Moroni saw me daily
Catherine Bazin Oliver left me without warning Wednesday morning July 11, 2018, Mother left this life. The circumstances are troubling, but the separation is poignantly distracting still. I wrote an article after her death. In part, it reads:
I did not know that death was possible until Mother died July 11, 2018, a Wednesday morning between 10 am and 10:30 am. I know, it sounds so foolish to read that. My Uncle Charles and cousin Charlton died when I was 12. My grandmother died when I was 13. My Cousin JL died when I was 14. My good friend Bebe died when I was 18. The list goes on of loved ones I have lost giving me proof that lives exist and then extinguish. Death has a way of giving a different experience each time it happens to us, to me.
Mother was like God. She has always existed. With her life, I knew the continuity of life even if all other people around me died. It sounds absurd to think about when so many people lose their mothers. It was not a rational belief. Mother is life until she was not. How could life continue when Mother is not actively in it--physically experiencing it somewhere? She does not have to be near me. Knowing that I could call her or see her was enough for me to hope for another tomorrow.
I spent most of my adult life trying to get away from her. I wanted so much to have a separation from her. Now, there is no physical way to contact her anymore. The separation is utterly guaranteed. My life is not taken for granted anymore. My wife can die! She is a mother also. Life is truly precious.
I no longer doubt that I can die. I know it is an inevitability and not just a possibility.
To read the complete Article: The Day Mother Died
I want to be sad here in the present, a yearl later. I cannot keep that feeling. She is in heaven. I miss here dearly. I miss her smile. I miss her touch. I miss her laugh and her singing. Truthfully, I missed those things before she died because she suffered from vascular dementia. God spared us from the gradual complete disappearance of all that made her, her. As she lived, I saw her mourn her personality leave a bit at a time. During her lucid times she recalled some of her demented behavior apologizing in sorrow. Her choices hurt so many because none of us knew she suffered from dementia for years.
In God's grace, her final days were spent in full knowledge of her health concerns and all could be forgiven. The last conversation that we had was before we both retired for bed. She said goodnight and I said it to her. That was our mortal goodbye.
Following a tremendous battle with a nation of his foes, Moroni recorded, "My father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not."
Mother told me on many occasion to take care of my family a do the right thing by them. It encouraged me during dark time to have her support, from which I never or will ever stray.
"Therefore," Moroni etched in gold ladened plates, "I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not." (Mormon 8:3-5)
In the midst of his grief, Moroni kept the faith of his father. He lost all! Like him, I could keep the faith and continue in the face of grief. Moroni saw me, and included his experiences with grief that I might also know that life can continue following the uproarious billowing emotional circumstances. What has Moroni seen of you?
ne hundred and one students from several places received the invitation to participate in the Brownsville Middle School Magnet program. These 101 students bussed from local indigent parts of the city of Miami to receive a better-quality education, and I, Rodric, stood among them. Brownsville Middle School became a turning point in my Seventh-Grade life! After a thrilling trip to Disney World as a group of magnet kids for a field trip, I learned a message on the journey home that helped me to become a better person.
Early in the morning when the skies remained dark, appearing like night, all of us students waited for our rides home at a bus stop previously decided. My mother was to retrieve me from the designated place. As I sat on a bench minding my own business, the most horrid odor permeated the air and singed my nose hairs! Never in my young life had I smelled anything so pungent whiff through the air! To the right of me and sitting on the bench next to me, about two feet away rested a man. Filth shrouded this person. No, he wore filth as a second skin—his clothing dark and dingy. Slinking away from the individual with great indignation, I found a perch beside a fellow student, a girl.
I said to her, “I cain’t sit nowhere,” indicating the gentleman on the bench and the pungent odor that accompanied him. Ready to add an explanation of my annoyance, I thought she would confirm my indignant attitude; however, she regarded me with a multitude of repulsed emotions that quieted my tongue and shriveled me to a mouse. In her eyes, I saw a sermon preached.
As if telepathically, she responded with her gaze, “Why would you look down on that man when he has no home to wash himself or clean his body to remove his stench. Why try to recruit me to your cause of antipathy towards that man when you and I have means and a home to go to from here.”
Imagining the pity and disgust that she had in her eyes before she turned away from me to position herself in better company, I learned never to belittle a person for his circumstance. No, she said no words to me or even hinted that she thought those things; however, those sentiments reflected back into my soul from her eyes what I knew as truth. It was the first time the Spirit of God convicted me of my self-righteousness.
What I learned of myself that day, and hope to keep in remembrance, was that I never wanted to be as the ancient Nephites of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Alma, a righteous chief judge among them “saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted (Alma 4:12).
When God looked at my life, would He see more of the same, causing Him shame? Moroni recounts, “ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted” (Mormon 8:37). Though at the time I did not know I fulfilled part of Moroni’s words, I learned later.
“O then ye unbelieving,” counsels Moroni, “turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day” (Mormon 9:6). Change and believe that we are all worth love and respect is what Moroni taught me. What has Moroni seen of you?
As a young boy living in Miami, a few people touched my heart beyond words that looking back only God could have sent them to soften the hard knocks life brings. Mrs. Mary was one of the most important. She was not a family member or a friend of the family that I knew of, but she befriended the children in the neighborhood. With the appearance of any sweet old lady, her mousey voice and sugary sweet spirit brought out the best in all who knew her. Mrs. Mary's mouth turned up in smiles so frequently looking at her face opened a window to happiness.
I do not recall when she befriended me first, just going to her home on occasion and chatting. I told her about my problems as a young kid and she would soothe while providing milk and cookies. She lived around the corner from my Aunt Patricia n’em. I remember her house had an old nice person's look to it that invited you to feel at home--dollies everywhere and knick knacks. I never learned anything from her that I can remember that was significant or life changing. She was a nice woman and she always had time to listen no matter what. Her home was safe. I loved Mrs. Mary because she loved me just because I was there. She provided me with a true example of service and compassion.
Being that she was elderly living alone, her son went one day to her home to visit. I never saw Mrs. Mary again after that. Her son took her away because her health required constant care. I missed her.
"For behold," Morni wrote of his father Mormons words, "God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing." Moroni 7:22
The angel that God sent to me as a young boy is Mrs. Mary. She ministered to me without cost as does Christ to all of us. People who show this type of love no matter what their faiths, are the essence of what Christ desires of all people, to love one another and take care of each other in whatever capacity in our ability. The coming of Christ starts in our ministry to each other. What has Moroni seen in you?