Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mrs. Claus

I climb a lot of ladders for my job. Kids must think it’s cool, because whenever they’re around, and I’m up on a roof-top, they point and stare. I usually ask their names, and then say “Nice to meet you, what’s my name?”
They giggle and say, “I don’t know.”
“My name’s Santa,” I tell them.
They giggle a little more, and before they can say anything, I say, “No, just kidding…BUT I do work for him.”
“Huh?” Wide eyes get wider.
“Yeah, I check out the best places for the reindeer to land and stuff so Santa doesn’t get hurt.”
I was reminded of this while pondering what I’d share with you today. You see, this week we’ve been honoring our parents. And Mrs. Claus is my mother-in-law, or at least I think she is. Or, maybe, she just works for him – Santa Claus; Papá Noel.

At eighty-five (she’ll be eighty-six Feb. 4th) she has limited mobility. She can use a walker for short distances, but other than that – she’s either in a wheel chair or her recliner-type chair that elevates at the seat, to help her get up. Her hands are starting to show signs of arthritis and her eye sight is growing dim, yet, even though her body is aging, she’s still a wide-eyed-child when it comes to her soul.
With over a hundred and some ought grand-kids she manages to keep track of them all. And all year she sits and knits, spins and weaves some kind of Christmas magic into hats and scarves and baby blankets. And somehow, at Christmas, without even leaving her chair, she manages to have gifts for everyone. She has spent more time making gifts for others than many folks have been alive. She MUST be Mrs. Claus – or related in some kind-of-way, right?
She watches, too. With dimming eyes and one finger at a time she taps at a lap top and – like a mother-hen – she watches her brood banter on face-book.  
Although confined physically, she’s a world traveler in her soul. Sit by her side and she’ll take you places decades from here, with her stories. Like the first time she met the love of her life at Coney Island: Santa. No, just kidding – Henry Joseph DeVlaeminck. She’ll walk you through the depression and wade through life on a pig farm. You’ll ride her words to school with horse and sleigh. She’ll tell of the trials and laughter of raising fourteen children – the birth of some…and the loss of others. 
With a twinkle in her eye and a never fading smile, she’ll tell of how she saw Jesus in a dream and how she prays for others.
Her house in nothing fancy, but her Home is a mansion. Each day her house fills with family, including ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-this and ex-that, once in you're IN. I’ve said it’s easier to get out of the mob than out of this family.  She’s soft spoken, just above a whisper, but she can move an army of adoring children with a simple word.
Maybe my mother-in-law isn’t related in any way to Santa. BUT – she IS related to the Greatest Gift Giver of all. And she works for Him. And, maybe her family isn’t anything like being in the mob with the Godfather and all that stuff. BUT – she is tight with God The Father.
And I am honored to share her with you today. Her kids call her Ma, but everyone else – whether related or not – calls her Gramma Mary. So, if you need a family, you can join ours.
Thanks for stopping by and as Gramma Mary would say; “Gramma misses you, come back and see me again.”
If you think you don’t have a family or a parent to honor…think again, you do.
Jesus asked; Who are My brothers and sisters and mother? And then answered; “But those who do the will of My Father.” Mark 3:35
Come…and be part of the family.


Sandra HeskaKing said...

What a wonderful tribute! I love that once you're in, it's almost impossible to get out.

What a treasure to have all those wonderful stories. Happy Almost Birthday, Gramma Mary! You are beautiful.

Linda Maynard said...

What a whimsical story about Gramma Mary. She sounds like such a delightful soul.
It reminded me of a neighbor, who lived down the street, in our former house. Her name was Granny Smith. her claim to fame was being a Lover of Jesus Christ.
She was blind but oh what sight she had! She spent her days listening to the Bible on tape and praying for others.
The first thing, when you would meet her, is that she would ask (if you were married) what your Wedding Anniversary date was. Also, your children's Birthdays.
On your Anniversary, you would get a card from Granny Smith.
On the children's Birthdays, she would call about 6 a.m. and sing Happy Birthday to them.
My kids were older when they first got the calls...they kind of rolled their eyes...but it wasn't long before they were saying... "Is Granny Smith going to call?"
One day, I was in the shower and I heard the Lord's voice. He said
" I want you to know that one of the reasons that you became born again was because of Granny Smith's prayers. I want you to go over to her house and thank her for praying and tell her what I told you"
( Now I had accepted Christ a while before I met her, officially but she prayed for the whole neighborhood and found out everyone's names when they moved I was on her Prayer Radar screen)
So I went over her house to tell her. There is nothing as sweet, as for an intercessor to hear that their prayer was answered.
When I told her, she squealed and Praised the Lord and did a little dance...she was in her 90's and nothing made her day better than a reason to Praise the Lord.
I want to be just like a Gramma Mary and a Granny Smith "when I grow up"
Thanks for sharing about Gramma Mary

Kerry Luddy said...

Beautiful. Gramma Mary convicts me that no matter our limitations, God can still use us to bless others!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness Doug, you brought tears to my eyes reading this!! We are all truely blessed to have such an amazing woman in our lives. I only wish that more people were as blessed and loved as we all are by one person!! Thank you for letting the world know that true family and love do exist.
Love Tanya

Anonymous said...

Doug...I want to thank you so much! Its so great to hear these wonderful things about the Queen of our family! Others out there may think they have the best ma, grandma, mother in law, ex mother inlaw etc......but anyone who has ever met ours knows she is the best by far! Her dedication to our family has been unbelievable. No matter what wrong turns any of us has made she still has us believing we are the most cherished and loved individuals out there! I am truly blessed to have her in my life! I just hope we can all pass on a part of this to our own familys through out the years! If I could be a quarter of what this woman is I will feel like I have exceded in life! Love you grandma Mary Gertrude DeVlaeminck !! Tammy

caryjo said...

This was a real treat to read and hear your heart. Quite a blessing.

Simply Darlene said...

EVen though my birth family is small, I've always had a hankering for a large family. Thank the Lord that when I called Him "Father God" He showed me I'm never without kin. What a blessing to have it as you do too.