Monday, August 1, 2011

Sylvia's Daughter Dances

The Lord has a way of turning our mourning into dancing, giving us beauty from ashes, and teaching us that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less.  I have mentioned before a subject that was for another day.  I've chosen today to tell this story.
I have always loved being on the go.  Home is my landing spot, but out there is where I love to be.  I have been this way since I was a child.  I would go anywhere, especially if it was to visit with family or friends.  So, in June of 1985 when I went on a softball trip with my aunt and uncle, there was no reason to think it would be a trip I would never forget.  I was a ballpark kid.  There's probably dirt in my blood.  Tournaments were so much fun to me - hotel rooms, pools, sometimes being batgirl, and cheering on my players.  I remember at one game, watching my dad in center field.  He climbed up on the fence did a quick turn  and caught a ball that should have been a homerun.  Then I remember a player from the other team yelling at my dad that he belonged in the zoo with the rest of the monkeys.  We still laugh about that game.  My dad and Beverly were also at this tournament, and we were all ready to have a great time!
When we got back to the rooms, there was a message.  I overheard what the message was about, and I was as scared as I had ever been.  My aunt was talking to one of my uncles on the phone.  She said, "You're going to have to go down and tell Mama and Daddy, I can't tell them this on the phone.  Sylvie has had a heart attack and is in a coma."  I knew what both those terms meant, but I could not comprehend this happening to my mama.  We made the trip from Chatanooga to Birmingham in rain, the whole way.  We never spoke of the conversation I had overheard, and I convinced myself that it was raining because God was crying because He was not going to take my mama with Him.
She remained in a coma for almost 2 months.  I overheard another family member telling of a dream she had had.  I went in to see my mom, and she came out of the coma.  I tried to go in to see her.  I got past the ICU doors, and I stopped in my tracks.  My body would not walk forward.  My mama had never not responded to me.  I was so afraid, so I turned back and I never made it in to see her.
On July 27th I woke to voices downstairs.  Why are they here?!  I was spending the night with my best friend.  So, those voices meant someone was there to pick me up, and I wasn't even out of bed yet!  This was so not fair!  I went downstairs demanding to know why they were here so early, and declaring that I was not ready to leave.  We had planned a bunch of fun for the day, and I was not ready to give that up.  No one would give me an answer.  Then, everyone left the room - except my daddy.  His eyes were not looking at mine.
Then they did.  I wanted to run!  Now his eyes would not let mine look away.  He started to talk, but I didn't want to hear what he was saying.  Rewind! Rewind!  Go back, don't tell me this!  Just stop saying this, and it won't be true.  My daddy had to give his daughter the worst news a daddy could give.  He held me, and told me what had happened during the night.  My mom could not fight any longer.  She left this world - she left me. 
For a while, it was unreal to me.  My mom was always the one who delivered the bad news.  She was good at comforting me, and assuring me I would be okay.  So, she couldn't be dead, because who would give me that comfort?  My daddy was and has always been my protector.  He is good at his job.  I will never forget standing at the end of the "viewing" line, and my dad and my Aunt Jodie coming on either side of me, and walking me past the front of the line and into the room that held my mom's body.  I stopped in my tracks - much like I did in the ICU.  Only this time, they didn't let me stop.  They talked to me and we walked inch by inch until I could stand and look at my mama.  Only, it wasn't her - not the way she was.  Suddenly it became real.  I was not going to have her anymore, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. 
Daddy kissed my head through his tears about a hundred times.  He didn't have many words, but those kisses were like a balm that was trying so hard to heal my little broken heart.  Nothing would, though.  So, from then on, July 27th was a day that reminded me of the most horrible thing I have ever had to experience.  My heart still breaks for that 10 year old little girl. 
Time does not heal, but Jesus does.  I still miss my mama, but I have peace.  I will see her again, and I have a love for people that I cannot explain.  I learned early that you're not promised tomorrow, and that every person has a purpose.  Certain people come along that Jesus allows me to love the way He would love them.  I love to look deep into people.  I don't want anyone to walk around in a coma - not understanding the love and life that Jesus has for them. 
Recently, we celebrated Asa's 7th birthday.  He was induced seven years ago, on a day that my doctor said would be the day he needed to schedule me.  His due date was August 4th, but he was a big baby who needed to come early.  Some of you know this already, but Stephen Asa Morrison was born on July 27th.  :)  So, you see, the Lord turned my mourning to dancing in 2004.  No longer is that a sad day for me!  I know my mama was smiling about this decision.  Maybe she rocked him and kissed him before he was delivered to me.  This was the day my mama went to be with her Lord, and now it is the day that my Lord blessed me with life - no more death. 
Asa's name means healer - physician of the heart.  He did just that for his mama.  He brings me such joy and laughter, and he gives such love to his mama.   I am amazed at how my Jesus loves me, and when He does things like this, that He didn't have to do, I feel so favored and loved.  Yes, I still think about my mama, but it's with a smile on my face.  The little girl she had to leave behind has been blessed with four little lives to be a mama to.  I am the mom I am because of the mama I had.  She loved me like no one else.  It was fierce, and it was comfort.  I take this with me in my own motherhood journey, then I add the grace that Jesus gives me, and so far, so good. 
I don't know what your biggest hurt is.  Jesus does.  I believe He is waiting to turn your mourning into dancing, and He'll do it in a way that you just can't mourn anymore.  I'm praying for you now.  Let Him renew a spirit of gladness in you. 




  1. That was BEAUTIFUL!!! I had to go and read some of it two or three times because my tears were heavily flowing, making it difficult to read!

    Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt testimony! And thanks for helping me give myself a reality check and appreciate every SECOND the Lord allows me to share with my family!!!

  2. Shalita, you are such a good mama! I love to watch you with all your girls. You truly enjoy them, and the look I see in your eyes when you look at them reminds me so much of the look my mama had for me. No joke! Y'all share a certain twinkle that not everyone possesses. You'd have loved her!

  3. Okay, now your comment has me crying! STOP IT!!!

    Well obviously that twinkle is contagious because I see how you look at your babies! I know your mama is so proud of the Godly mama that you are!!!

    I LOVE YOU!!!!