Dear Mom,

I wrote my mom a letter back in August, when she was unconscious in the ICU at Baylor Hospital.  For me, this helped put some things in perspective.  If you don't know the story of mom's medical journey over the past couple months, then follow this link for more info.

This is really a personal letter, but after rereading it, I decided to go ahead and post it here for the purpose of glorifying God for the life she?s led, and to offer it in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, in deep gratitude for how blessed I am to be the son of Betty and Ralph.

August 6, 2005
Krasnodar, Russia

Dear Mom,
It?s so hard to not be there by your side right now. To hold your hand. Pray with you in person. I think I must find myself in the same place you found yourself for so many years, longing desperately to be with your kids, and only being able to offer up prayers for them from your home in Mexico. I?m sure in the early days down there you spent many hours at that little table in your travel trailer, with your well-worn Bible opened in front of you, your face in your hands, and your heart at the throne of God, begging in intercession for your kids and your grandkids. I remember so many mornings at home, coming into the kitchen early in the morning and finding you that way. You don?t know how many times I?ve considered where I might be, without those hours you spent at the feet of Jesus, crying out for your kids.

Now mom, all I can do is cry out to God for you, from our little flat here in Russia. Ann and I continue to carry you before the throne of the One who has listened to your cries for so many years. He has heard your cries momma, and He has answered your prayers. Your daughter, your sons, your son-in-law, your daughters-in-law, your grandsons, your grandsons? wives, your granddaughters, your great grandchildren, mom, we all want nothing more than to be in the center of His will. And we know that is an answer to your prayers. And momma, we are all carrying you to the Father in prayer this week. On our knees and scattered around the world, we want nothing more for you than for His will to be done in your life. If it?s His will that you enter into His perfect rest, then perhaps that?s His plan for the complete healing we?ve asked Him for. But as dad said this week, you would be the winner and we would be the losers. It?s a loss none of us want. But, we don?t want our selfishness to supersede the perfect will of the Father for His weary servant Betty.

Mom, as I reflect on the times we?ve been privileged to enjoy with you in recent years, I don?t want to lose those times. I don?t want to lose seeing you enjoy time with your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren. I don?t want to lose seeing you standing up to your grandsons when they come in and harass you for watching the weather channel all day. I wasn?t even there last week, but I heard from Ben that he came in the room there in our old house in Garland, offered up his predictable, ?hey there Grand Ma-Ma!? To which you replied, ?What are you doing here?? To which he probably replied, ?It?s my house!? To which you probably wondered, ?Then where is my house??

Mom, you gave up a great deal to follow the Lord, and dad, to Mexico. One of those things was a place to call home. You transferred your life into a trailer, then down sized into a travel trailer, and that was home for so many years. Home was wherever you hung that big composite picture of your kids and their families. I remember how excited you were to finally get a house in Mexico. But, your calling in life has still meant being a vagabond. But, one thing you and dad, in your vagabond existence have help teach us all, is that this world is NOT our home. We?re all just passin? through. Our true treasures may all be laid up some where beyond the blue.

But momma, you are a treasure to me. I treasure your sweet smile. I treasure your laughter. I treasure your prayers. I treasure the unconditional love you?ve always offered me. I treasure the way you?ve always esteemed me highly. I treasure the way you have always put everyone else?s needs before your own. I treasure your submission to God?s call on your life. I treasure the way you welcomed Ann into our family. I treasure the way you have loved my own kids as unconditionally as you did me. I treasure your prayers for them. I treasure that incredible and sweet surrender in the love you?ve always had for my dad. And, I so treasure the model you have been for what it looks like to be in love with the only One who can ever fully love us, our heavenly Father.

Mom, you?ve taught us all a lot about love. I can?t help but think your incredible love for my dad, has taught him much about what it means to love another. Mom, I can?t tell you how much it has meant to me to watch dad love you. To watch, particularly in the past few years, dad love and serve his bride Betty, has helped me to finally catch a glimpse of what Paul must have been trying to tell the Ephesians when he said, ?Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory??

Mom, you are a reflection of God?s glory. The glory He intended His church to be. Through you His glory has been revealed to countless Mexicans. To Fuqua?s, to Clubine?s, to Allen?s, to Thomas?s, to untold others. It is our prayer that He might continue to let us bask in the glory He has revealed through His servant bride Betty. But we know that someday, He will call His bride to prepare for a Great Wedding Banquet. Perhaps He?ll call you before us to begin that preparation. We can?t blame Him if He does. You are and always will be the radiant bride of Ralph. Through Christ?s love for you, along with Ralph?s love for you, you mom, have been transformed into the Radiant Bride of Christ. When our time comes, may we all meet the Bridegroom as radiantly adorned as you.

Mom, if it?s not in His will for me to be with you again during these, our vagabond days on this earth, I?ll carry in my heart the rich treasures of you that I can never lose. I long to join you at the Banquet, where no longer vagabonds, His radiant Bride will gather. I?m sure I?ll pick you out. I?ll know Him by the scars in His hands. I?ll know you by the scars your knees bear, from the years of pouring out your wounded heart at His throne. Scarred knees that have born me up to be part of His Radiant Bride. For that I will have eternity to give Him thanks and praise. Together with you, singing in that mellow alto voice, joined by ?myriads? of other voices, with no doubt many Mexican and Russian accents thrown in, we will join together in singing, ?Worthy are You O Lamb who was slain; for you have purchased for God with Your blood, people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.?

My dear mom, I so long for that day that I will join you in that Great song!

Until then, I remain your son, your fellow-vagabond, your co-laborer, your co-heir with Christ, Robert Clifton Fuqua.