(picture courtesy of: http://alyoung.com/Art_Gallery/Al_Young/Figure_Paintings/3.00.0241.010.html)

(Today would have been my Mother’s 87th birthday, had she lived. She unexpectedly left this life a few months after she turned 67. For her first birthday in Heaven, I sat down to write a short piece about her, to be published in our small town newspaper. When the text took a different turn, which was not really appropriate for the Obituary/Tribute section, I just tucked it away in my mementos box…until now).


It feels strange to go back home, now. It is not the same anymore. All the old folks in the Hollow have been replaced by the next generations. The sound of the rushing creek, the smell of the woods after it rains, and the sight of the deer crossing the field, is still the same…but Mom isn’t there. Like Nanny and Dad-dad, she was the real memory of my childhood. They were the true essence of the Hollow to me. They were home to me.

The family left one at a time. First, Daddy died, nine years later Nanny passed over, then Dad-dad went ten years after her, and now twelve years later, Mom has gone.

The fourth generation still lives in the old log house, while the fifth and sixth generations also occupy the land. The family, like the house, has endured many transitions and hardships, but certainly the death of a loved one is the worst.

The land remains mostly unchanged from the day my great-grandfather built his log cabin at the base of the ridge. Of course it is the people that make a home. It is the warm love of three generations living together in the old house, that I most fondly remember.

From the time I became a Christian, I have noticed that I have been transplanting my roots from this earth to Heaven. The older I get, the easier this has become. With the passing of each loved one, a few more roots are laid down in the Holy City.

When I met Jesus several decades ago, I’d hear the old Saints sing, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The Angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore”.

To the mind of a child, this was a curious song. I was young and still earthbound. I couldn’t identify with this mystical place called Heaven. To me, the Hollow was home. Even through my adult years, no matter what part the country I lived in, I always came back to the Hollow. It was the only place I ever considered home.

Since the passing of my mother, I have undergone a final uprooting. She was the last of the old folks. I guess that makes me the “old folks” now! The children and the grandchildren will soon possess the land. That is as it should be, and it’s okay. I’m getting to the place where I don’t need to hold onto the Hollow anymore.

There is a person called Jesus whom I have learned to know and love. I’m beginning to get homesick to be with Him and for this place called Heaven. It’s not a mystical city to me anymore. I’ve got kin there. Not just the earthly family I so dearly loved, but kin-folks I’ve only read about, like; Abraham, David, Paul, and John…and of course, my closest Kin and best Friend, Jesus. My Daddy died when I was young, and I always longed for a father’s love. Although I want to see my earthly dad again, I can hardly wait to see the One who has been a true father to me all my life…my precious Heavenly Father. I so want to climb upon His lap and let Him hold me for real, as He has done so often in my mind. And who knows? Considering how much God loves His kids, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jesus has prepared a mansion for me at the foot of a mountain, by the River of Life, where the deer walk across the field!

Happy 20th Birthday, Mom!!!