Mama

Today was a good day
Today was a good day

Being estranged from someone who was at one time a very loved and cherished person in my life has been extremely difficult.  For over thirty years my sisters and I have been estranged from our mom.  Recently, due to her failing health, we are allowed to take part in her care. Being raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, I knew she was cutting us off because of her deep commitment to the religion. She believed she was doing the right thing.

During the time we were not a part of our mom’s life. We would occasionally run in to her. She was always friendly. She called us a few times and wrote us letters. Mostly pleading with us to return to the “truth”.  She never accepted we were at peace with God. Witnesses believe they are the only ones who know the real God, Jehovah.  Some believe it is our fault for turning our backs on the religion.   I will be the first to admit my sins.  The one that caused my expulsion from that organization occurred in 1986, I became pregnant. I was not married.  I can certainly see how they would not condone that. But, fail to see how cutting one off from family is a good thing. However, being disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses turned out to be such a positive in my life.  My relationship with God is just that. A relationship with GOD.   I didn’t feel compelled to indulge the elders of the Newnan congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses with any personal details of any transgression.  By the time this occurred I already had huge doubts about the things I had been taught from birth.  I prayed for God to lead me.  I prayed from the heart and felt the love of God. That religion may have thrown me out, but God didn’t.  It was a sad thing to go forward in life without the love and support of Mama.  But my conscience would not allow me to  stay in a religion that caused so many doubts.  I didn’t hate my mother. I do not hate her now. If you know anything about that religion. You would know she was just doing what she thought she had to do.   I was very sad to lose her.  But as I raised my children I thought of this relationship more and more. It was unfathomable how a mother could cut herself off from her children.  We were all decent people. Living within the parameters of the law.  Loving and nurturing our children.  It honestly changed my feelings for her. She is my mother. I will always be thankful for any sacrifices she made to provide for us.  She was a hard worker, and always managed to feed, clothe, and provide shelter.  We were taught to respect our elders, not to lie, cheat, or steal. We knew some slang words were even considered cursing, so we had to watch it. Cursing was definitely not allowed. We were never allowed to use racial slurs, nor would we want to. As we had been taught to love others no matter the skin color. She led by example.   Whenever I was disciplined as a child, I knew I deserved it and also knew it was harder on her.  Manners were important.  Cleanliness was mandatory.  We bathed regularly even though no plumbing in our house until I was seven.  Everyone helped with the chores and had duties assigned.  I’m aware of the insane amount of work she did on a regular basis. Raising five kids with so little resources!  Our dad, a truck driver, was away a lot of the time. Although she was never an extremely affectionate mother,  I always felt she loved us.

Now her physical and mental health are failing. She needs us all to have a hand in her care.  It  is sad to see her in this condition.  It is a shame she is not swarmed with visits from her many, many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.  But having not cultivated a relationship with her during our estranged years, they don’t know her or have any sense of obligation to her.

Being out of the clutches of the religion of my birth has been amazing. To have a personal relationship with God and know of the gift of grace is so wonderful.   Being without mom for my adult life has been very trying on my emotional well being at times.   But being able to place this burden upon God, and letting him guide me has been my lifesaver.  And I am eternally grateful for my sisters. We have always been there for one another.  This experience has brought us closer.

My sisters and I do not focus on the past. We strive to make the time we have left with her meaningful. Making her as comfortable as we can and checking on her regularly. If you know our mom and would like to visit her. Please private message me and I will give you the information.
It is not my intention to cause anyone to think less of my mom for her religious stand. This is my blunt and heartfelt testimony. My account of things without her side. She is not in a position to defend her choices. Keeping that in mind, I would appreciate prayers for her. Wishing her peace.

13 thoughts on “Mama

  1. What a wonderful testimony, Betty!
    I admire you so much. I can tell from your FB post what a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother you are. After reading this I can add what a wonderful daughter you are, too. Never let anyone make you feel differently. I love you girl!

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    1. I want to say thank you to anyone who has shown appreciation for my post. Today after writing and posting this, I felt the most peaceful feeling. I guess this was a purging of sorts ….Blogging is such a release for me.

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  2. Very thoughtful words Betty Ann from what I feel echos the sentiments of a lot of the family about the religion we were raised in. I remember the days at Aunt Margie’s.
    Love you Betty Ann

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Betty, you have such a wonderful way with words. And you expressed perfectly the way those of us who have left the religion of our youth feel; at one with God.
    Love you,
    Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a way with words! I love reading your blog. It’s very sad hat you were brought up that way. But in the end, life always works out. You learned not to raise your children the way your mom chose to raise hers. So many people stray from that and mirror from the way they were raised. Be proud that you broke the cycle. You have 2 wonderful children that raised by a mother, Betty!

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  5. Betty, I, too, cried when I read your blog. I’ve often wondered if any of you kids stayed with the JWs after you left home. I remember coming to your house in the summer and giving out tracts with you girls. I admire you for standing your ground, yet staying respectful to your mom. She has clothed, fed,and sheltered you all these years and most certainly has earned your respect. Thank you for the beautiful words. Love you, Linda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Betty, your talents as a writer amaze me! I am so impressed with the love and respect for you mother.You are the example for how people should live their lives! You are warm, kind and honest. You lead your life by the golden rule.I love you and thank you for being my friend .God is good! He has brought you and you sisters back to your mom not an organization Life has come full circle. Just one day at the time.Enjoy the good days. Betty you are one of the strongest I know you just amaze me! Hugs and kissess….. Kathy

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Betty, you are an amazing lady. You love so well and have raised a family that does the same. I love you and your sisters. You are passing on a beautiful legacy of love and grace and the importance of family. Thank you for this blog post. It is perfect. We love you all.
    Jenny Baker

    Liked by 1 person

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