by Susan Causey, FPD School Counselor
In Mother’s later years she found it difficult to stay warm, so she began a wonderful collection of cashmere. Cashmere is light weight, warm, and soft. It protected her from drafts and chills as well as looking classy and beautiful on her. When my precious mother passed away this past summer, I inherited some of her cashmere collection. Last Saturday on my way to an outdoor festival, Riverdale Jazz and Arts, I pulled on one of mom’s cashmere sweaters. It was just the amount of warmth, and I felt cuddled up and enveloped with her sweater wrapped around me. But what is so much more profound than that is the love and encouragement which I have inherited from my mother. I can still hear her uplifting words. “You are wonderful!” “I don’t know how you do it all.” “God loves you so much.” As I left for the festival, I felt that she led the way with her spirit and I could almost hear her say, “You are going to do great!” Every step of the way mom showed that she believed in me, even when I did not believe in myself. This gave me the confidence to do things that I would not have ventured otherwise.
Not only was her love and encouragement invaluable, but the role model that she exhibited spurs me on to persevere. She loved life and sought not to waste a single moment. She took advantage of every opportunity to travel, visit friends or family, use her gifts and talents of writing, hospitality, ministry to others whether it be one of her many children, grandchildren, or great grands or a waitress at a restaurant. She loved such a variety of people and sought to understand their needs and to help meet them.
She loved her family, friends, God, and country. She insisted on showing honor and respect to those who had gone before through the historical organizations which she supported, her careful logging at our huge family (150-200 cousins) reunions each summer, her intelligent watchfulness of our country and the politics of our world. She would pass along e-mails which supported the values on which our nation was founded. She loved traditions and made sure that they were kept, which gave our family a strong sense of identity and love for one another. She insisted that we go to church each Sunday and continued to go herself until a month before she died.
Her courage and selflessness was obvious to the end. Though sick with metastatic bone cancer, her outlook was brave and positive. She relished the little things. “How was your day mom?” “Oh wonderful, did you see the glorious sunset or I had a visit with so and so.” She found something for which to be thankful. Her favorite verse was “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24.
Her deepest concerns as she lay dying were of the people she loved whom she did not know if they had accepted Jesus. “They need to hear,” she said, “The church age will not always be with us. They need to hear now.” And to us she would say, “Do not be sad, have a happy life. I am dressed and ready to go.” What a gift and a legacy. So when I wrap myself in one of her sweaters, there is so much more that encourages and protects me from the chills of this life. Cuddle your kids in this type of “cashmere.” It’s the best gift you can give them.
About the Author
Susan F. Causey lives in Macon and has served as our Elementary School Counselor at FPD since 2007. She received a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University with a certificate in Biblical Studies. She is married to Harold and they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Susan enjoys hanging out with her family, being outdoors, going on trips, biking, and working with clay. Her book, “Put on Your Ruby Slippers, We’re Heading Home – Straight Parenting in a Twister World,” is a collection of her columns offering loving, practical parenting advice for today’s young families. Copies are available for sale in the Elementary Office for $15. For more information or to contact Susan, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.