Mom’s Last Email

By Reba Phelps

Some of my newly met friends may not have had the pleasure of meeting my mother face to face before she departed this earth and went on to glory. She was a praying woman who was a talented writer, quick witted and very endearing to anyone who met her. If she had been born in another time I am very certain she would have invented the game of Scrabble. She loved words and was even known to use the four letter variety on occasion. Even though she was a preacher’s wife.

She loved Jesus but she would cuss a little.

If you never met my mother you probably may not have known that she was disabled later in life and was an amputee who was bound to a wheelchair. This wheelchair did not keep her from living her life and fulfilling her many missions. Once she gained access to the internet and email, it opened up a whole new world for her. She loved sending encouraging emails, anecdotal spiritual stories, and Bible studies. I also knew when she was sitting at her laptop. My email alerts would start dinging.

Even though I loved her emails, she would get really testy if I didn’t read them as quick as she sent them. I knew I would be quizzed at some point so I tried my best to always reply so she would know I was keeping current. My dad once explained to me that her being able to call, email and browse the internet was the equivalent of her being able to walk. At this point I tried to boost my mother-daughter customer service response times.

Four days before my mother passed away she emailed me for the very last time. I didn’t see it until after she had passed away. There was a reason I did not see it until after her passing. The Lord knew it would be much more powerful after she was no longer here. The title of the email was, “Shirley and Marcy”, and I will share that story below.

A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him.

She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe.
So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, So he probably wouldn’t notice her.

She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew.

She did this for the whole week. As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs,Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.

Finally she said to Timmy,

‘Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week?
Do you know her?’
Timmy nonchalantly replied, ‘Yeah, I know who she is.’
The little girl said, ‘Well, who is she?’
‘That’s just Shirley Goodnest,’ Timmy replied, ‘and her daughter Marcy.’

‘Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us?
‘Well,’ Timmy explained, ‘every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, cuz she worries about me so much.
And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it!’

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

Some years later I forwarded this email to a dear friend of mine and he told me that this was a message from my mom that was letting me know that she would always be behind me, watching over me along with the Lord. This email has brought me so much comfort every single time that I look at it.

Messages like this make me so grateful that I had a mother who served God with all her heart, soul and her email account. There is not a Mother’s Day that goes by that I don’t think about the legacy of love and serving others that she left behind. There is no doubt in my mind that she is definitely dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.

Happy Mother’s Day, Eva Gail.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:6

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