But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16 (English Standard Version)
This evening at 5:55 pm, my mother, Mrs. Lenore Reynolds transitioned from this life into the next after ailing for quite some time. Mom was 87 at the time. As you recall in my earlier post, “Florida Reflections”, my son, Carrington and I were visiting her. At that time, Mom was still lucid and we guys had the chance to chat with her. Since then, Mom’s health worsened. However, now she’s at peace with the Lord.
Mom’s completed her road trip, her Christian journey.
Mom was cash for road trips. Mom would take two weeks in August off to spend time with us. Since I was 10, Mom would load us kids up in her station wagon-and we’d take a road trip almost every summer, usually to see siblings in Massachusetts, Virginia, or later, Chicago. I remember two memorable trips, one in 1973 and one in 1979; both lasting two weeks. The first in ’73 took us to Virginia, Kansas City, Chicago, almost to Niagara Falls, and to Massachusetts. The second in ’79 went from Montreal (with Quebec City), Toronto, and finally, Chicago. The one in ’79 was pretty much my last big one since I started college the following year.
One thing that Mom did, was plan her route. Back in the day, Exxon would have people who would get the big US maps and highlight the best (and scenic) routes for you to travel (GPS wasn’t around in those days). Also, Mom would have the Howard Johnson, or Ramada brochures to tell you where their inns were along the way. Mom was ready!
However, as anyone would know, road trips can be unpredictable. In 1973, en route from Chicago to Niagara Falls, one of the tires had a nasty heat blister on it. which the cost of tire replacement dipped into the Niagara money. Also that night, we lodged near Thousand Islands, NY, which should have been called “Thousands of Sandflies” thanks to the sandflies that were all over the place! We’ve stopped at facilities that we had to use that were less than desirable. We’ve made wrong turns and had to take detours. Sometimes, the heat would get to us (I had sunstroke in Kansas City). We’ve got a speeding ticket on I-80 in Indiana.
Yet the road trip can be memorable too! Thanks to Mom’s road trips I visited Canada twice, visited Portsmouth Naval Base, been to the Midwest, toured maple country in Vermont, been through Appalachia, enjoyed state fairs, and even had a chance at horseback riding! The road trips prepared me for the ones I took with my wife many years later.
Mom’s trip has had it’s detours, breakdowns, stops in unusual spots, even picked up a stranger or two. Mom’s been widowed twice, with the first time having to raise three young children alone. Caring for a sick mother who’s been sick most of her adult life. Working long and hard at her own business. Losing a son (my older brother, Reggie). Suffering life’s vicissitudes when they weren’t her fault. However, there were the fun parts. Mom saw all of us kids grow up and live our lives. Seen nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Has been to Jamaica twice and to London. Lived to retire to Florida with my Dad. Mom enjoyed reading and puzzles. Mom loved her classical and jazz music (I got that love from her). She even used to go to Harlem to the Apollo back in the day!
Although the journey can be just as fun, including the places we visit, we look forward to returning home. To go back to that place where we’re known and where we can rest. For Mom, she’s finished her Christian road trip and has finally reached home. Home, we’re the Divine and she know each other; where Mom can truly rest with those who’ve gone on before her.
Thanks Mom, for the trips and exposing us to different parts of the Country. You’re Home now, get your rest in peace and joy. You’ll be missed, however we know where you are. I’ll see you when I get there.
For you who read this, the living, may your road trip be memorable until you reach home.