‘Tis the season, so to speak…time for all the entertainment folks to parade out the “best” and “worst” of 2013, before we move on to 2014. They’ll report on all the “great” movie stars and famous musicians that we lost. And news broadcasters will discuss the biggest stories of the year, etc., etc., the final photos, words and tales of another year.

Speaking of final words, I found one of those small yellow writing pads in the drawer of my nightstand. I recognized it right away…page after page and Bible verse after favorite Bible verse, written in my mom’s handwriting. The pad of paper has been in the top drawer of my nightstand for two years now, since mom died. I had seen the writing before, but had, apparently, not viewed it all, until now.

She started with 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” She underlined “of God,” and always used the King James Version. She found great comfort in reading her Bible, which she did, every night before she went to sleep, until her end-stage emphysema rendered her helpless and unable to hold a book.

Mom enjoyed reading, but she was also an excellent writer, over the years dabbling in poetry and short stories. She wrote mostly about being raised on a cotton farm in rural Alabama, along with her two sisters, six brothers and her mom and dad…especially her dad – my papa. She wrote a beautiful poem, about “the old man standing at the end of the (cotton) row…” I have a folder that contains her writings. They remind me of the farm I used to visit as a child and the people that I love.

Usually mom and dad would take me to the farm on Sunday afternoons, following church and lunch. The farm was a wonderland for a child – complete with a flowing creek to fish and swim in, deep woods to get lost in, a dirt road to meander down – barefoot, of course – with the soft burnt red Alabama dirt between my bare toes, so fine it felt like baby powder. Then, there were the fields – cotton, corn, and my favorite – watermelon. Papa sold the farm many years before he died, but I retain the memories, and revisit them with help from mom’s poetic words.

And here they are again, not her poems, but line after line of sacred Scripture, favorite verses, written on the yellow pages, but buried deep in mom’s heart. She must have found it comforting to write those verses. Papa did the same thing. I have several pages of his hand-written Scripture.

When I read the sacred words written by my papa and then by my mom, l feel their presence so very near. And as I contemplate the closing of 2013, with all of its challenges and blessings, particularly touching was mom’s very last entry. I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it before now. I’m unsure when she wrote it, but believe that it was quite near the end of her journey here.

“I have fought a good fight.
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:7, paraphrased)

And she did.

Blessings to all for a new year filled with our attentiveness to God’s gracious and abundant blessings; to fighting the good fight, finishing the course, and keeping the faith. Peace.

Kim W. Chafee
December 30, 2013

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Kim Chafee

I am a lover of the God who sings! I am a Christ-follower and an ordained minister married to the other Rev. Chafee (Scott), with two grown children and a multitude of pets. And, I love chocolate. Read more about me and the reason for this blog on my ABOUT page.

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