My mother died seven years ago this month just three months short of her ninety-first birthday. She lived in her home and drove other ladies to church until she was eighty-nine. Mom lived a long, joyful life in spite of smoking unfiltered camels for fifty years and having diabetes for over forty years. When I wonder how she lived so long and so well, I think of three things, faith, hard work and laughter.
Mom would be furious that I am telling the world she smoked. She started during World War II along with many others. She hated it, was embarrassed by it, and always said she couldn’t stop, but when she was seventy she did. She believed God delivered her from the need to smoke, felt like she should witness to that deliverance, but was ashamed to admit that she smoked. Since it is such a witness to her faith, I believe she will forgive me for telling.
Mom worked hard all of her life. Many of her jobs were physically demanding. Some were just stressful. None were very fulfilling until in her senior years, she became a foster grandmother and assisted the special education teachers at the local elementary school. She loved the children, the teachers, and that job and she worked until she was well into her eighties.
Mom loved to laugh. She was just as happy being on the receiving end of a joke as she was playing a joke on others. Even in her last year as her memory failed, she loved that commercial on TV where smart was pronounced “schmart.” She would pronounce the word that way any time she needed to use it and then smile.
Faith, hard work, and laughter, these three but the greatest of these is faith.