Life Story Death Posted September 24, 2021

What I have here is a picture of my mother, Cynthia, from her senior year in high school. I have a copy on my desk at church, which probably belonged to one of her brothers at one point. On the back, she wrote out some goals she had at the time such as graduating high school, continuing on in the medical field, and marrying my father Robert. It's a fascinating memoir of who I lost recently. But truth be told, it feels like I've lost her for much longer than that.

This is a sad story, so it's only appropriate to give credit where it's due. For me and my sister, we were her world. She spent so much time with us that she would have seperation anxiety whenever we hung out with anyone else. All that she did... from homeschooling, to playing board games, to taking walks on nature trails, to spending hours in the kitchen cooking with us... she did it with a smile on her face. I can say we were definitively loved by her.

I never really connected my father; In fact, I was openly hostile to him for a while. When he divorced her, the protective bubble we were living in had disappeared and we were completely shell-shocked by the real world. But he knew I would get over it ( and I did, barely... ) and see the truth. As much as he loved her, she didn't love herself. He tried to give her the best chance to get over her increasingly destructive personality. But once the inevitable happened, my mother completely stopped caring for herself, had thoroughly given up on whatever goals and aspirations she had left, and removed all contact between her friends and family...

...except for one person in particular. It seemed like every night since then, my mother had spent hours talking to her new "best friend" – neglecting to make food, or to spend time with us, or to even get a good night's sleep. Whoever this best friend was, they encouraged this lifestyle and kept assuring her she was doing the right thing. It became too painful to witness, and I eventually moved in with my father. She became nearly impossible to contact after that.

Still, I felt the memory of someone who once wanted to do the right thing resonating within her. With her being a custodian at The University of Akron, I was able to get a huge discount on my tuition and graduate from there. She was also able to get my sister on government assistance and made sure I was well off as well. I didn't want to appreciate those gestures from a distance, but that's how things ended up.

An encouraging sign of life emerged many years later, however. One day, she briefly came out of her shell to have lunch with all the relatives she had previously written off. I was over the moon. I thought that she was going to get the help she desperately needed. Maybe things could finally get back to the way they were. Alas, she ended up passing away a short time later.


So, what is the moral of this story? Satan’s purpose is to rob us of the joy we could be experiencing. Not only did Cynthia's "best friend" do that, but they also ended up stealing my sister's portion of her inheritance. By allowing the enemy to gain a foothold, we end up compromising ourselves and negatively affect the people around us. It can become so bad that God may decide to let us have our way and reap our destruction. Until we reach a point of no return.

One of the last things my mother told me was to hold on to my wife Mary, who continues to bomb me with love and light up any given room with her sweet and bubbly personality. She reminds me so much of what I used to have, and it haunts me to the point where I can barely function. I want to do everything I can to prevent this nightmare from happening in my own family. But I've seen this story play out before, and I know my strength will give out at some point. That is why I now trust Jesus with my life, and that is why we have a Christ-centered relationship. It is He who is holding on to us.

Let that be your story as well. Because the grass is always greener, and you don’t really know what it is you have until it’s gone.