by Susan Walter
My mother, Louise Cady, was a hard-working farm wife and mother of five. She never claimed to be a noted scholar, a talented musician, or a great educational leader. But she loved God. If there was a degree in mothering, she would have taken top honors. She was the queen in her kitchen, wearing many an apron out. She was a specialist at the oldtreadle sewing machine. The greatest flood could not wipe out the love she had for her family.
As years passed, she could no longer take care of herself. The wisps of gray hair had turned to a beautiful white. Her wrinkled, thin-skinned hands and slim, almost lifeless arms could no longer hold her new wiggly great-grandson. She came to live with my husband, Norm, and me for six months. The rest of the year, she lived with my sister, Dorothy, and her husband, Johnny.
She was always interested in the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She would often ask, “Did they get to Sunday School?” “Are they doing well in school?” One day, two of the great-grandchildren walked up to her and asked, “Would you read to us, Great-Grandma?” The words were barely visible for her failing eyesight. She held the storybook close to her eyes to see as much of the picture as she could. She then proceeded to make up a story. She sure fooled those great-grandchildren!
Another game they enjoyed playing was “motorcycle.” Each would straddle the arms of the lounge chair. “Va-room!” they shouted.
“Now, boys, don’t go too fast,” she warned. “I am nearly 100 years. I can’t take much speed anymore.” (She was 96.) Her mountains of humor were a joy to everyone.
Her frail, stooped body was beginning to have pain most of the time. One night, I heard mumbling sounds coming from her bedroom. When I approached her bedroom door, I heard her praying, “Please, Lord, take me out of my misery. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I thank You for Your blessings given to all my family, but take me home to be with You.” She was anxious for God to answer her prayers right away. But God doesn’t work that way. He answers our prayers when He is ready, so He put her on hold.
“And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt’” (Matt. 26:39 KJV).
Later, she wanted to go to a nice nursing facility in her home town of McPherson, Kan. This little town had been her home for 70 years. When we made the trip from our St. Joseph, Mo., home to visit her, we found her in her wheelchair consoling a friend of many years. “It will be all right,” we heard her say. “God will take care of you.” My vision was blurred with tears. Perhaps this was one reason God did not take her to His heavenly home when she asked. She was able to bring a little joy into the life of another.
At the age of 98, God answered her prayer. She was finally cradled in God’s arms, free of pain and sleepless nights.
Not our will, but Thine.
About the Author: Mrs. Susan Walter is an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, St. Joseph, Mo.