March 20, 2010
We are looking forward to the cherry blossoms that should be coming out in the next week or two. Maybe by Easter there will be pink blossoms everywhere to remind us of the New Birth.
Here is Beverly Rivers and Yoshi Hanks with our "Joy Luck Club".
The other thing that took me by surprise was that even tho' Beverly (a wonderful gospel singer), Helen Shopp (my pastor's wife) and I never collaborated about what we'd be sharing, God wove it all together into a wonderful ministry that encouraged and supported what we had come hoping to do. Then when Steve arrived 2 weeks later and Beverly and Helen flew home, that ministry just continued on. Now together, as husband and wife, we met and shared with the same people. Steve gave the message at the Mino Grace Bible Church on Sunday, Oct 11. This was a clear and to the point message of the need to place your trust in Christ and Christ alone, that He is the one and only God and Savior - there is no other. There sitting in the congregation were many of our new heart friends coming to see a man who could play his harmonica and guitar at the same time and to see a puppet play. However, they also heard about the love of Christ and the offer of salvation with the encouragement to do it now while they have the time.
I might mention also that another surprise for Steve and I was that we met, for the first time, his cousin Gregg Hutton and family who have been missionaries in Kyoto Japan for 25 years. Also, we were able to spend a week with our Japanese "son" Hiro and family seeing some surprising and new and beautiful sights of Japan.
In 1987 she had a stroke, which left her changed in both body and spirit and personality. Nevertheless she loved me and I loved her to the end. But I think back most fondly of the woman who taught me to bake a pie, who gave me a love for reading and who encouraged me in everything I did. She was a friend, not just a mom. We would often laugh, discuss the books we’ve read, overindulge in donuts with a hot cup of coffee and just enjoy each other’s company.
Marion Mae Turnbull Colby was a quiet, steady rock. She took whatever life threw at her with a calm dignity. Her complaints were few. I remember going to visit her in the hospital after a grueling 12 hour surgery. It was the first year I was married. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to see her because of fear of infection and so I didn’t go to the hospital right away. A few days later my father stopped by the apartment where Steve and I were living and scolded me for not going to see mom. I told him that I wasn’t allowed to see her, but he just replied, “Nonsense, she needs you!” So that day I drove over to the hospital, put on the required gown and went on in. She looked at me with a big smile on her face and told me, as she had told me so many times before, “That’s OK honey, I understand!" I cried, but she just smiled and patted my hand.
I remember one time when I was commissioned to sew a wedding dress, veil, and all the bridesmaids’ dresses. What a daunting task and I had great fear. The first cut on the beautiful satin nearly brought me to tears. As I got each new part of the wedding dress done, I would take it over to mom’s (she was living in an Adult Foster Care Home by this time) and show it to her. I'd let her feel the satin, see the lace and beads and hang it up so she could see the full length of the dress. She would always exclaim how beautiful it was and what a wonderful job I was doing. After the wedding I brought her pictures of the day, the bride, bridesmaids, and the handsome groom.
As her life began to ebb she would sometimes say, “I wish I could just die!" She missed my father very much. He had passed away 15 years earlier, in 1983. Her pain and discomfort were getting to be too much and she was tired of being trapped in a wheelchair. She was ready to go. And so, in one burst of pain from an aneurysm, she was gone. At the age of 81 she entered into eternity, and because she knew Christ as her Savior, she found herself home with Him forever more.
I love you mom. I will see you in the morning!