Arminian Today

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How Do You Measure A Life?

One biographer of Abraham Lincoln said that you can’t measure an oak tree until its fallen to the ground.  His summary is true of a life.  How do you measure a life?  How does one measure the life of a man like Abraham Lincoln or even a man like Jacobus Arminius?

I ponder this today as I mourn the fact that my mama has been gone now for one year.  She died on August 7, 2012.  My last words to her were a few days before this.  I was about to go to work and she said to me, “Be safe.”  That was her last words to me.  She slipped into a coma and died a few days later.  How my heart still hurts for her.  I know that she is okay.  I know that is now healed but it still hurts.

My mama never had much money.  She never had much education.  I remember asking her when I was in high school if she could help me with my Spanish and she replied in her own southern way, “Boy, I’ve got enough trouble with English.”  My mama was known for her sayings.  She would say things to me such as, “When I leave this box, I’ll head to another box.”  She had a saying hung on her kitchen that read, “The faster I go, the behinder I get.”  That was my mama.

I remember her sitting in the kitchen and eating her peanut butter and crackers.  I would give my mama papers to sign for school and she would always have a coffee stain or a peanut butter stain somewhere.  My mama would wash dishes by hand (despite the fact that my daddy bought her a dishwasher that she didn’t use because she said it cost more to use) and she would often sing songs from the Everly Brothers or a song from Marty Robbins or a song from Jim Reeves.  I can still hear her in my mind singing, “Wake Up Little Suzie” in the mornings before school.


I have here before me my mama’s old King James Version Bible.  It was given to her by my daddy on December 25, 1977 according to the front of the Bible.  Inside you’ll find a Bible that was read.  My mama had a habit of putting a small mark next to the chapters she would read.  The book of Psalms and Proverbs are full.  Also inside this Bible you’ll find that I signed my name twice.  The first was done on April 10, 1981.  The second was done on August 9, 1987.  My mama’s Bible is full of obituaries that she would cut out and put inside of her Bible.  She got that habit from my grandma who did the same before her.  Also inside is a napkin from my own wedding date, October 27, 2001.

The world has gone on without my mama.  99% of the world has forgotten her.  But I haven’t.  I never will.  Her life can’t be measured by things.  Only memories will do.  I am starting to cry now as I type this because I miss her so.  I miss her hugs.  I miss her voice.  I miss how sweet she was to me and my boys.  I ache for the times I let her down.  I hurt for the mean words I said as a teenage boy who was lost in sin.  I ache for the time I pushed her when I was mad.  I ache for the time I said that I didn’t like her.  But I smile at her picture.  I smile at knowing I did love her so.  I smile at knowing that I was able to be with her until the end.  I smile in knowing that I will see her again.

I miss Esther Lela Wilson Ingle.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/07/2013 at 11:25 AM

Posted in Life And Death

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3 Responses

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  1. A lovely tribute to your mother! The final paragraph made me wish that I’d treated my mother better when I was home. She died 49 years ago a few months after coming to Newfoundland from Ontario to attend the wedding of my first wife and me. I look forward to meeting her again.

    Bob Hunter

    08/07/2013 at 11:25 PM

  2. I miss her very much! I can hear her singing in my dreams.
    She is no longer in pain or suffering!
    I know because of the blood shed on Calvery for me I will be with her again.

    Renae Casterline

    08/09/2013 at 7:30 PM

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