Ode to Margaret 11/5/09
Margaret Richins, the mother of our close friend, Belva Wilberg, right, died Wednesday in her Sisters Oregon home at the age of 95. We had spoken to Belva and Carl a week ago, just before we left on our visa-renewal trip Saturday. Belva was hopeful that she would get to see her mom in July when she and Carl would return from their mission to Denmark.
What do you do? Do you stay home because your grand- daughter will be getting baptized, or your husband's gallbladder keeps acting up, or your unmarried daughter and her boyfriend seem close to setting a date, or because your 94, soon to be 95, year old mother is getting more frail each month?
I can't answer for others, but for us, no, we don't stay home and neither did Belva. There seems to always be something that will delay our doing what we ought to do doesn't there. Well, that's what priorities are for and I can't set them for anyone else, but the phrase, "If you love them, leave them." Rings in my ears.
Yes, we are missing our granddaughters' birthdays and baptisms; and our daughter's move to Washington D.C.; and our son's daily challenge with stupid people; our other son's new baby; and our daughter's struggle to nurse a surgery-patient husband, a sick daughter, and mentor a newly teenage older daughter, all while keeping up with us. Yep, we are missing all of that and more, but we are where we should be serving God and the people of our mission. Belva and Carl are showing exceptional courage by serving under the critical eye and vocally critical comments of her siblings. YOU GO GIRL!
The following is an email that Belva sent to us which she has allowed me to publish here. She has demonstrated extraordinary courage in doing the right thing in the face of ignorant critics who would have her in Sisters, holding her mother's hand for the last year. There is no sign that Margaret wanted that and there is no indication that it would have helped her live a day longer. Surrounded by a Ward Family in Sisters, a devoted Home Teacher and Visiting Teacher, and long talks on the phone with Belva, she had everything she needed or probably wanted at the time. Margaret has graduated and Belva has passed a critical test, choosing to serve God as well as her mother in these last months of her tour on this earth.
"Just a note that after 95 strong years, my mother passed away in her home on the evening of Nov 4, 2009. I have enjoyed talking to her every few days here from Denmark for as long as we wanted to talk about her busy life and about our mission. It has been a wonderful opportunity to share with her all my discouragements and happy times. Things that you only want to share with your mother. Life is way too short even after 95 years. She will be so missed. All of our children, and Stephanie with her family will fly or drive to Sisters, Oregon for our final good byes. Mother's only living sister, I think that she is about 90..was with her when she died. I was hoping that she would wait until our return home in July.. before she would leave us, but Heavenly Father invited her home this month instead. We hope to fly to Sisters, Oregon as soon as possible and will be there for ten days or so. Then back to Denmark. Life is bitter and sweet. Love you all and wish we could be together to share our lives once again. Keep us in your prayers. Love, Belva"
We love you Belva and we know that your mother, right, loves you and will be closer to you now, with her new-found freedom. Go take care of business and we'll see you on SKYPE when you return.
What a family