hips and in her knees. Plus, the condition of her Aortic Valve had become worse. Now Mom’s cardiologist was talking about open heart surgery. The doctor gave a very honest, but grim, report of her chances of recovery of the surgery. Mainly, due to Mom’s advanced age.


My sister and I shared the responsibility of pushing Mom in her wheelchair. For me, it brought back the bittersweet memories of pushing my late, beloved cousin, Howard Palmer out and about when we would go to a store together. The molded handles of the wheelchair became an engraved memory in the engrams of my deepest subconscious mind. To this day, I can feel the ghostly grip of Mom’s wheelchair handles.


My mother’s positive attitude and her smiling face, in the midst of depending upon a wheelchair, still provide immense inspiration to my heart, mind and soul. Mom never got down about having to depend upon a wheelchair to get around in. Mom never ceased to amaze me with her unending and ferocious faith in God.


Before being confined to a wheelchair, Mom loved to sit in the third row at church. Specifically the middle section, and the third row from the left-hand side, as you looked at the alter from the back of the church. However, when Mom began life in a wheelchair, she had to sit all the way in the back of the church, in the special wheelchair section. During church service, I would look at Mom’s face and see this subtle sadness in her eyes. I knew deep down that she longed to be in that third row once again.


Mom was hard of hearing, so it was not easy for her to hear the Pastor’s entire sermon. But amazingly, Mom took it all in stride. Mom had tried hearing aids for a while, but for some reason she really didn’t like them at all.


On the twenty-third of December, in 2019, Mom went Home to be with the Lord. As I write this little column, it is the morning of December nineteenth. It is so hard to believe that Mom has been gone now for two entire years. It seems like only yesterday, she was in church sitting behind Agnes Beasley, wondering why Agnes insisted on wearing this big hat that blocked Mom’s view from being able to fully see our Pastor at the pulpit, during his sermon. I remember we would get in the car and be pulling out of the church parking lot and Mom would say, “just once, I’d like to knock that big hat off of Agnes’s head!” Then Mom would laugh and say, “just one time, is that too much to ask?”


If you have a relative or friend who is in a wheelchair, please do consider what life is like for them. It’s not an easy thing for a person to realize that their days of walking around a grocery store are over. That they are now confined to a wheelchair. No, it’s not an easy thing to accept at all.


A smile, a friendly word, a touch on the shoulder, a few moments of talking and sharing, can do a lot to uplift a person confined to a wheelchair. They really do not have it easy. It’s a profound psychological change. Even the most positive person will have a hard time adjusting to spending their rest of their life in a wheelchair. But a moment of sharing loving kindness can do wonders for a person in a wheelchair.


Yes, love can do wonders. Love is the key that unlocks the door of sadness and opens a person to the perspectives of hope and faith. For the love we give, is the love that returns back upon us.

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com. Please put on the subject line: I Remember Mom.

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