This testimony is about a week-long ‘marathon’ upon the passing of my mother, and several experiences of the power of enduring Truth along the way. To say that I never could have done this without Christian Science is an understatement.
My mother, a resident in an assisted living facility in southern California, passed away the week before Christmas some years ago. Both of my siblings — my brother, who resided in Mexico, and my sister from Vancouver Canada, — were there. I came from Portland OR, and soon a close cousin from Colorado flew in.
In addition to the sadness we all felt, we knew we had to deal with legalities and find satisfactory places for all of Mom’s belongings, including the contents of a storage unit, before returning to our respective homes. It was all very overwhelming. At home, my husband and I had an exchange student and had planned a ski vacation to northern Idaho with two of our daughters and their families. We were scheduled to pack up and drive there before Christmas.
I called a practitioner, who reminded me that divine Love could never depart, and was present in every circumstance, always. This was unchangeable, no matter what appeared in the material picture, and was true for all involved. Peaceful relief flooded over me, and I kept this fact close to my heart.
We gathered together the next morning to review and regroup. We affirmed that we loved Mom and each other, but acknowledged that we each had different needs and abilities. We agreed to respect those differences and not put any personal ‘expectations’ on each other. We understood that this respect was a way of showing love, and we would keep this in mind as we did the work in front of us. We knew this work was also for the love of our mom, who had shown us so much love throughout her life.
Gestures of love poured in daily. Employees in the residence came up to us and told us dear stories of mom, who had shown an interest in them and their families. They offered to help however they could. We put the word out to other residents about furniture and were quickly able to locate those who could use bed, sofa, tables and chairs. We found someone in the business of selling art. Legalities sorted themselves out promptly and easily.
We had time to go to a favorite beach of Mom’s and share cherished memories. One evening, seven of us (including a small dog!) piled into Mom’s car and went to dinner at her favorite restaurant. It was a small and somewhat elegant place with subdued lighting. In an attempt to be able to read his menu better, one of our party got too close to a candle flame and accidentally lit his menu on fire! No one was hurt and no damage done. Everything was put right in short order. We howled with laughter, knowing that Mom with her wonderful sense of humor would have loved it.
In the ensuing days, my sister and cousin were able to get back to their jobs in a timely fashion. There were just a few details left to handle, which my brother and I were able to stay on to take care of.
Meanwhile, in the days before Christmas, unusual arctic blizzards had hit Portland. Although the airport had been shut down for days, I had to show up at LA airport to wait for the notice that my flight was cancelled. Then I had to get back to Santa Barbara and find a way to go home. It quickly became clear that all transportation — flights, trains, and even busses — was booked.
The very last detail was Mom’s car. Since we weren’t able to locate title or insurance papers, we had decided to leave it in Santa Barbara until we could see what to do.
Well, harmonious divine Love was ever active. We realized that I could drive it back to Portland. The next day my brother made multiple trips to the DMV to get things in order. I called a practitioner for support and left Santa Barbara at noon.
Several problems arose during the trip. Mortal mind was shouting that conditions were difficult, if not impossible, and that God was not in charge. I prayed frequently and was so grateful that the ‘peace which surpasses understanding’ overcame upset with calm.
Some examples along the way:
Problem: It became apparent that the windshield wipers were bad, and I knew I would need chains on snowy roads further north.
Quickly resolved: I called my daughter with my location, who then went online and found a car dealership and auto supply shop at the very next exit. She continued to be an invaluable, cheery help all along the way.
Problem: Food, equipment and supplies needed to be packed for our now delayed ski trip to Idaho.
Quickly resolved: I called the exchange student with lists and directions, who willingly and efficiently did the packing.
I arrived at midnight at a snow-covered town in northern California, found a motel, and was on the road again by 8 am the following morning.
Problem: Chains were required to get onto the freeway.
Quickly resolved: A guy right there at the freeway entrance ready to put them on. Happily paid him to do that.
Problem: One of the chains immediately broke and flew off.
Quickly resolved: With no one else on the freeway, I was able to walk back to pick it up, enjoying the quiet winter wonderland. Was able to continue safely with the one chain until I arrived at the next town, in Oregon.
Problem: Got lost in town finding a place to deal with chains.
Quickly resolved: My daughter lovingly directed me via internet and phone to the tire place.
Problem: The tires on the car weren’t made for chains — news to me that there was such a thing!
Quickly resolved: Tire shop had the right studded tires and was able to put them on promptly, although the place was packed with motorists dealing with the challenging weather conditions.
Problem: There was no room in the small car for 4 other tires.
Quickly resolved: Although the tire shop wouldn’t take them and told me I couldn’t leave them, the fellow who put on the new tires agreed to take them and could benefit from any value.
I continued on my way, checking in as needed with a practitioner and praying in whatever way came to mind. Due to the snowy, icy roads, progress was relatively slow. Nearing Portland, road conditions were the worst I’d ever seen. Due to the frozen rutty roads, it took an hour to go every 10 miles.
I arrived home by 9 pm. Unpacked, re-packed and was ready to go at 7 am the following morning, which was Christmas day. I experienced no fatigue and felt completely calm and peaceful. We made the trip and had a wonderful Christmas, albeit the day after actual Christmas day, and greatly enjoyed our time together.
I am so grateful for the loving prayers of practitioners and for Christian Science, which Mary Baker Eddy was so dedicated to bringing to the world. Divine Love does indeed meet all of our needs. What wonderful reassurance that the laws of God are continually in place and are supreme over every material condition.