"Echoes of My Past"
by Carolyn Florence (Evans) Obertein
In 1997 I kept going back to the "Echoes of my Past". I would lie in bed at night and replay many of my childhood days in my head. Missing people that were so important to me in my life that loved me and protected me. As a child we believe our parents, siblings, grandparents and our love ones will be with us forever. We go through our day to day lives loving and living our lives. Never realizing with each breath we are one breath closer to not having them with us. And looking even further down the road...our own death.
One night I was no longer able to lie in bed because I felt that pull of memories washing through me again. The ache of the death of my mother took me many times to my hope...the Bible. As a child the Bible in our house was seldom read, but always was given the place of honor in our home on that center piece in our living room, that most people call a coffee table. As a small child before I could read I loved to look at the beautiful color pictures about special people that God loved. Always, was God the focus of these peoples lives. I never knew different.
As a 5-year-old I was invited to a small church in our neighborhood with some other neighboring children. I was scared to embark on this jot down the road to the small community church. This would be the first time treking out without the safety of my mom and dad holding my hand. But knowing my brother and sister were by my side and our many friends we played with daily, I made this what seemed like a long walk. (3 blocks) Asking every few minutes if we were there yet.
I had to sit on the edge of the pew to see over the pew in front of me. There was a large picture of the man I seen in our family bible. His hand out and knocking on the door to someone's house. Pinned above his heart was a red, bluish heart. I wondered why this was on the outside of his clothes when my heart I knew was inside my body. As the service progressed the pastor made me feel this was a man I could trust my entire life. He would love me and never leave me. He would always be there when I had questions about anything. It didn't matter how small or stupid the question was to everyone else. To him everything I had to say was important. The pastor said for us to close our eyes and ask this Jesus that was knocking at the door of my heart right then to come in and never leave. Oh yes, I wanted this Jesus to come into my heart. I shut my eyes as hard as I could and tried to open the door. I didn't know how to open it. I tried so hard but I wasn't sure where to find this door and how to open it. I begged Jesus to come in but I just couldn't find that door to open it. Little did I know the door of my heart had flung wide open and Jesus took me into his arms and has never set me down.
When my mother that has loved me my entire life went home it left this terrible ache and loneliness. I knew she was no longer in the clutches of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, deteriorating bones and many other problems that were eating away at her body. Looking at the family Bible of my childhood made me envision her as a young women in her teens laughing, doing handstands and the body flips that she spoke of many times in her later years. Pulling that bible from my china cabinet, where I put it after her death, I noticed the bible was almost twice its thickness. Opening the bible I found dozens of obituaries, birth announcements, death notices, wedding invitations, and many other items of people from her and my past. My mother had given me the thing that I needed most at that moment...a link to my past and the people that we loved. Sorting threw the many folded sheets of paper brought back memories of special dances at weddings, tears that were cried over my grandmother's grave, and tears that were cried of joy at the birth of our special bundles of joy presented to us by God. This was the start on my journey into my past to meet the people that made me what I am today. I feel my mom is at my side enjoying the search for the people we loved in our past. Thank you, MOM! I am pleased to introduce you to my loved ones..."Echoes of My Past".
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