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The More Things Change

Author: D Anthony, D-Productions, 06/01

* Excerpt from the motivational and inspirational book,
The Nurse in the Delivery Room Slapped Me... Once *


I'm sitting here, looking out the window, on what has become a quiet, hot Saturday afternoon. The rain falls, the trees sway, the thunder roars and an occasional streak of lighting makes its way across an otherwise somewhat dreary sky. As my Momma used to tell us this is the Lord's time.

And this is not the best timing either… I had plans for today. I was determined to spend the bulk of the day working on the site and other initiatives. My objective was to have a productive day. Instead a passing storm has forced me to turn off my PC and sit here watching… waiting… Just like when I was growing up…

My Mom didn't play when it came to thunderstorms. Anything electrical had to be shut off - and many times unplugged. No phone calls, no running around, "get away from that window", no playing (although sometimes we could get away with doing so quietly), no music… nothing. Typically my siblings and I were assembled in the living room together with my Mom to wait it out - somehow my Dad apparently had an ongoing abstention.

I can remember it being an issue for me. The storms always seemed to come at inappropriate times. The dreaded clasp of thunder would come when I wanted to watch something special on television… when I wanted to be outside… when I had more important things to do. Instead there I was stuck in silence with my brother, sisters and mother - until who knew when. And what was the purpose anyway? We had heard the explanations over the years ranging from it being God's time and we needed to show respect… to not wanting us to be struck… to a story she had heard when she was a little girl about a child being struck and killed… to it being what her mother used to do.

But none of these reasons hit the mark for at least one of us. I had respect for God - it was why I prayed and went to Sunday school. I had seen a good number of storms and I knew a lot of people who knew a lot of people and none of them had ever gotten struck by lightning - whether they were talking and playing or not. Furthermore, not one television, radio or game within that radius had been demolished by the weather. So why did we have to interrupt our plans and huddle around in virtual silence?

I told myself "one day"… I was off to college soon enough - on my own. Sure enough, during thunderstorms I could watch television and do whatever else I wanted to. My logic held up without a hitch. My electronics and me remained catastrophe free. Eventually I graduated and bought a house for my Mom to come and live with me. Invariably the first thunderstorm came. But things were different now… I was an adult. So there I was, while she turned off everything and sat quietly, in another part of the house doing what I pleased.

My Mom would pass away just a few months later…

It's funny the things you think about when you lose someone you love… funny the things you wish you could just take back. Now I would give anything I have to be able to sit through one more thunderstorm with my Mom. And I couldn't care less about any of those shows on television, music or anything going on outside.

So here I sit with everything turned off… watching God's work… respectful of the majesty of it all. I have come to understand that that is what it was, and is, all about. It was about respecting the Lord. It was about slowing down. It was about being around the people that loved you. It was about tradition. It was about reminding us there were bigger things than us. It was about caring. It was about simple times. It was about respecting Mom's wishes. It was about then and now. It was about a Mother's love. It was about not moving so fast that you lose track of where you needed to be. It was about doing what you were told whether you understood it or not. It was about time… and how we spend it. It was about loving your Mother… and what she stood for. It was about the glory of God.

Now I understand that…

And now, with the storm beginning to head off in the distance… I have new direction. I realize that no matter what I accomplish when I turn the PC back on it will pale in comparison to the understanding and impact this brief thunderstorm has brought my way. I can now anticipate my family huddled quietly in one room during a storm - with the kids silently cursing the storm and me. I can see it clearly now…

And I know my Mom is smiling.





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